Celebration as school turns new library page

Ōrewa Beach Primary School was fizzing with excitement as its library was officially opened on Monday, July 24.

The opening was also ‘dress as a book character’ day, so the entire school, teachers, staff and students, turned out in costume to see the ribbon cut by student leaders Ethan Heke and Zoe Corke.

A number of parents also came along to see the library opened.

Roll growth and renovations have meant every available space has been needed for classrooms, and the school has not had a library for three years. 

Co-organiser of the opening, teacher Jo Blake, says the library building was originally brought onsite by the Ministry of Education to provide classroom space, which was in high demand due to roll growth.

The school’s old library also had to be converted into classrooms while renovations took place.

But finally, with the renovations almost done, a colourful interior paint job and a name gifted by the local marae, the new library was ready to open its doors.

Its name, gifted by Te Herenga Waka o Ōrewa community marae, is He Waka Haumaru – denoting a special safe place for learning and the community.

Principal Katherine Pascoe says this is because the building’s location right on the street side of the school, makes it ideal as a community space –for hui, classes such as art and weaving, and also as a safe place.

She says the library is much more than four walls with books inside – it is about creating the joy of reading in the children.

“A love of reading is so important for every child,” she says.