Her name is Marisa Milo. She is the school principal of SDN Tasikapa. Despite just being appointed to her post in March 2022, her spirit to improve student literacy should be highly appreciated. When the Rainbow Reading Gardens team visited the school for school selection, she enthusiastically and confidently answered that she would be ready to collaborate with the local government, students’ parents, local people, and the school committee to renovate their library’s building.

Mrs. Marisa Milo, the principal of SDN Tasikapa

Unfortunately, this great intention was not welcomed by the school committee and students’ parents. Initially, she had difficulties to communicate and inviting both parties to take action and renovate the school library. This happened due to a break in communication since the pandemic took place among them. There were no activities in school when the global crisis occurred. Also, she had not built a strong relationship with the school communities as she just started working there.

These challenges surprisingly didn’t hinder Ibu Marisa’s mission. She kept looking for measures to obtain support from the committee and students’ parents by initiating a personal approach. She would frequently visit the head of the committee’s house but left with not finding him home. She then decided to stay in the paddy field area where the head of the committee worked, and this finally brought a positive result. Furthermore, she invited the village head and education activists to discuss together in school for having more and more people get involved in the school library renovation.

All that hard work finally paid off. She received full support from the school committee, students’ parents, teachers, and other parties. The students’ parents raised money to purchase building supplies such as cement and plywood, meanwhile, the village head donated sand and hired builders to renovate the library. As for teachers, they helped paint the library’s walls with the students’ parents. Isn’t it such a fantastic collaboration?

On Wednesday, 28th September 2022, the school library was officially established. All parties were happy that day. The students looked excited to choose and read the books in their new library. “From the beginning of taking the role as a principal, I have always had this dream to provide a room to improve the students’ reading interest, and today, that dream has been achieved”, said Ibu Marisa. One of the students’ parents also described, “We hope, with this child-friendly library, all library activities can be maximized from now on, so these students’ literacy can be more developed”.