Some of the Kildala Elementary students that worked on the Little Free Library project. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Take-a-book, leave-a-book comes to Kitimat

Kildala Elementary students build two free libraries

Kildala Elementary students have made reading that little bit easier with the construction of a free library outside the school building.

The library is part of an initiative by Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading by fostering neighbourhood book exchanges around the world.

Kildala teacher Shelly Striker said the school is the first in the province to apply to be a member of the organization, which recognizes schools that implement free libraries.

“By September 2019 Kildala Elementary will be on the Little Free Libary map,” said Striker, adding that any organization can apply to build a free library.

She said with “a little guidance” the students chose the project which encompassed a number of aspects from the syllabus, including language, art, math, social studies and design and technology.

The students started with the project mid-September 2018, beginning with the students designing and creating models of the free library.

Working together with MEMSS teacher Nick Sluyter, the winning designs became a reality, the parts manufactured and delivered to Kildala where the students got the opportunity to work on assembling the libraries, assisted by Coast Mountain School District’s maintenance man, Ed Gomes.

Two libraries were produced and assembled, one for inside the school and one which has been mounted to a tree infront of the school.

The library mounted outside the school is for the community to exchange books on the take-a-book, leave-a-book principle.

“This isn’t a book repository, however. If there’s no room in the free library we ask that readers take the books back home and not leave them outside the library,” said Striker.

The outside library has been waterproofed, so books that are inside will be protected.

“We’re hoping the community will like the idea and sustain it,” added Striker.

According to Little Free Library, children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books.

“One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase their access to books, especially at home. But 61 per cent of low-income families don’t have any age-appropriate books for their kids at home,” reads the organization’s website.

Both Kildala Elementary’s libraries have been stocked with discarded books donated by the Kitimat Public Library.

 

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