Library honours Rene Roman’s memory

The new school library is being built.

The construction of the Rene Roman Library at Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill has started and soon the community will be able to make use of the facility.

The library will be named after Rene Roman, the 13-year-old Grade 6 Hillview pupil who went missing on March 10 last year.

Ten days later her body was found in a neighbour’s backyard.

School principal Andre Lamprecht said the library would be named after the girl to honour her.

“She was a well loved learner and loved reading who wanted to become a teacher. We had plans to build a school hall and library since 2015 and when Rene’s body was found we decided that it would a way of honouring her because of her love for reading,” said Mr Lamprecht.

Leanne Reid, project director of Learning in Reach, an organisation that has been assisting the school with raising funds, said the library wouldn’t only help the school but the whole community.

“The school library will be open to parents to help the kids with homework support and for after school-activities. Children from certain communities don’t have access to books. We’ve given books to children and they were overcome with emotion because it was the first time they owned a book.

Ms Reid said there was a lack of school libraries: “Levana Primary had a library but it was small and obsolete because the books were outdated. Other children from the community just don’t have access to libraries.

“Generally South Africa has 78 %of Grade 4s who are illiterate. So how do we build this culture of reading? By given access to books. We are also honouring Rene’s legacy of bringing the community together and building something that’s positive for the children of Lavender Hill,” said Ms Reid.

Learning In Reach, together with partnering NGOs, The Bookery and School Aid UK, started a crowd fund on BackaBuddy to build the library.

While the building has been funded, the interior will be an empty shell unless they can raise sufficient funds to install bookshelves and furniture to seat 50 children.

Mr Lamprecht appealed to communities and businesses to come onboard and donate blinds, chairs, tables, bookshelves and other things that could be useful for the library.