Little library boxes at BCSD schools seeing plenty of activity
Published Friday, May 18, 2018
This photo shows the little library box outside the BCSD central office in Moncks Corner. Similar boxes were placed at all 21 Title I schools in Berkeley County. (BCSD photo)
There’s no questioning the role of literacy in education. For quite some time, those in the Office of Federal Programs at Berkeley County School District have been looking for ways to expand upon literacy offerings.
The vision was a “little library box” much like a mailbox at BCSD schools. The box would run on an honor system and provide books to those needing access after school hours. It would be convenient to students, parents and community members and something school communities could easily support.
That vision became a reality this month after the department was awarded a one-time mini-grant from the State Department of Education’s Title I Office. Building the little libraries at schools was a no-brainer as guidelines of the grant stated funds could not be directly given to schools but should be used to develop activities helping Title I Schools.
Little book boxes, somewhat resembling little homes for bound occupants dressed in pictures, bright colors and words quickly took shape outside all 21 of BCSD’s Title I schools. There was also a box built and stocked outside the central office in Moncks Corner.
“The ultimate goal of this project is to provide books to students so that they may enjoy reading and improve their reading fluency. By having free lending libraries at the 21 Title I schools this is one more way to eliminate the obstacle some students have of not having reading materials in the home,” said BCSD Coordinator of Title I Compliance Dr. Jane Harrelson.
“For some students the only place they can get a book is at the school. If the school is closed for a weekend, holiday, or the summer then the student is not reading.”
Harrelson said this idea from start to finish was just the most recent in approaches to ensure students have reading materials in the home. She said her office will continue working to expand every student’s access to books.
“For the past few years, our office has sponsored summer book distribution for students at our Title I schools,” she said of other current literacy-focused programs.
Though the little library boxes have only been in place for a few weeks, schools report students are visiting several times. Books are being exchanged regularly, and some communities have even donated additional books to their box.
The little library box at the central office in Moncks Corner is also seeing plenty of activity.
“I have already had to add books to the library because they are being borrowed,” Dr. Harrelson said.
The library boxes were provided by LittleFreeLibrary.org.