West Hartford Brownie Girl Scout Troop 10464 dedicated a Little Free Library to Aiken Elementary School as a culmination of their year-long reading ‘journey.’
By Gillian Hixson and Jackie Palermo
The second and third grade girls in Troop 10464 beamed with pride as they stood in front of their masterpiece: a “Little Free Library” full of their favorite books.
Dedicated to the troop’s school, Aiken Elementary School, the Little Free Library will be seen by every passerby driving by the front of the school.
A Little Free Library is a small wooden hutch in which people can take or leave a book to share. Troop 10464’s Little Free Library is painted bright blue and green, and decorated with the names of each troop member. The front of the library reads: “A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
Troop Leaders Amy Gurchin, Joni Harris, and Jordan Shapiro explained the decision behind building a Little Free Library, which was a year-long effort. Using “The Brownies Journey Book,” the troop leaders took the troop members on a “reading journey.”
The troop leaders used a story in the journey book about three girls who traveled the world in their “bookmobile” to Jordan, Thailand, and Canada. This story was used as a way to discuss the important topics of reading and education, and how in many parts of the world reading is accessible to all.
Harris explained that this new Little Free Library is “our own bookmobile.”
Each of the girls was called up to place her favorite book in the library and tell parents and friends why it was chosen. One student placed a book in the little library saying that reading it made her happy, and that she “wanted to bring happiness to the Aiken Community.”
Another student picked “Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes,” whose story made her appreciate her parents and “want to listen to them more”.
Many of the books were filled with adventure and mystery. Others were about soccer, baseball, and even some history. The variety of books fosters the idea that everyone can experience the joy of reading, a concept upon which Little Free Libraries are created.
“The girls worked very hard this year,” Gurchin said. “Hopefully this Little Free Library stays for many, many years.”
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