Soon more Palm Beach County children – particularly those who live in communities that are considered “book deserts” – will be able to snuggle up with a good read. That’s because Leadership Palm Beach County has chosen Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County’s Little Free Libraries initiative as one of its 2016 Civic Engagement projects.
For more than 30 years, Leadership Palm Beach County (LPBC) has educated and united leaders to build a better community. Initiated in 1983 through a collaborative effort of the local Chambers of Commerce, LPBC has prepared more than 1,500 graduates for enhanced community leadership roles.
This year, LPBC chose five Civic Engagement projects to support with research, planning and marketing. The team working on the Little Free Libraries project includes Seth Behn, an attorney at Lewis, Longman & Walker; Walter Brown, general manager of safety for Florida Power & Light Co.; Doug Crane, director of the Palm Beach County Library System; Ben Hom, assistant vice president of talent at Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Katherine Kress, fundraising consultant; Kimberly Lea, campus president of Keiser University; Jennifer Sullivan, business development manager at Ideabar; and Lindsey White, senior associate of development and special events at The Society of the Four Arts.
Formally established in 2010, Little Free Library is a worldwide movement to encourage reading and community engagement. Currently, there are more than 32,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in the United States and 70 other countries around the world.
Children’s Services Council’s Little Free Libraries project would establish up to 100 miniature take-a-book, leave-a-book libraries throughout Palm Beach County. These Little Free Libraries, which are mailbox-like structures typically located in public places, would be overseen by a steward to ensure the libraries remain full and in good condition.
Children’s Services Council proposed this project because it recognizes the vital importance grade-level reading has not only on individual children but our community as a whole. Studies have shown children who can’t read on grade level by third grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma. Easy access to books is a crucial part of encouraging literacy.
“This project fits wonderfully with our ‘Happily Ever After Begins with Reading’ literacy campaign, which has given books to thousands of Palm Beach County children since we launched in 2013,” said Lisa Williams-Taylor, Children’s Services Council’s CEO. “Our goal is to build children’s home libraries, which has been shown to have a direct impact on children’s academic success. These mini community libraries do just that – particularly in neighborhoods where it’s difficult for parents to take their children to their local public library.”
Children’s Services Council has pledged up to $350 per Little Free Library to cover the cost of materials and installation, as well as the licensing fees for each library. Locations will be announced in January and libraries will be installed by early summer.
For more information about the Little Free Library movement, please click here.
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County
Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County provides leadership, funding, services and research on behalf of the county’s children so they grow up healthy, safe and strong. To learn more, please contact Shana Cooper, Children’s Services Council’s Public Information Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-740-7000 ext. 2170. Visit us at www.cscpbc.org.
Leadership Palm Beach County
Leadership Palm Beach County, Inc., is an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to foster awareness of community issues and promote efficient communication and cooperative relationships between existing and emerging community leaders. LPBC’s stated mission is to educate and unite leaders to build a better community. Initiated in 1983 through a collaborative effort of the local Chambers of Commerce, LPBC has prepared more than 1,000 graduates for enhanced community leadership roles.