Location map of May 2019 Impact Library recipients

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 reading motivation.

As part of Little Free Library’s 10th Anniversary celebration, this month ten applicants are receiving LFL book exchanges through the Impact Library Program. Recipients include a homeless shelter in California, a reservation in Wyoming, and a high-needs school in Georgia. Each book exchange is a replica of the first Little Free Library, built to look like a red one-room schoolhouse—complete with a bell on top.

Meet the recipients, and read why they applied for an Impact Library:

Dawn Brewer | Maysville Elementary School | Maysville, Georgia – “Our school is a Title 1 school with 81% of our students receiving free or reduced lunch. The community that we serve is an impoverished farming community with a high migrant/ELL population. Our students lack many of life’s essentials. We strive to close the achievement gap by providing a literacy-rich environment and many opportunities to experience hands-on learning. A Little Library would provide a resource outside our four walls to engage our families in literacy-focused activities. We would stock our Little Library with materials to engage the whole family with special consideration to our ELL population.”

Jennifer Gilbert | Horizon Science Academy Dayton High School | Dayton, Ohio – “Our wish is to place the Little Free Library in the lobby of our school, where 100% of the community has access to and uses every day. It is the main and sole entry and exit for students/staff and family members. Our community is comprised of 320 children between the ages of 11 and 18 (Grades 6–12). It is also comprised of 37 staff members and families of the 320 students. Our student student population is classified as 100% being ‘economically disadvantaged.’ Of these students, 7.9% are English-language learners. Furthermore, the race of our students is broken down as follows: 77.8% Black, non-Hispanic; 13.7% White, non-Hispanic; 5.2% Hispanic. According to Ohio state test scores, 83% of students fall below the ‘Proficient’ level of literacy with a whopping 57% being considered ‘Limited’ in reading.”

Lorre Hoffman |  Wind River Development Fund | Ft. Washakie, Wyoming – “We are located on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Our location at Ft. Washakie is near the grocery store and bank so we will get good traffic at our library. On this reservation there are two other communities or villages: Ethete, which is in the middle of the reservation, and Arapahoe, which is on the opposite side of the reservation from us—we are on the west edge, Arapahoe is on the east edge. If we could get three kits we would put them together and locate them at all three sites.”

kids reading by Little Free Library

Two young readers found books to take home in a neighborhood Little Free Library book-sharing box!

Monica Koenig | Yolo County HHSA | Woodland, California – “Fourth and Hope is a homeless shelter that also runs a short-term (90-day) forty-four bed substance abuse residential program. The Little Free Library will be available for everyone who stays at the shelter and the participants of the residential recovery program. The recovery program treats men and women aged 18-64. The housing shelter sometimes has children (0-5). These families will range in literacy levels from illiterate to eighth grade.”

Jessica Kostelak | Belle Chasse, Louisiana – “If our wish is granted, our Little Free Library would be located on the outskirts of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Our address is across the street from an elementary school, Arise Academy, and down the street from a high school, KIPP Renaissance Academy; both of which have populations of over 80% of impoverished students receiving government assistance and free/reduced lunch.”

Veronica Kyle | Chicago, Illinois – “My community of South Shore has been plagued with all the ills of urban blight: vacant housing stock, blighted commercial corridors, crime, lack of access to healthy food, the works. However we are a close group of neighbors who sit on our porches and read, watch the children play and monarchs land on the milkweed in our gardens. I want to bring back ‘inter-generational reading on the porch’ to my neighborhood. Reading is healing; it’s inspiring and transformative. My community needs this.”

Misty Morris | The Inn Between | Salt Lake City, Utah – “The Inn Between is a home to vulnerable people in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Inn provides safe haven and support for individuals that have nowhere else to go in time of medical crisis. Residents of the Inn are referred by a healthcare professional after receiving a diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness that cannot be effectively treated on the streets or in a shelter. The goal of placing a Little Free Library here is to add another support to the system that the Inn Between has created. The library will also serve as a bridge between the Inn, its residents, and the community.”

Margo Porras | San Diego, California – “La Colonia is a barrio within the City of Oxnard. It was the childhood home of Cesar Chavez. The neighborhood covers one half square mile and its residents are largely low-income Hispanics, most of whom do not finish high school. The community garden has been in place for several years and has done a wonderful job of boosting quality of life, so a LFL is a natural fit for a community that contains no bookstores or libraries within its boundaries. The two closest library branches cannot be accessed by unaccompanied children from the neighborhood because they would have to cross very busy main roads to get to them. But all of the community has ready, pedestrian access to the garden site.”

Elaine Rippey | Braddyville, Iowa – “Braddyville is a small rural town in southwest Iowa which consists of people of all ages. Some of the people have college degrees, most do not. They work in manufacturing plants, in construction or farming. Many of the older folks have lived around here for their entire lives. The people are hard-working, very handy, enjoy local baseball games at the ball field, and are willing to help each other. There are no strangers here.”

Claire St. Pierre | Candlewood Elementary School | San Antonio, Texas – “Candlewood Elementary is located in a high-poverty area of San Antonio and serves a community that has limited access to books. The student demographics are approximately: Hispanic Students 71%, African American Students 19%, White Students 8%, Other Students 1% with 22.4% being second-language learners; 82.9% of students are considered at risk of dropping out of school. The nearest public library is nearly 30 minutes away, and very few students have access to it. In addition, CWE is a bilingual campus, and there are even fewer Spanish resources in the area.”

The Impact Library Program is largely funded by individual donations and LFL’s earned revenue from our online store. You can help bring Little Free Libraries full of books to communities where they’re needed most. Donate here.

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