We strive to increase book access across the nation, thanks to your support. We wanted to tell you about a few success stories that you might have seen in the news recently.

Courtney Holmes listens to a child read while he cuts his hair. Photo of by Mike Burley, Telegraph Herald, AP

Courtney Holmes listens to a child read while he cuts his hair. Photo of by Mike Burley, Telegraph Herald, AP

The Barber of Dubuque, Iowa

It’s simple, really. Any of us who have captive audience with a child could use that opportunity to encourage him/her to read to you. Reading out loud helps children develop confidence and language proficiency. The more opportunities the better.

So we (and the whole of the internet) were inspired by the story of barber Courtney Holmes.

He and his colleagues at the Sparks Family Hair Salon in Dubuque, Iowa encourage young patrons to read to them during appointments. We hope this turns into a trend at salons everywhere.

We reached out to Courtney and the salon owner who said that it is located in a very high-needs area, and that access to books is an issue there. We are thrilled to report that a Little Free Library, full of books, is on its way to Courtney’s salon.

Ron Lynch and Matthew Flores pose by his new supply of books. Photo by Scott Winterton, Desert News

Ron Lynch and Matthew Flores pose by his new supply of books. Photo by Scott Winterton, Desert News

The Mailman of Sandy, Utah

When mail carrier, Ron Lynch, saw a boy reading “junk” mail for fun it begged the question, “Why are you reading that?!”

12-year old Matthew Flores’ response was, “Because I like to read but I don’t have any books.”

Ron was compelled to do something about this. He made a plea on his Facebook page for a few book donations, and the response was overwhelming.

Book donations flooded into Matthew’s apartment as more and more news stories were posted.

Now Matthew has books to read for many days to come, but he wants to share his bounty with other kids who might need them. Enter Little Free Library, the ideal vehicle for book sharing.

We reached out to Ron and then the manager of Matthew’s apartment building who are thrilled to help us install a Little Free Library there so more kids have access to books.

Our area stewards are pitching in to ensure it stays stocked.

Both stories show how simple acts can have big impacts on children’s ability to read. We are thrilled to be able to rapidly respond when needs like these arise for which a Little Free Library can be a part of the solution.

 

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