Middlebury first-graders create little libraries

Thirty-two million adults in America are considered to be illiterate, and one local elementary school is doing their part to help. They’re making Free Lending Libraries. Students at York Elementary are working together to create 15 lending libraries and then placing them all throughout Middlebury.

“Because people could take a book and read it,” says York Elementary first-grader Evie Hunspurger.

"We did a lesson on literacy and why it was important, and they were like, 'How would they tell the school what their kids are going to do after school?'” says York Elementary first-grade teacher Kathie Kenworthy, “Like to write a note to say they weren't going to ride the bus home. They thought that that was a really big need in our community, so they started generating ideas."

Students at York Elementary school are making Free Lending Libraries.

“It's part of teaching the whole child to grow up to be a member of society, like they need to be a contributing member. They need to know that this society is made of all of us, and we all need to participate," Kenworthy.

Here's how it works: they place small containers filled with books around Middlebury. People can take or even leave a book as they please, and it's getting first graders excited to help.

"That lots of people don't know how to read, and if you get a book and give it to somebody and they read it, it teaches them the learn how to read,” says Hunpurger.

The books are totally free. Through these libraries, they're hoping to promote literacy in our community.

"When it starts young I think that the lesson sticks better,” says Kenworthy.

Lippert Components helped the students design the library boxes, which got them familiar with some introductory engineering. The project ends with a reading night on March 2, there the libraries will be on display before they're placed in the community.

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