Tabitha Andrews helps her son, niece and nephew find books at a Little Free Library gathering place April 10 near Ridgeview Elementary School in District 49. “They love to read,” said Andrews. “I was bringing my son home from preschool and he saw the box. He said he wanted to go back and look at the books.”
A Ridgeview Elementary School family is reaching out to their neighbors with a special literacy project.
Michelle Clemens’ family installed a box full of books outside their home ahead of spring break. Since then, children have been delivering books they’ve already read and grabbing books they haven’t read, she said.
Next to their box is a child-sized bench for reading, where the Clemens often offer refreshments, like juice packs.
The Little Free Library was made possible by the Falcon Education Foundation, which awarded a mini grant to Maura Nordberg, a school psychologist at Ridgeview Elementary School.
Nordberg says the point was to provide the neighborhood children easy access to books through a self-sustaining community project. Families can swap out books at the mini library, or bring them to the school.
Principal Theresa Ritz encourages anyone interested in hosting their own library to contact the school.
“If we can get several Little Free Library hosts, we’ll help those families with books,” said Ritz.
“The expensive part is getting the kits,” she said, “but if somebody knows how to build a box, they can make their own, however they want it to look like. There are creative ideas on the Little Free Library website.”
Ritz is hoping to certify five more neighborhood boxes, putting them on the official Little Free Library world map.