Edgars Creek Primary School literacy leader Ben Caddy, left, assistant principal Matthew Dunstone, children’s author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang, leading teacher Sara Johns, and wellbeing education support Vanessa Ilias with some of the books that will now feature in the school’s library. ​

By Max Davies

Students at Edgar’s Creek Primary School at Wollert were last week treated to a visit from Australian author Gabrielle Wang as part of a grant from the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation, ACLF.

The ACLF provided a grant of $10,000 to the school, which will be used to buy culturally-diverse books for the school’s library as well as hosting Ms Wang for a series of interactive workshops.

Ms Wang, a children’s author and illustrator from Melbourne, is the current Australian Children’s laureate and has been travelling to numerous schools across Australia to host workshops to promote her chosen theme of ‘Imagine a Story’.

The Laureate is appointed on a biennial basis and serves to promote the transformative power of reading, creativity and storytelling in young peoples’ lives.

“I love it. It’s a joy to know that your books have been borrowed from the libraries,” Ms Wang said.

“The more kids that read, the better, and as an author, that’s what you write for. First of all, you write for yourself, but then you write for the children.”

Children’s author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang hears answers from grade two and three students at Edgar’s Creek Primary School.

Ms Wang is the ACLF’s seventh laureate and her time in the role has included opening two libraries at new schools, all while promoting her ideas of imagination in storytelling.

Through two sessions at Edgars Creek Primary School, students were encouraged to share their sources of inspiration and were shown how to draw a character from one of Ms Wang’s stories.

“The kids were fantastic, especially when I asked them where they get ideas for stories from. Their responses were exceptional,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s just the ordinary ‘from your head’ or ‘from stories’, but the kids’ answers were really so diverse, and I was very, very impressed.

“I just think it’s fantastic that we have the opportunity to host this sort of event, and it’s really good to promote the [ACLF] to promote reading and the love of reading.”

Assistant principal Matthew Dunstone said the school was thankful to have received the grant to support students’ reading.

“As a new school, we’re always looking at building our resources to support our learning programs and to receive a grant like this supports us no end,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students to hear from a professional author and it broadens their horizons so they have access to different kinds of resources, different inspirations for their own writing and reading.”

The school also hosted guests from Lendlease, Bendigo Bank and the ACLF on Friday to officially present the new books.

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