Three Allen County-Scottsville high school DECA officers----Ally Atwood, Sydney Ausbrooks, and Hadley Celsor---are spear-heading a project to place free books into the hands of youngsters in Allen County.
“We have set up three small little libraries (boxes) in Scottsville that have about 25 books in each,” explained Celsor. “Kids and their families can come by and get free books from the little libraries.”
The project began several
months ago as the DECA students began looking for a community service project.
“We took a survey of students at the (Allen County) Primary Center and the (Allen County) Intermediate Center to see how reading impacted students,” Celsor added. “Most of the students said they did not have enough books to fill a bookshelf in their homes.”
The information moved the
students to seek a way to get more books into homes.
“We also know that some kids didn’t have the ability to have books in their homes but enjoyed reading,” Ausbrooks added. “They just didn’t have the money or the ability to get the books. This is a free thing that will help the kids get books to read.”
Realizing the need in Allen County, the students went to the website littlefreelibrary.org. to learn about a program in which a sponsoring organization can receive special hand-crafted wooden boxes to place around a community. The “little library” becomes a place where youngsters can pick up a free age-appropriate books, read it, and return so that others can benefit.
“This is geared toward kids from preschool to eighth grade,” Ausbrooks said. “Kids or parents can go by, find a book they would like to read, take it home, read it, and then return it, just like you would at a regular library.”
Not only have the students
started the local program, the future leaders took the time to decorate the
boxes and place the libraries around Scottsville.
“We painted the little library boxes ourselves,” Atwood added. “We added color to each and also a little flower design. We also added a knob that makes the door opening a little easier.”
The little libraries have been
set up at the Allen County Scottsville Recreation Center, East Willow Church of
God, and at Scottsville Baptist Church.
The DECA students are also
seeking book donations for the project. Ideally, the books should be ones that
kids from preschool through eighth grade can read and enjoy. To donate books,
simply drop off books at one of the little library locations or at the high
school. DECA students will review the donated books, label, and place in the
library for kids to read and enjoy.