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LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES GRANT
South Campus Ambassadors Interact Club
April 21, 2017
The South Campus Ambassadors, a Rotary
Interact Club based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, sought and obtained a $500
Community Services Grant from Rotary eClub One to support elementary literacy
efforts in their community. This
generous grant allowed the Ambassadors to build, decorate and install two
Little Free Libraries on the grounds of Willow Lane Elementary School in White
Members of the
Ambassadors are encouraged at the beginning of each school year to identify
their “passions” in community service and seek opportunities to do good in
those areas. In the fall of 2016,
several Ambassadors with a passion for elementary literacy explored ways to
help young children begin to read, and become lifelong readers. These Ambassadors decided to apply for
a grant from Rotary eClub One to purchase supplies to build a Little Free
Library and install it on the grounds of a local elementary school.
Little Free Libraries
(https://littlefreelibrary.org) are designed to inspire
a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering
neighborhood book exchanges around the world. These libraries provide people the opportunity to take
books, read them, and then either return them or add new books to the LFL.
Ambassadors recognized the importance of insuring that all elementary school
children learn to read at an early age and, more important, learn to love
to read! Ambassadors learned that
some of the elementary schools in White Bear Lake, Minnesota have a higher
percentage of children who qualify for free and reduced lunches. Children in these households may live
in families without the financial resources to purchase many books for their
children. The Ambassadors decided
to construct a Little Free Library for Willow Lane Elementary School, a local
school with one of the highest percentages of children in the school district
qualifying for free and reduced lunches.
applying for and receiving the $500 grant from Rotary eClub One, the
Ambassadors learned that $500 would cover materials to build not one but TWO
Little Free Libraries! The
Ambassadors purchased the supplies and got to work.
components of the Little Free Libraries that the Ambassadors purchased arrived,
but all of the wood pieces were – blue!
The Ambassadors’ first order of business was to paint the wooden
components white, and add lettering and stencils in orange and black, the White
Bear Lake Area Schools school colors.
the painting and art work was finished in December, 2016. However, Minnesota is a cold climate,
and the ground in our area was frozen.
Digging post holes to install the Little Free Libraries on Willow Lane
Elementary property would have to wait.
the week of April 17, 2017, the ground warmed enough to allow post holes to be
dug and for the two Little Free Libraries to be installed at Willow Lane
Elementary. The grounds crew from
the school district helped us out and prepared the holes and installed the
surprise added bonus when Ambassadors purchased the components for the Little
Free Libraries, the vendor shipped us $200 worth of children’s books –
absolutely FREE! The Ambassadors
will use this initial stock of books to fill the Little Free Libraries. The Ambassadors are committed to
monitoring these libraries in the future, and restocking books in each if it
Campus Ambassadors Interact Club thanks Rotary eClub One for its generosity in
making this gift supporting early childhood literacy in our community!
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