Summit Daily, Ten Mile International Reading Association supports little libraries across the county | SummitDaily.com

Summit Daily, Ten Mile International Reading Association supports little libraries across the county

Going from three months of summer back to the daily routine of school is never an easy transition, but the Ten Mile International Reading Association (TMIRA) and the Summit Daily News are bringing some fun to the process. They are converting ten newspaper distribution boxes into Little Free Libraries, boxes full of books that students can treat as mini-libraries.

The program got its start when Kendra Carpenter, principal of Dillon Valley Elementary and co-president with Hollyanna Bates of TMIRA, wrote a grant for funding to promote literacy in the community. Teachers Julia Gregory, Liz Burnette and Sarah Devlin then spearheaded the project. The little libraries will offer a different experience than a traditional school library, Devlin explained, because they are based on book donations and accessible around the clock, to all families.

"We want all of our students to be voracious readers and to do this they need access to a plethora of appropriate and exciting books," said Devlin.

The ten little libraries have been placed outside each Summit School District elementary school and at several other locations around the county. At any time, parents and students can visit a box and take a book for free, then return it when they've finished reading it.

"When kids are able to read and love reading then the doors are open for whatever career, whatever interests them in their lives. It's just a marvelous skill that gives you so many opportunities that you wouldn't have otherwise," said Mary Anne Johnston, a retired educator and member of Rotary International who is planning to donate many books to the project.

Parents, students and community members are invited to the kickoff of the Little Free Libraries program on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 5-6 p.m. at Frisco Elementary School, 800 E. 8th Ave. The event will feature a talk by bestselling children's author and motivational speaker Mark Hoog. Parents and community members are encouraged to bring a new or lightly used book to donate to the little libraries.