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Prisoners accelerate school's need to read

Prisoners accelerate school's need to read

Sunday 16 December 2018

Prisoners accelerate school's need to read

Sunday 16 December 2018

Local prisoners have been tasked with transforming a former school bus, which completed nearly a million journeys around the island, into a library to help students.

Haute Vallée School decided earlier this year to close its library and redistribute its books into different departments.

Following that decision, students from the school part in a competition to design a library bus, which aims to complement this change.

Prisoners working in the carpentry department will be tasked with making the students' visions a reality, with the help of Geomarine, Normans and Property Holdings.


Pictured: HMP La Moye inmates will work with local experts to make the idea a reality.

It is hoped the unique library will encourage more young people to read, while giving prisoners an opportunity to contribute to the community as part of La Moye’s restorative justice programme. 

Aimee Jinks, literacy coordinator at Haute Vallée School, commented: "Students have been invited to create a space that is theirs: educational, social and empowering. Literacy is crucial to all students’ progression and success.

"The library bus is the first exciting step of many that will give our students the chance to shape their own curriculum, opportunities and future.”

Liberty school bus turned into library

Pictured: Haute Vallée students with La Moye head of skills and learning Dr David Holmes, Nikki Withe from Liberty Bus and Haute Vallée literacy co-ordinator Aimee Jinks-Reidy.

The school now plans to redevelop the current library into a study zone. Head teacher Stuart Hughes said that this, combined with a quirky library bus, would help get students talking and thinking more about literacy.

"We are also pleased that students can see how schools can work alongside businesses and groups such as prisoners to create something beneficial for the school community," he added.

The disused school bus, which has been ferrying pupils around the island for 11 years, was donated by LibertyBus. Nikki Withe, Community Manager for the company, said that the vehicle had been operating in Jersey as a standard bus since 1994 but became a school bus in 2007.


Pictured: J46598 was in circulation in Jersey between 1994 and 2018.

“During its lifetime J46598 has completed around 900,000 passenger journeys, with around 100,000 of those transporting students to and from school,” Ms Withe said. “As a social enterprise, our mission is to make a positive difference to our community and we know that the library bus will be of great benefit to the students at Haute Vallée.

"We hope that this is just the start of a long-running scheme that could see buses we can no longer use on the network be re-purposed so that they can continue to serve the community.”

Dr David Holmes, HM La Moye Prison’s Head of Skills and Learning, added: “Inspiring community projects, such as this, that partner with a broad range of organisations across the States of Jersey, as well as with local businesses, forms part of our restorative justice programme, which assists prisoners in their rehabilitation by developing and improving work-related skills they have acquired through the Learning and Skills Department at SoJPS La Moye.

"What better way to do this than converting the inside of a bus into a fully fitted library?"

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