On a sunny summer’s morning in June, crowds of excited children gathered in the playground of Longlands primary school waiting for deputy mayor of Bexley to cut the ribbon and declare their new reading space open. It had been 6 months since the school council had discussed their Rainforest Reading Room ideas with Assistant Headteacher Tammy Allen and they were itching to take a peek.
Alice Thurston - a parent and local resident – first made contact with ABC Book Club in December 2021 - initially to discuss a donation of books. She told the ABC team that The Friends of Longlands School (FOLS) parent’s group had successfully raised the money to purchase two cabins for their playground.
One earmarked for an art studio, and the other, a reading room - a quiet space where children could escape the noise of breaktime and sit down with a good book. Having heard about the effort to fundraise and the collaboration between the school and its parent community, ABC were only too happy to go a step further.
As requested by the school council, their Rainforest Reading Room is quite an immersive experience! With grass underfoot and tropical leaves cascading from the ceiling, it’s no surprise that Thea, aged 6, exclaimed "It looks like we're actually in the rainforest! I love it in here!”. It would seem that Alfie the school dog agrees!
Tammy Allen, Assistant Head Teacher at Longlands said
“ABC have collaborated with us amazingly. We will be eternally grateful to the team and it has been lovely to watch the children engaging with books and exploring their new Rainforest Reading Room.”