Giant book sale helps schoolkids in need

MACLEAN Rotary has had another successful Giant Book Sale with more than 6000 books back into circulation - who said reading books was a dying habit?

Books are continuing to flood in for the next sale, scheduled for August 17-18.

But there has been an extra spin-off from the sale and donation of books.

Former Maclean Rotary member, and executive of the local Harwood Sugar mill, Peter Dibella recently took up an appointment with the Ramu Sugar company in Papua New Guinea, located in the Madang area behind Lae on the north coast of the territory.

In correspondence with friends back in Maclean, Peter and his wife Dianne mentioned visiting a local school, Dumpu Primary School.

Mrs Dibella said there were 300 pupils at the school, all crowded into six classrooms, most unlike Lower Clarence schools.

"The message being given by the teachers was 'read, read, read' but of course without books they have little opportunity to practice," she said.

"There are similar schools in the area, all of which would benefit."

The first box of books was delivered to the school on World Book Day in April, at a gathering attended by parents of the children.

Describing the needs, Mrs Dibella said educational material suitable for prechool to Year 12, including teachers' resource material, was much sought-after.

Fiction suitable for all ages two to adult is also needed, although many of the parents cannot read.

All non-fiction is also sought, with encyclopedias a very useful resort, even though some information is out of date.

Unfortunately, electricity is not available, so the schools cannot benefit from much of the electronic research means available to Australian schools.

Mrs Dibella said pencils, pens, exercise books, protractors and rulers were always needed.

The Rotary Club is also combining with local Yamba dentist Dr Aninke (Annie) Uppert, who has been organising the dispatch of Mama Packs, which are distributed to new mothers and their babies at the local clinic.

These are a hand-sewn bag containing two nappies, a baby blanket/wrap/ swaddling, a newborn singlet and outfit for the baby.

Other contents of the bags include a range of toiletry items, face washers, two sanitary pads and travel-size toiletry items gathered from motels and air flights.

Dr Uppert said she was aiming to produce 500 Mama Packs each year.

Boxes are being stacked ready for the next shipment, which is transported to the school with Peter's employer, Ramu Sugar.

Drop off your donations at any Lower Clarence library or phone Dick on 6646 0217.

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