Students Build Parting Gift: a Library

Lily and Chloe (far right) built the library this summer with fellow students, including (from left) Madeline VanSinger, Madison Layne and Alexandria Vanderhyde

Now that they’ve built it, they hope people will come.

A new Little Free Library stands near Red Hawk Elementary school, thanks to the efforts of two former students there who love reading so much they wanted to share the love.

Incoming seventh-graders Chloe Grifhorst and Lily Howland received a grant last spring from the Cedar Springs Education Foundation to build a Little Free Library somewhere on the campus of Cedar Springs Public Schools. The pair sought the $250 award so that students and adults would have access to free books and a place to donate them as well.

Lily Howland, left, and Chloe Grifhorst designed and built a Little Free Library to share their love of reading with the community
Lily Howland, left, and Chloe Grifhorst designed and built a Little Free Library to share their love of reading with the community

After putting together a committee of students to research, plan and design the library, Chloe and Lily held a “build-a-thon” with other students in June at Lily’s house. Lily’s father, Alan, helped with the construction and made sure the young woodworkers were safe. The four-shelf turquoise structure now sits prettily between Red Hawk’s front door and the playground.

The girls have two boxes of extra children’s books with which to restock the shelves, and $100 left from the grant they plan to spend on more at Bay Leaf Books in Newaygo.

In an email, Superintendent Laura VanDuyn congratulated the girls on a “beautiful idea, planning, leadership and outcome.” Added Jo Spry, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, “This is something that these young ladies can be very proud of and will be of benefit to readers in our community.”

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‘Don’t Think Just Because You’re a Kid You Can’t Do It’

Little Free Library

Cedar Springs Education Foundation

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