Parkhead Community Primary School has just finished a project to convert an old Canadian ‘blue bird’ bus into a new library.
The school and community fund-raised £10,500 to support the project and obtained a grant to buy the library books and furniture.
Mandy Tulip, Business Manager at Parkhead Primary, was in charge of the project and told SCHOOLS NorthEast: “I found with fundraising in the community there was a lot more buy in from everyone when we focused on fundraising for a ‘Library Bus’ accompanied by a picture of a similar project already completed, rather than just fundraising for the school in general.”
She added: “The easy part was actually the conversion of the bus as this was all done off site by the coachwork company. Towing it onto site was a little trickier but our local farmer helped with his tractor in the end!”
Ms Tulip also mentioned that a grandparent helped the fundraising process by making a double decker bus cake for the school to raffle.
As part of the school’s desire to engage with the community, a new Saturday club was opened with support from the Gateshead community fund. The club is free to everyone in the Blaydon and Winlaton area and children can enjoy fun sports activities on the yard and reading activities on the bus.
The school lacked the necessary space for a library and there were not sufficient funds available for building an extension.
The bus is a warm, creative space where children can learn. It is stacked with new books, comfortable cushions, desks and Wi-Fi.
Parkhead Primary is possibly the third school in the North East to have followed a national trend in transforming busses into school libraries.