Student ingenuity results in free little library

School of Education student Ashley Wolf, at right, with Erika Costes and Jada Smith celebrate the opening of a new free little library serving the Kansas City community.

School of Education student Ashley Wolf, at right, with Erika Costes and Jada Smith celebrate the opening of a new free little library serving the Kansas City community.

Ashley Wolf, an undergraduate student in middle school English language arts, secured community involvement to positively impact children’s reading as the result of an assignment in her Content Area Reading class (EDRD439).  All the EDRD439 students were asked to complete advocacy projects in which they found a problem impacting literacy achievement in the community and address it using research and creativity.

 

Wolf noticed a big problem: lack of access to high quality texts. Between limited library hours, distance between libraries and housing communities, and budget cuts in local school libraries, students within the Kansas City area have less access to age appropriate texts than ever.

 

Her solution?  To get donors on board to create a free-standing mini library where patrons can take a book of their choosing to return on the honor system. Several employees of the Tiffany Springs Home Depot, under the direction of Ralph Ojeda, constructed the library—after the store donated the necessary supplies—and Half Price Books in Westport donated enough books to fill and restock it.

 

Wolf then worked with Cold Storage Lofts in the River Market to install and house the free little library. The property has recently partnered with Horizon Housing to provide literacy, health and wellness social services to the residents since it qualifies for government subsidized housing. Property Manager Erika Costes and Leasing Consultant Jada Smith are pleased with the partnership and look forward to offering the increased text access to their many residents.