Two Lakota East students, Nick Branson, a freshman, and East senior Kate Fulmer, have several things in common.
They’re completing the requirements for the highest ranks awarded in Scouting. Nick is working toward his Eagle Scout and Kate is completing her Girl Scout Gold Award. And, even more interesting is the fact that both have decided to focus on supporting a similar need in our community - literacy for all children. They’re both doing it, in part, through something called the Little Free Library initiative.
The Little Free Library promotes literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. There are nearly 40,000 Little Free Library book exchanges around the world, sharing millions of books annually.
Locally, the interest for such convenient books is growing, thus the purpose for Kate and Nick's projects.
For Nick, this involves a partnership with the Walter J. Long Sports Complex to make books available to families attending sports events in our community. He's building the boxes in honor of Jeffrey Hayden and actually got involved in the program after meeting Jeffrey's grandmother and hearing that he shared with Jeffrey a love for both sports and reading. Naturally, most of the books in these little libraries are sports-themed.
For Kate, her work has been two-pronged. In addition to providing buddy reading opportunities as part of a summer literacy program hosted by the Faith Alliance, she too created a Little Free Library site, which is now active and serves both Woodland Elementary and Liberty Junior schools.
Click here to learn more about the Little Free Library. Nick was featured in the July edition of West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle and Kate in a recent Journal-News article. Both were honored for their work by the Lakota Board of Education at the Aug. 22 school board meeting.