Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has cooperated with the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Office of Education and Training in city’s District 1 to open a newly renovated library at Phan Van Tri Elementary School last week.
For students of the school, the location is ideal.
Opened on October 27, the multi-faceted library is modern, comfortable and equipped to suit the needs of both teachers and students.
|The library is spacious and clean. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Costing VND286 million (US$12,600) to build, the library had VND200 million ($8,800) of that donated by a group of lawmakers including State President Tran Dai Quang, while the rest was covered by smaller benefactors.
A multi-faceted library
“Oh! How cool this is!” a number of 4th and 5th grade students exclaimed when they first walked into the improved library. “There are so many novels!”
|There are a variety of books for students to choose from. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“I really like this library. It’s bigger and nicer than the old one. It also has a lot more books,” Nguyen Tuan Anh, a student in class 5/3, said while picking a book.
The library is over 100m² and designed with the convenience of students in mind.
Situated on the ground floor and located near the school’s gate, the library has already been successful in attracting many students who are able to pick out and replace books without the help of a librarian.
|A space for students to read. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The glass front of the library allows students to browse books from outside – an intentional design feature – and it also has a small stage area, interactive boards, as well as computers connected to the Internet.
Students are able to use the stage area to introduce a book or retell a story.
Teachers are also welcome to read books, research teaching materials, or organize extracurricular activities.
|A teacher introducing a new book to students. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Amenities such as couches and air conditioning have impressed students and made the library more appealing.
Vu Minh Huy, a male student in class 5/2, said, “My dad is a parking attendant. My mom is a textile worker. In the afternoon, I usually go home to get lunch, rest, and after that I come back to school for evening classes. From now on, I will be coming back to school earlier in the afternoon because it is very comfortable and breezy in here.”
Ha Quang Phong, a student in class 4/4, also shared his plans, “My dad has passed away. My mom is employed to wash dishes. In the afternoon, my mom drives me home to have lunch. From now on, I will ask my mom to drive me back to school a little earlier so that I can read books in the library. There are so many interesting books…”
|Students cheer in a colorful reading space. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
A meaningful gift
Le Thi Binh, chief of the Office of Education and Training in District 1, said that even though Phan Van Tri Elementary School is located in the central business district, it is part of Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, where a lot of financially unstable families live.
Most parents work unskilled jobs including selling lottery tickets, polishing shoes or as factory workers, she said, adding that many families live in temporary housing.
|A small stage which can be used for performances or to teach extracurricular activities. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
“The school's library used to be a small, stuffy room with an area of less than 50m² used mainly for book storage, and failed to attract any students,” Binh said.
When authorities in Ho Chi Minh City proposed funding for a project to build a new, standardized library, the school’s officials willingly gave away office space to allow the expansion of the library, she added.
Expressing her appreciation at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Thi Hong Yen – principal of Phan Van Tri – said, “This present is very meaningful, and pragmatic for both teachers and students of the school. We are touched by the care, and great help from our leaders.”
|Dinh Minh Trung, deputy editor-in-chief of Tuoi Tre – gives away scholarships to students with families in hardship at Phan Van Tri Elementary School. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Tuoi Tre helped connect the authorities and the school to make the project happen. At the opening ceremony, the newspaper gave away 30 scholarships of VND1 million ($50) each to students who put in the effort to study but are from poor families.