LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES ARE SEEDS for LITERACY ~ By Jan Plourde, MEd
Successful communities grow when there are opportunities for growth just like successful gardens grow when they are nurtured. These opportunities do not just happen. The good fortune of a favorable weather pattern is not something we can control but circumstances that we can do something about are another concept. The REAL Program is working to improve literacy in Lynn, MA just north of Boston where nearly 100,000 people call home. There is only one public library for this diverse community and most of the city’s public schools do not have enough rooms for school libraries. Children need books and opportunities to grow and the story is that little free libraries work beautifully to build community and to improve literacy.
I learned of the little free library concept from none other than Victoria Hackett, the visionary who has grown the Outdoor Classrooms to become one of the leading authorities of the value of children being outdoors and in nature. It is exciting to plant the little free library in places where people frequent and see the level of excitement and interest that inevitably follows. Victoria had planted a seed for me to not only place a little free library in front of my home but in front of The REAL Program in Lynn. This is just the start. The goal is to establish 400 little free libraries filled with books to plant the seeds of literacy and success in this city that is full of potential. You can do this in your community or in front of your home or you can help us. Learn more at www.therealprogram.org.
Jan is the founding director of the REAL Program., Inc. and an early childhood instructor at North Shore Community College.