GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In the courtyard of the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs and Head Start daycare is a box full of books, a “Little Free Library” recently built and installed by a Fleming …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In the courtyard of the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs and Head Start daycare is a box full of books, a “Little Free Library” recently built and installed by a Fleming Island High School senior.
Sara Kissane, 17, said she hoped to spread awareness about reading at a young age. Kissane has a love reading having grown up on the “Harry Potter” and “Hunger Games” series, though she is also fond of classics like “The Great Gatsby” and “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Little Free Libraries started in Wisconsin and there more than 75,000 boxes registered across the country where readers are encouraged to drop a book in the box and take one. With a focus on children’s books, Kissane said she hoped children from Head Start would be regular visitors to the box.
A statistic that children of parents who don’t read to them know significantly less words than parents who do read is something that piqued her interest about building a Little Free Library. She also made a daily curriculum for parents of young children with activities to promote reading and literacy.
“I wanted to somehow to incorporate that (love of reading) in my project,” Kissane said. I created the little library along with a literary program to go with it.”
She did the project as a part of her Girl Scouts Gold Star Award, which is comparable to the Eagle Scout project for Boy Scouts. Before the Gold Star Award, she had to do two projects in groups. There was the Bronze Award, in which she took part in a shoe drive where more than a thousand shoes were donated. For her Silver Award, she helped carry out a Flag Retirement Ceremony, which teaches the proper manner to dispose of old and worn U.S. flags.
“I kind of wanted to help with something I was passionate about that I knew there was a lack of,” Kissane said.
Food Pantry Director Wynema Lovell said the pantry will take book donations and help stock the Little Free Library. She called Kissane’s idea fantastic.
“Anytime you can encourage a child to read or a parent to read to a child, that’s a good situation,” Lovell said. “(Kissane) started with two dozen books and our volunteers will keep the little libraries stocked.”
Kissane said interested book donors can place books in the box, and there were extra boxes in the food pantry if more space is needed. She said there was a need for books in Spanish. The box, on 1107 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., was dedicated week before last.