Massachusetts School Children Fill Lake Worth Little Free Libraries with Favorites
I have been the administrator of the Lake Worth Little Free Libraries project for seven years. In that time, my heart has filled to overflowing more times than I can count because of the generosity of perfect strangers and the unqualified support from my neighbors here in town. The commitment to literacy and the way Little Free Libraries have been sweetly adopted, cared for and beloved by book lovers far and near keeps me ever on my knees in gratitude. What happened last week will stand out among all those shimmering moments of kindness and sharing for a generation.
A teacher of second and third graders in Massachusetts contacted our project. She wanted to know if we would be willing to accept new books from her students. Turns out, these seven to nine year old children had heard on the news about some books being difficult for Florida children to get their hands on and they wanted to help. They knew where to get the books but they weren’t sure how to get the books to Florida’s children. They knew about Little Free Libraries because the whole world knows about Little Free Libraries, and wouldn’t it be cool if Florida had Little Free Libraries and the kids could find these great books in there.
A little googling and our Lake Worth Little Free Libraries project came to this amazing teacher’s attention and immediately, a class project was devised! With guidance from their teacher, the students made a list of their own favorite books. No one cared whether these titles were “banned” or not, just what were the books the students most wanted to share with other kids in Florida? The list grew to more than 250 titles.
A wish list was set up on Amazon and the class project began. Parents and friends of the kids in Massachusetts could survey the list on Amazon and choose which books they wanted to purchase and have them shipped to us here in Lake Worth. We received our first package this week.
Included was Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis, a Newberry and Coretta Scott King awards winning novel about a boy in 1936 Flint Michigan in search of his father. Also included was As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds has been awarded the Coretta Scott King award, the Kirkus Prize and the Schneider Family Book Award. Finally we now have Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina; a Pura Belpre award winning novel about a little girl, her dog and the difficulty of learning “the English”.
When news broke on social media about this wonderful children to children gift, many people here and as far away as Michigan have asked for the list so they too can be a part of the sharing. A link to the Amazon wish list is available on the Lake Worth Little Free Libraries website www.lakeworthlfl.org
Note: We are withholding the name of the teacher and the school in Massachusetts to avoid any controversy or backlash. Lake Worth Little Free Libraries remains deeply grateful to the Palm Beach County School District who generously make tens of thousands of gently used weeded books available to our children through the Little Free Libraries.
Lake Worth Little Free Libraries Receives World-Wide Recognition
By Paige Turner, Reprinted with the kind permission of the Lake Worth Herald
May 16, 2019 -- The Lake Worth Little Free Libraries project has been selected to receive the inaugural Todd H. Bol Outstanding Achievement award from the Little Free Library world-wide book sharing network. To celebrate the 10th year anniversary of when Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library to honor the memory of his mother, the Little Free Library organization has honored 10 individual Stewards from the more than 98,000 Stewards across the planet with this newly created award named after the late founder and creator of the Little Free Library global phenomenon.
Lake Worth Little Free Libraries, with more than 120 LFLs and more than 200 Stewards, Artists and Builders has been graciously included among the honorees as a comprehensive project because Todd Bol so ardently believed that Little Free Library is a Community effort. And so it is that the Lake Worth Little Free Libraries project is now recognized for Outstanding Achievement in the world-wide effort to build Literacy and Community in more than 90 countries around the world.
According to the letter of notification received from Little Free Library headquarters in Hudson, Wisconsin, “Ten years ago, Todd Bol built the very first Little Free Library on his deck in Hudson, Wisconsin and the world was forever changed. We witnessed people sharing – both books and pieces of themselves. We saw sparks of creativity ripple from Hudson to El Paso, New Orleans, and Rome. We have seen hearts changed and communities come together because of a simple, but powerful, box of books. You have helped to inspire those changes and are an integral part of the Little Free Library story. Thank you, from all of us, for the work you have done to advance our mission.”
The letter goes on to say, “While the Todd H. Bol Awards for Outstanding Achievement are given to individuals, we are so proud of the entire Lake Worth Little Free Libraries team.”
The physical award is expected to be delivered to Lake Worth within the next two weeks. It will be permanently displayed in the Lake Worth Library to honor not only all the project volunteers but also all the residents of Lake Worth who have so embraced their Little Free Libraries.