As part of his journey toward attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School alumnus, Connor Fowler, designed and built a Little Free Library which he presented to the school’s principal, Tom Waszak, and a class of Pre-kindergarten students this morning.  The project is a unique and creative book exchange that fosters a love of literature and helps families achieve critical reading time that extends learning beyond the classroom walls.  

With a roof and plexiglass windows and doors, the Little Free Library looks like a dollhouse for books. Students can simply take a book from the shelves and replace it with a new or gently used book.  Books can also be borrowed from the exchange shelf for a few days and then returned when done. There are no due dates, late fees, or library cards required, and the doors are open every day of the week during school hours.

As the project was presented to principal Waszak, he noticed and appreciated the attention to detail and determination to create a quality product for the school community. “I am very pleased with the book exchange Connor built. I had only a vague notion of what this project could become, and he translated it into a very useful and durable tool for our school.  We are proud to have Connor as part of our St. Francis family and look forward to supporting him in his future endeavors,” said Waszak.

The school’s Pre-kindergarten students were visibly appreciative of the project, as they excitedly opened the doors and examined the books inside.  “What a beautiful gift for our little ones and their parents,” said St. Francis Pre-kindergarten classroom aide Tina Armijo.  “They will love discovering new stories and it will encourage them all to make more time to read together.”

Besides providing free and easy access to books, it is hoped that the project will strengthen the bond of support and shared interests among St. Francis families as they discuss their favorite stories while gathered around the Little Free Library.  “The goal is to engage friends, classmates and even the greater community in a grassroots-style effort to get everyone, but especially kids, talking about the stories they are reading. We hope to see a lively discussion around books become part of the everyday routine.” said Waszak.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School is blessed to be home to many Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.  As such, the school is often the beneficiary of the service projects and activities these organizations and individuals complete.  Over the years, these endeavors have ranged from hosting Veterans Day celebrations and movie nights on campus, to building additional shelving and displays in the front office, constructing a mobile snack cart for sporting events, creating the school’s stations of the cross, and more.