The PTA plays a critical role in supporting Island School and most importantly creating a dialogue so I and the other senior leaders remain connected to parents’ opinions.
During recent discussions it came up that it would be timely to provide parents with an update on the community library on the Tai Wai campus.
The decision to operate the library was taken as part of the negotiations with the Sha Tin District Council. The concept behind the library is that in addition to providing a community resource it will serve as a means of connecting our school with the surrounding neighborhood.
The main challenge in delivering this initiative was to identify and provide a quality facility that whilst connected to the school did not compromise either security or the efficient operation of the school.
The ESF project team has done a wonderful job resolving this challenge and I am pleased to report that the final facility is proximal, secure and fit for purpose.
It is positioned alongside the school with clear segmentation allowing visitors easy access.
The books in the library are on loan from the Sha Tin public library and in keeping with the demographics of the area are mainly suitable for retirees and young children.
Other community engagement activities are:-
- Tutoring in our neighboring secondary school
- Art classes for community members
- English classes for early years students
- Recycling project with the Sha Tin District Council
I am personally very committed to these initiatives as I see community engagement as a critical element for success during our Sha Tin relocation. I believe this because:-
- The Island School experience is based around acquiring knowledge and skills and applying them in the real world, and our neighborhood provides opportunities to do this.
- Service learning is a wonderful way to help students develop the soft skills and knowledge that are so important to future success. They enable students to gain greater understanding of the way others live their lives and to act in the service of others.
- Developing harmonious relationships with our surrounding community will help students feel confident in our new location.
I take our responsibility for ensuring student safety very seriously and all activities are assessed to minimize risk to students and appropriately supervised.
I invite all parents to inspect our community library and talk to their child about the service learning projects that they are engaged in.