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Drove School Educational Project

Swindon Soroptimists Educational Project Drove Primary School

Swindon Soroptimists has adopted Drove School in Swindon as its main educational project. So far we have donated large consignments of books each year since 2015, on International Literacy Day or, more recently on World Book Day in March. We believe that education and reading is key to unlocking children’s potential.

The children love the books we donate and their teachers appreciate the resources enabling them to provide books to be borrowed by the children. Each class has a crate of books for children to select themselves to take home on an exchange basis. The school caters for a very diverse group of children, many of whom cannot speak or read English when they join the school. Many of our donations feature in the local Swindon Advertiser paper.

President Valerie Nuttall on an early visit to Drove School. Many of these small children have met us again in later years!

  Each year we present the books at a special Assembly and the children have delighted us with entertainment, ranging from a Pirate song and dance to reading aloud to ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt” and dressing up in Fairy Tale character costumes.

On World Book Day in March 2020, we gave a record 286 books, supported by friends and especially Marlborough and Swindon Ladies Who Latte business women’s groups. Three members attended and the children delighting us with their story book character costumes. Principal Helen Swanson said, “Thank you so much for these books. Reading is so high profile due to the different languages at the school and makes such a difference to the children’s education and their futures”.

Our Project during the COVID Pandemic

Despite Lockdown we continued to collect books. In 2021 in deep lockdown we still gave 264 books, visiting the school to meet Ast. Principal Bryony, teacher Craig Roberts and a few children! Bryony commented, “It is really appreciated! It allows us to provide books to children across the school for use both in school and at home”.

In 2022 members Jackie Webb and Corrine Daycock visited on World Book Day itself and handed over 240 books and met staff and joined in the day’s events, albeit on screen via TEAMS, as well as meeting a few children. Jackie was also interviewed by BBC Wiltshire to talk of our donations.

Collections continued for 2023 and again 262 books were given at last we could join in face-to-face Assemblies! We had great fun with the children at a Masked Reader competition, run by teacher Abby.  

Children from Drove Primary School gathered with members of Swindon Soroptimists
Members Lydia, Jackie & Corrine with the school in 2023
Members Lydia, Jackie, Corrine, Lynnette & Rozza in 2024
Members Lydia, Jackie, Corrine, Lynnette & Rozza in 2024

In 2024 the school held two special Assemblies for us, as their ‘Activity Day’ clashed with our International Women’s Day activities. This year we gave 286 books, equalling the record we set in 2020!