Announcing Impact Library Program Recipients, September 2022

By Valarie Kingsland

Congratulations to this month’s Impact Library recipients, and welcome to the Little Free Library family!

Little Free Library’s Impact Library Program provides no-cost Little Free Library book exchanges to underserved communities where they can make a meaningful impact on book access and literacy engagement. When you donate, you help us provide libraries to communities like these.

Carol Cobb | Beaverbrook Elementary PTO | Griffin, GA
Access to books allows people to build a love for reading, and in turn, learn. It expands their ability to achieve academically and socially. We believe that providing free books will get our local school’s students reading more, which will help them in school and life in general. These students have very few books in their homes, so offering access to more books that are within walking distance of their homes is important.

Ann Dickinson | Tucson, AZ
There are many low-income families with children living in this area. There are also several apartment complexes within a few blocks with a lot of children residing there. Schools were closed for much of the last two years so kids have not had access to a library at their school. And they do not have easy transportation to public libraries either.

Michelle Dunn | Winnie LLC | East Fayetteville, NC
Lizzie Mill Station Apartments, formerly known as Redwood Village Apartments” is a 100 unit multi-family home apartments located on East Lizzie Mill Rd.oldest here, Most tenants in this development live on a fixed-income. Most individuals or families live at or below the poverty line in Selma, NC. Residents may lack books or basic school supply needs. Children are sometimes left alone without adult supervision. The Little Library can help brighten the lives of everyday children. Tenants in this community may lack transportation and child enrichment resources, making it difficult to get to the city’s local library to access provided materials. The youth of this community deserve to be uplifted. The Little Library can bring joy, educational enlightenment and help increase reading scores, causing a long lasting effect on the community. “Reading doesn’t start in school, it starts inside of the home.”

Connie Green | Houston, TX
Book Access is important because they are a key source to educate, motivate and inspire. I would love to have a location in my community, Sunnyside neighborhood, and a predominately low-income African American area because it would give free access and easy accessibility to books that have the possibility to expand their mind and through imagination, expand their world.

Jennifer Hetherington | Aroostook United | Houlton, ME
We have a high number of low-income individuals who also suffer from substance abuse and mental illnesses who pass by this address on a daily/nightly basis. They are used to food, clothing, and other items being left out for them with Aroostook United covers all of the costs associated with this.

Alexandra Hochstetler | HealthNet Southwest Health and Dental | Indianapolis, IN
Southwest Health and Dental Center serves a patient population that is medically underserved. Many patients utilize Medicaid or are uninsured and use the clinics sliding scale to afford healthcare. Research has shown that children of lower socioeconomic status often have lower early literacy scores, which can lead to poor reading skills and academic achievement. The closest elementary schools, William Penn School 49 and Daniel Webster School 46, are Title 1. While the clinic implements Reach Out and Read, this is for children who are receiving well-child checks which may occur only once or twice a year; however, many children attend clinic visits with family members throughout the year. We would like to continue to give books every single time someone walks through the door to both children and adults. Our patients may not have time to stop at the library, so this gives us the unique opportunity to increase access to reading materials.

Angel King | SOAL at Lincoln Cemetery | Harrisburg, PA
To provide the community with this service, resources, and information, it would be fun to pack with diverse books. We could also bring knowledge and awareness to the very important work we are doing at the cemetery. We can provide a service for people who do not have transportation to get to a library or who may not be able to afford to buy books. We could provide books for school-age children to help with literacy. We could also provide information to the community regarding SOAL that they may not know of. This library could bring the community closer and more aware of what we are doing within it.

Ashley Landers | Honeybee Home Daycare | Portsmouth, VA
This is an underserved community with a ton of young children who might not have access to books otherwise! I live very close to a middle school. It would be awesome for the kids to be able to grab a book on their walk home.

Elizabeth Londo | Muskegon Great Start Collaborative | Muskegon, MI
Book access is important at this location because it has been identified as a book desert and a low-income community. Children in this area are expected to have few books in their homes and have low reading scores in schools. Current data states that over 50% of students are below proficiency levels and almost 75% are below proficiency in math. These students are in need of support from our community, and early literacy materials are crucial.

Elisa McDaniel | Banta Elementary School | Tracy, CA
Well, I’ve been trying to convince the administration for a year to purchase a kit and I think they have good intentions but it always falls through the cracks and is forgotten. If we are able to place one at the front of the school then all families will have access to books even when school isn’t open which is important.

Lucia Montalvo | Joseph Metcalf Dual Language School | Holyoke, MA
Book access is really important because this school focuses on improving literacy in both English and Spanish, but many kids are struggling with reading. In my 6th grade class, many students are reading at a first-grade level. My class was not given many leveled books, so I had to buy many. Since this is a low-income school, we cannot ask families to donate books. Many of our kids enjoy reading though, especially graphic novels because it has the images to provide more context.

Rachel Passinsky | Fremont Unified School District, Cabrillo Elementary School | Fremont, CA
Book access is key for our community. Our families are working very hard to make ends meet. They prioritize their children, but often they are unable to provide books. Over 30% of our families are English language learners and over 50% qualify for free and reduced lunch. We have some families where the parents are not literate in English. Last year when I was interviewing my kindergarten students as part of their reading assessment on how many books they have at home, one said “I have one, two, three… no four books at home because you gave me two.” Moreover, many of our families only have one car, so even though the nearest library is only a few miles away, oftentimes the families cannot get there (or understand how to apply for a library card) to check out books.

Dixie Tarver | Corning, CA
Because we do not have a library and our community is 25 minutes from the closest library. 102 children go to our local school. It will create a positive impact by providing easy free access to books locally instead of so far away.

Maria Thompson | Baltimore Science Fiction Society | Baltimore, MD
The books stop with the gentrified area at the park. We are close to 3 major bus lines that stop at our corner. We are on the major street throughout the area. There are many families with children all around us in a Spanish language dominant area who never have access to books.

Chasity Walsh | Doss Heritage & Culture Center | Weatherford, TX
Because the center is a free museum, families searching for low-cost or free programs and materials are visitors to our facility daily. An LFL is a perfect companion to our offerings, especially since we provide a weekly preschool storytime for these families. Furthermore, within the last year, the local public library has instituted a $50/year fee for any patrons residing outside the city limits. This has become a hardship for several local families; this would be one place for these families to access literature at no cost. Also of note, we are a hub for homeschool families as well.

Agata Kaminski | Kateri School (Kahnawake Education Center) | Kahnawake, QC, Canada
Book access is important in this community to enable all kids and families access to books regardless of their income level and to encourage the love of reading. Having Free Little Library book boxes at the school and near the playground would enable easy, hassle-free access to books and enable students to get excited about reading. There is a library in the community that is strictly run by volunteers and filled with donations. I also have a lot of used and loved books at the Kateri Library as well as donations that could go out to the community and a Free Little Library would be a perfect resource community members to turn to swap out their books and also donate their own books to. Nothing of this sort exists and it would be a great benefit for the community.

Help us bring Little Free Libraries full of books where they’re needed most. Donate today!

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