Apple Valley, Calif. – Students at Mariana Academy will now have access to books all year long thanks to the school’s “Little Free Library”. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 27 at 3 p.m. to celebrate the official opening.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. The libraries typically come in the form of a small box or bookcase that are placed in public areas. There are over 50,000 similar libraries registered in the Little Free Library database, in over 70 countries.
The U.S. Department of Education has reported that up to 61 percent of low-income families do not have any books for their children at home. “We hope to provide a resource for these families,” Principal Kristin Dupree said. “The intention is for families to take a book and return it when they are done, or leave a different book in its place.”
The small wooden box of books has been constructed just outside of Mariana’s fences so that students have access to books even when school is not in session. “While we know there is a high chance that we will need to deal with graffiti and stolen books, we didn’t want that to hinder the possibility of putting books in kids hands,” Dupree said.
First grade teacher Diane Witthauer has been working for four years to plan the project and officially register the library with the Little Free Library organization. Parent volunteer Troy Springer helped bring Witthauer’s plan into action and built the library out of recycled materials donated from Shedworld and from various school sites.
For more information on the Little Free Library, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/.