Our MS/HS English Teacher Ms. Schultz has been the driving force behind those 'Little Free Libraries' you see around New Richmond. She recently shared her story on how she worked to make this vision a reality for young readers in our community. Thank you Ms. Schultz!
"Basically, I started thinking about this project back in 2016 when I was working with the summer reading program. I've always known we had students that were behind in reading. I'd seen that first hand when they got to middle school, but I never realized that so many were behind as early as kindergarten and first grade."
"I knew we needed to do something to get books in the hands of our students BEFORE they came to us. I'd seen the Little Free Libraries in other communities, and started thinking about how to get these in the most disadvantaged parts of our community. I wanted to promote literacy in hopes that our future students could gain the foundational skills necessary to be successful once they entered Pre-K & K. I worked with Amy Weiskittel (New RIchmond Educational Foundation) and tried to secure grant money. We were unsuccessful and the idea was put on hold. At the beginning of this past year, Michelle Senter and I met with Mr. Bird and started brainstorming ideas of how to make this project happen."
"We finally decided to reach out to the PTOs and just ask for donations. They were more than generous, and coupled with donations from Lions Reach Out, the VFW, and Andy Mays we were able to order 3 additional libraries (I had already secured one for Free from the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati. That is the one at the Market Street building). Once the libraries arrived, we enlisted help from the HS art students. Their designs are absolutely amazing. Rick Mahan, as Kind Club advisor, agreed to help me get them installed. He along with Coach Burke and three NRHS students helped put the libraries in place this week. I just returned from filling them with books. So there you have it...the journey of the New Richmond LFL was a long one, but one that I hope was worth the wait!"
Email Ms. Schultz directly if you have book donations: Schultz_a@nrschools.org
Andrea Schultz - NREVSD