A good book can stick with a person for years. Whether fiction or nonfiction, stories take readers on international journeys from the comfort of their own homes.
While most people visit their local library when they’re up for a new literary adventure, traveling back and forth to the Oxford Michigan Public Library every couple of days isn’t a practical option for many.
In an effort to make books more accessible to the people living in the Oxford community, especially children, Oxford Early Learning Center (OELC) Education Coordinator Pat Mueller and other members of the community sprung into action by placing a Little Free Library at the front entrance of Clear Lake Elementary.
The project was a collaborative effort between OELC, Oxford Schools and Lake-Orion based Real Estate Gives, according to Education Coordinator Pat Mueller, and part of a bigger plan which will eventually see Little Free Libraries installed at each of the district’s five elementary schools.
Little Free Libraries are small enclosed structures which provide a selection of quality, free books for community members to take and keep.
A group of OELC program students and staff gathered outside Clear Lake last Thursday to fill the district’s latest Little Free Library with colorful and educational books.
The Little Free Libraries were built to help support the district’s greater third-grade literacy initiative, which aims to equip students with necessary reading skills before they reach third grade.
“We want to make sure the kids look at books and reading as something that’s fun to do. When they choose the books themselves, they’re bound to like them more,” said Mueller. “They can have new books whenever they want them and they don’t have to buy them or go to the library. This also allows us to reuse the books, which are typically well-loved, and recycle them.”
Families are encouraged to visit the Free Little Library to borrow or share children’s books, and return often to keep the library filled with books for all in the community.
Several local residents, including David Mueller, Mike Morris, Ron Peck and Sue and Tim Roeher constructed a playhouse in the spring using donated materials to help raise money for the project.
The playhouse was auctioned off in May and the proceeds were used to purchase enough supplies to build one library for each of Oxford’s five elementary schools.
Each library will be painted by students enrolled in the OELC’s Extended Day and Great Start Readiness Programs (GSRP).
The students at Clear Lake decorated their Little Free Library with the spirit of Oxford by painting Wildcat pawprints and the Oxford “O.”
The books inside were donated by Oxford parents and teachers.
These wooden boxes have already been installed at Oxford Elementary, Daniel Axford Elementary, and Leonard Elementary.
The final library has already been constructed and volunteers hope to install it at Lakeville Elementary soon.