By: Sharon Aron Baron
In an effort to foster the love of reading, Riverside Elementary School in Coral Springs opened their new Little Free Library in front of the school.
The idea began rolling after second grade teacher Vanessa Parker saw the book exchange box while she was on vacation.
“I had seen a Little Free Library over winter break in North Carolina, and thought I could bring the idea to the school.”
Once she presented it to her students, they were excited about it. After speaking to Principal Merideth Weiss-Schnur, along with the rest of the administration, Parker said they were excited as well.
“Anytime we can bridge the gap between the school and the community with an activity, they’re all for it.”
Parker went online to find out how they could create theirs, and one of the tips she found said to contact the newspapers and ask for one of their old dispensers.
“I contacted the Sun Sentinel, and they were amazing. Within 24 hours, I had a response, and I was able to pick one up at their warehouse at no charge.”
The class discussed how to decorate it, and decided to model it after the school mascot: the Riverside Raccoons. Parker enlisted the help of one of the artistic moms named Ginger Forster who created the artwork on the sides with the books.
The project was also a learning tool, opening up a discussion on how some children may not have books at home to read, and if everyone had access to a Free Little Library, they may have more opportunities.
“That’s the whole premise of the Little Library, you take one home, and you can keep it. You can come to leave books, or you can come to take books. There are no rules to how you use the library.”
The Little Free Library isn’t just for students, it’s located in front of the school, open to the public as well as registered under littlefreelibrary.org
“We want people to use it,” said Parker. “I want to come back and find it empty so I can come back and refill it.”
To donate a book or take a book, visit the Little Free Library at Riverside Elementary located at 11450 Riverside Dr, Coral Springs, FL 33071.