Take it, read it, share it, repeat
Gardnerville Elementary School children gathered around a little wooden box on the front lawn and celebrated as the ribbon was snipped and the school was announced a designated “Little Free Library” location.
Little Free libraries is a nonprofit organization that inspires reading and brings communities together by fostering book exchanges around the world and increases book access to readers of all ages and backgrounds, according to littlefreelibrary.org.
“It’s a library in a box,” said GES Literacy Specialist Lauren O’Neil on Friday during the ceremony.
O’Neil spearheaded the project after she got the idea from an article she read about little libraries in other communities.
“I thought it was a neat idea and wanted to be able to provide reading access to our students outside of school, especially during the summer when some students may not have access to the library,” she said.
O’Neil said the little library is not just for students.
“It belongs to everybody — neighbors, students, friends and people we don’t even know. Anyone can use it,” she said. “If you see something you would like to read, take it. Then return it to our library and swap it for a new one or pass it on to a friend.”
The fifth grade art club painted “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “The Hungry Caterpillar” and more children’s book characters on the box while fourth-graders decorated it with ladybugs and caterpillars and kindergartners finger painted flowers.
“Many students gave up their lunch time to work on the box,” said O’Neil. “It shows their dedication to this project and their excitement with it.”
Art teacher Shannon Sedlock and Principal Shannon Brown also supported and contributed to the project.
“This was my idea, but it took a village,” O’Neil said. “I couldn’t have done it without the help from the students and faculty, the community and my husband who put the library kit together for us.”
O’Neil said GES will be registered on the Little Free Library website, where other little libraries can be found.
“‘Little Free Library’ is a way to support reading for children, literacy for adults, and libraries not just in our community but around the world,” she said.
Free Library locations:
1756 Ironwood Dr. Minden
2292 Main St. Genoa
For more information and to find more Free Library locations visit littlefreelibrary.org.