Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Antioch welcomes first Little Free Library on UCPS campus (reprinted with permission from Union County Weekly)
Antioch Elementary School is now home to the only Little Free Library on Union County Public Schools property, thanks to the hard work of five fifth-grade Girl Scouts.
Ellie Fivas, Sabrina Becht, Molly Zazzaro, Riley Williams and Makenna Tracy, of Troop 2736, who are all Antioch fifth-graders, decided to build a Little Free Library to fulfill their Girl Scout Bronze Award.
The Bronze Award is the first of the significant awards a Girl Scout earns, for which the Scouts collaborate as a group together and with community members to create a sustainable project, Victoria Zazzaro, one of the troop’s leaders, said.
“The whole idea with sustainability is that when the girls leave and whether they’re a Girl Scout or not, it keeps going without them having to have somebody else pick up where they left off,” she added.
The girls constructed two separate boxes – one filled with books for kindergarteners through second-graders and one with books for third- to fifth-graders – to complete the project.
“We gave them a few different ideas and asked them what they thought about (the Little Free Library),” said Michele Williams, one of the troop’s leaders. “They all like to read and they wanted to help the friends of the community and the school. They love the idea of having it at the school where they’ve been for six years.”
The girls said they wanted to find a way to help the community and also share their love of reading with others.
“It opens a new dimension of finding a good book because it kind of invites you in and says, ‘Come read’ because it looks really fun and inviting,” MaKenna said.
The girls wanted to complete a different kind of project than simply raising money for a charity, but something more “fun and independent,” Molly added.
Lowe’s Home Improvement in Indian Trail donated the library’s materials and Steve Capone with Lowe’s donated time to creating their project.
Capone walked through the store with the Girl Scouts as they chose materials and he guided them through what they needed, Michele said.
The leaders were proud the girls created the only free library on a Union County public school campus and one of only six total registered little free libraries in western Union County.
“A lot of people don’t know what a Little Free Library is and now that it’s at a school, I think that the idea will spread,” Riley said.
Antioch Assistant Principal Veronica Robinson encouraged other fifth-grade students to view the five girls as role models and work together to give back to their communities.
“We should learn a lesson from them today: it’s good to do things to help others,” she told students.
She hopes the library will be successful for years to come and hopes Antioch’s library encourages other students to create libraries on their campuses.
“Anytime children give back to the community is only beneficial,” said Indian Trail Mayor Michael Alvarez.
He believes the library brings a “community feeling” and provides residents with a place outside to sit and read.
Indian Trail Town Manager Joe Fivas was proud of his daughter Ellie’s effort with the project.
“It’s a good low cost, volunteer project,” he said.
Fivas hopes Indian Trail will welcome other Little Free Libraries throughout the town’s park system and other community areas.
“We really hope that not only the Antioch community, but the surrounding community – really anybody in Union County – and visiting the Matthews and Indian Trail area can grab a book,” said Victoria Zazzaro. “Since the library is registered on the Little Free Library world map (at littlefreelibrary.org), anybody who’s visiting can look it up.
“People can ride their bikes over here, they can come by in the summertime and they need to get a new book and don’t want to go to a (larger) physical library and just grab a book, maybe sit and read for a little bit.”
Written by: Courtney Schultz/Union County Weekly (reprinted with permission)
Posted: May 12, 2015 by Kimberly Kovach