Harrison Street Elementary now has a Little Free Library, with the help of Big Walnut High School.
The Little Free Library is a non-profit organization whose slogan is “Take a Book, Share a Book.” Communities worldwide have library boxes available for people to do just that.
HSE Principal Kim Castiglione talked about the new addition at Big Walnut School Board meeting on June 21. Two 4th Grade students, Damian Gilman and Andy Wion, joined her.
Castiglione said she heard about the program and thought, “Well we could do that and partner with the high school. There would be books for all ages you can borrow, but you have to return them.”
The PTO provided funding, and student committees were formed at both schools.
“We looked up what would be good ideas,” young Damian said, referring to the library boxes. “It was really fun.”
Four different designs were chosen, and HSE students got to vote for their favorite. The BWHS wood shop class then made the library box, with some modifications.
“We did two shelves instead of three, because some of the books were too tall,” said BWHS student Kyler Plummer. “It was pretty heavy. It took two of us to carry it.”
Post holes were dug, and the box was installed near the playground entrance of HSE. This will become the main entrance of the school when classes start up again, said Director of Facilities Doug Swartz.
The kiddos have had a chance to use the Little Free Library before school let out for the summer.
“The 4th graders were reading to the kindergartners and the kindergartners were reading to the 4th graders,” said 4th Grade teacher Tracy Truax.
“There was sheer joy in their faces,” Castiglione said. “It blew our expectations out of the water. We’re looking forward to many more years of enjoyment.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.