Cape Town – Excitement is mounting at Levana Primary School in Lavender Hill as the Rene Roman school library will open its doors next week.
This library will not only be accessible to primary school pupils but the broader community to honour the former pupil’s memory.
The 13-year-old’s body was found in a neighbour’s wendy house in March 2017 after she had been missing for 10 days. Her killer, Andrew Plaatjies, 50, received two life terms for the crime.
Levana Primary School principal André Lamprecht said he was proud the idea came into reality.
“The idea of raising funds to have a second bigger library at the school came before Rene’s incident and when it happened, we were more eager to have it named after her.
"She was our Grade 6 pupil who was not only cherished by the school but the community. She loved reading,” said Lamprecht.
The closest library for the community is Retreat Library, which requires children to cross a main highway. It is also dangerous as there are many gang shootings in the areas, the principal said.
Lamprecht said the first built library was small, had few books and some were outdated.
“This means we’ll have more resources. We want to bring back the sense of love for reading books.We’ll also have other after-school programmes and invite NGOs to create a safe space within the library.
"The new library will operate Monday to Fridays until 4pm. We will further discuss if the time can be extended and once we settled, we’ll also be able to see if we have any shortages,” he said.
The move to commemorate Rene’s life has been lauded by her family and the Rene Roman Search and Rescue Team. The organisation has been offered a space within the library where counselling can take place.
Lucinda Evans, founder of the Rene Roman Search and Rescue Team, urged the community to protect the library.
The Learning in Reach has been at the forefront of fund-raising and it’s project director Leanne Reid said the project was undertaken in collaboration with The Bookery and School Aid UK.