Already some years ago, I had the idea of setting up a Little Free Library (TM). When I first heard about that initiative, I knew I wanted to join the community. I’ve always been very fond of reading. As a teenager I read about 5 books a week, no joke. Mind you, that was before the birth of the internet…
It took me a few years, but I finally came up with the idea of creating a reading community near schools. The "LFL@School"-project was born.
A lot of children these days do have access to books. They visit libraries with school or with their parents, they buy books online etc. Yet despite access to books has gotten easier, a lot of children don’t read regularly. Now I’m not arguing that every child should have read all the Harry Potter books by the age of 10, but it is a fact that reading stimulates creativity, it enlarges a person’s vocabulary and changes your world view. Reading literally opens up another world to a child.
And despite a lot of school initiatives to stimulate reading, schools hardly have impact on what happens at home. LFL@School is not so much about forcing a child to read, but to showing a child that books are all around us. That there is easy access to them. That you don’t need a library card. And that it’s OK to keep that book if you want.
It all starts with setting up a Little Free Library just outside school grounds. By targeting not just the children, but also their parents or caregivers, I hope to stimulate the reading process: children also need to see adults reading. They learn by imitating the behaviour of the adults around them. The objective is to create a community of readers/book lovers/volunteers with ties to the school, whether as a parent, teacher or neighbour. That community is what needs to fuel the free library.
So I’m very proud that the very first library will be installed in the coming week(s). Thanks to the generous support of the burgomaster and the cultural policymaking official of my local municipality.
The next step is to find partners and sponsors for this project and setting up a foundation. If you see yourself as supporting this initiative, do let me know.
I’ll set up a blog about the library (in Dutch) and will post the link to that blog on my About page.
Wish us luck with this project!
LFL@School needs partners and sponsors. Help us to help children read.