Bookworms dig deep for a special teacher

A small school community spent last month reading and raising money to show support for one of their teachers.

22 September 2020
Seven students and one adult sit in a line holding up books.
Image: Naomi Prosser and Black Hill Public School students showing their favourite books during the MS Readathon.

As an early career teacher Naomi Prosser was excited about the challenge of working at a school in outback Northern Territory.

After completing an internship in 2018 at Black Hill Public School near Newcastle, Mrs Prosser attained a two-year contract to teach at a school in the remote community of Canteen Creek.

However, late last year Mrs Prosser was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or MS, a condition of the central nervous system that interferes with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

The diagnosis requires regular medical treatment so Mrs Prosser, along with her husband and two young children, made the decision to return to Newcastle to be closer to medical facilities.

Mrs Prosser has since returned to Black Hill Public School working one day a week supporting students in Kindergarten and Year 1.

To show their support for the teacher, students spent last month participating in the MS Readathon.

“We all love her dearly and were keen to show her this, through supporting the MS Readathon,” principal Kylie South said.

The annual charity event encourages students to read as much as they can, while raising money for MS Australia. Funds raised help support children who have a parent or carer living with MS.

“What has absolutely blown us all away is the support from our families and community,” Ms South said.

“In just the first week we had raised $1,595. Considering we only have 85 families at our small school, we are absolutely amazed by the amount.”

The fundraising continued throughout August and into early September with a total of $3,000 raised – a result the whole school is proud of achieving.

Students and staff celebrated their efforts with a pizza day last week, with extra treats for the Kindergarten and Year 1 class for raising the most money.

Mrs Prosser said she was amazed by the generosity and fundraising efforts from the students and school community.

“I am so grateful for the support that the Black Hill School and community have given me since my diagnosis,” she said.

“Thank you just does not cut it.”

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