Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Ripple Effect

In a manner of speaking I am starting this post at the end. I want to invite you to first of all take a look at this wonderful short animation by Grace Opie.

Grace is a Yr 5 student from St Martin’s School here in Christchurch. She entered this animation into the 2015 CoreED Digi awards and deservedly earned herself 1st prize in the “Ripple Effect” Yr 4-6 category. I’m sure you’ll agree, it is an inspiring little animation with a very important message. 
I learned about Grace’s achievement through an email sent to us here at the Christchurch City Library Learning Centre from Melanie – Grace’s mum who explained that Grace had won this prize and to say thank you to our staff for running a “Stop Motion Animation” holiday programme that Grace (right) and her equally talented sister Rosie attended. Melanie closed her email with this:

“Thanks again for inspiring Grace with animation. She's got the bug!”

This statement and the many others that we as educators receive is why we continue to do what we do. To be able to read affirming words and see the result of what we have helped set in motion is what makes education so rewarding and enriching for us. It is the embodiment of “the ripple effect”. We are fortunate to be involved in an industry where we are able to be the catalyst for that effect and in some cases watch the ripples grow into something bigger.

Even small ripples have an effect. Here at the Library Learning Centres we are a team made up of trained teachers and people with a training industry background. Part of our mission statement is “Connect, Learn, Create - Opportunities for all”. Key for me is the “Opportunities for all.” As well as our holiday, school and after school offerings, we have a large range of programmes available to our older adult community. Imagine the ripples for a Grandmother who has just learned how to Skype grandchildren overseas? It won’t be changing the world but it just may change a few lives.

Libraries have embraced a wide range of  “New Tech”. We are lucky enough to have 3D printers, beeBots, mBots, lego Mindstorms, iPads, video cameras and a whole range of tech goodies all of which are available for us to use in programming. We hope that we may have the opportunity to work in collaboration with some of you to start sending out some more of these ripples into the world. 
I’ll leave you with this: Pictured is Luka, a Yr 7 student from Cobham Intermediate and his science project. Luka learned that he could access a 3D Printer through the Library. He contacted us and we worked with him to create some replacement parts for his science project (check out a video of his project below). We may well see some fairly large ripples from talented young people like this and isn’t it great to be able to be a small part of it?


  1. Love this! Grace's work is stunning.

  2. Fantastic post, Danny. Thank you. We are so lucky in Christchurch to have such an incredible network of libraries. You do a fantastic job and provide such a wealth of experiences for Chch's learners. The libraries were definitely my family's earthquake heroes.
    Thanks for this post.

  3. This is such a great post Danny! You are right - it is such a rewarding job working with young people & creating those ripples. You & the team at the Libraries do an amazing job & we're incredibly lucky to have you

  4. Loved Grace's animation and Luca's science project. So cool that our libraries have so many exciting activities for our children which can have such great flow on effects.