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The Sixth Grader Who Inspired The Creation Of A New School Library

LOWE Sound Primary School students can enjoy a brand new, fully equipped library inspired by sixth-grader Zaria Stapleton.

Zaria is an avid reader. Her parents Myriam and Brian Stapleton fostered her love of reading by providing her with ample books throughout her childhood. Soon, the family would face a dilemma as her book collection grew exponentially. Zaria embarked on a mission to donate her books to those in need.

As fate would have it, her mother travelled to Andros for work in the summer of 2017. She asked the welcoming locals about schools in need of books. She was referred to Lowe Sound Primary School and instantly connected with the principal there, Tarah Neymour. It was discovered that the school operated out of a shop space, their building damaged after Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

When Zaria heard the news, she was bursting with enthusiasm about assisting the students. After some consideration, she suggested to her mother that she should help them get a library. What seemed like a farfetched idea became the cornerstone of the Lowe Sound Library project.

After many delays in 2017 due to weather conditions and other unexpected circumstances but with the assistance of her parents and many other selfless volunteers, Zaria's suggestion came into fruition in January 2018. Prior to the completion of the library, Zaria and her team worked tirelessly to co-ordinate book drives, solicit sponsors and organise supplies. Approaching construction, Zaria collected thousands of books to donate to not only the students of Lowe Sound Primary, but students at schools across the island.

Zaria, along with volunteers from the Rotaract Club of the University of the Bahamas and the Japan Karate Association Bahamas, toiled to complete the project in one weekend. Zaria spearheaded the project as creative director and motivator, creating a warm and child-friendly library with an exuberant colour scheme and intriguing d├ęcor. More importantly, the children at Lowe Sound Primary now have access to an abundance of books, reading materials and educational materials.

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