The event, supported by the Parents, Teachers and Friends (PTF) Association, included a countdown to lights off, then quiet reading under torchlight, with prizes awarded for concentration. Opportunities to hear from key authors followed.
Library leaders Lauren van der Oord and Charles Curcio were delighted with the evening, after successfully publicising the popular event.
“I’m sure everyone enjoyed Lights OFF Torches ON, reading by torchlight had a very calming vibe,” Lauren said. “Author Mick Elliott was highly entertaining, especially his jokes!”
“It’s a good way to make sure children know that books work just as well as screens,” Charles added.
There has been a real buzz around the School post Lights OFF Torches on, with students, staff and families commenting on the event’s excitement and success.
“It was such an enjoyable evening with a very warm and heartfelt atmosphere,” said Year 8 volunteer Nathan Turner. “It was totally worth it and I loved every second of it.”
Lights OFF Torches ON sold out within days of the posters going up around the School, giving a clear indication of how special the event would be.
“The event had grown a momentum far beyond our wildest expectations!” said IGS Teacher Librarian Karen McBride.
“I was followed around by students showing me their torches and books and asking when they could change into their PJs!
“By 5pm, a team of 33 PTF volunteers, 16 teachers and library assistants, at least 10 After Care colleagues, our fantastic maintenance, cleaning and IT teams, the canteen and several High School volunteers, all worked together to create this event.”
The buying frenzy at the Gleebooks “pop up” in the School Hall resulted in the sale of $5,500 worth of books.
“What a delight to see the Primary students engrossed in their newly purchased books on Thursday morning, many stopping to tell me they had just had their best night ever,” Ms McBride said.
“A special mention to Andrea Belunek, Bev Shroot, and Cressida Pollack for their willingness and enthusiasm to work on the planning and implementation of the event over an extensive 12-month period, and thank you to Lauren van der Oord and Charles Curcio for their beautiful thank you cards and messages to the authors.”
Bev said that the event “completely exceeded expectations” and “what started out as a casual reading event ended up becoming an exciting literary extravaganza”.
“It’s a very satisfying moment when we realise that over 200 primary school children would like to come to the library and read their books at night with their friends.”
PTF President Andrea Belunek said “magic happens when teachers, parents and kids come together to create something outside the everyday”.
IGS thanks parent Sabrina Fantuz for sharing her artistic talents to enhance the magic of the evening, creating enchanting backdrops studded with fairy lights, showing Hogwarts, a fairy garden and a starry sky.
Working in the IGS basement in the week before the event, Sabrina used recycled materials.
“The children’s delight is my reward,” a humble Sabrina said, adding that “the wonderful maintenance staff and the PTF” had assisted her.
IGS would like to thank all the parent volunteers whose patience and contributions helped make the event a fun and safe experience for all the children. We also thank Manuela Bachmann, Paul Galea and the wonderful OOSH staff who are always there to support the community, and of course, Patty, Di and the Anthony Catering team for preparing the delicious dinner.