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Fountain City Forward Announces Little Free Library

Friday, May 31, 2024
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Fountain City Forward is excited to announce that Fountain City now has a Little Free Library, thanks to the hard work of Northeastern High School student, Charlotte Rayburn.

Northeastern’s Community Service class, taught by Geneva Price, encourages students to get involved in their communities and make a difference in the world. The almost sixteen-year-old had the idea for a Little Free Library and recruited the help of several trusted adults to assist her with her project. She researched how to build a Little Free Library and what steps it takes to become official.  She also spoke with local librarians at Morrison-Reeves Library about obtaining donations of books to keep the collection fresh and joined the Dolly Parton Imagination Library so she could secure free books on a regular basis, to add to the collection. Charlotte also attended a used book sale at Morrison-Reeves and had fun picking out and purchasing titles for her project.

Mrs. Price said, “The requirement for this assignment was fifteen hours of volunteer work and Charlotte exceeded my expectations. The work she put into the assignment will be long lasting as she continues to keep it filled with books for the children to enjoy.”

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose mission is to “be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Library book-exchange boxes." Fountain City Forward will assist with registering the library, which will give it a unique charter number and allow it to be represented on the Little Free Library app and website.

Charlotte used critical thinking skills to find free or inexpensive supplies and materials. She found a kitchen cabinet at Goodwill for ten dollars that she was able to repurpose for her project.  She asked her Papndaddy (Brent Murphy) to help her build the roof foundation and learned a lot about herself and what constitutes quality drilling.  Northeastern’s Maintenance Director, Steve Burge, helped roof the building with free shingles to keep it safe from the weather. Charlotte painted the structure and added decals and lettering to dress it up. 

“Charlotte has worked as a latchkey worker every morning at 7:00 a.m. for the past two years. She was really cognizant of making it fun and accessible for young adults and children to be able to view and pick out their own books. As a preschooler, it's really fun to be able to open the door and see what's inside to choose from,” said Meg Hinkey, Northeastern High School Guidance Counselor and Charlotte’s mother. “She also knew that the library might need to be moved to different locations based on the needs of the community, so we made it mobile by using posts and cinder blocks to create a solid structure for students to access the books that could also be moved when needed.  We happily contributed a planter with some yellow flowers to complete the project.”

At Northeastern, Charlotte has participated in the Color Guard (Damsels) program, Model Legislature, Student Council, National Honor Society, Drug-Free Wayne County, and Track and Field. Outside of school, she is a lifeguard for the Richmond Municipal Pool and dances at Dance Techniques three nights a week.

The library is currently located at the Northeastern Early Learning Center under the awning off of Main Street in Fountain City. If you are interested in donating to the Little Free Library, please contact fountaincityforward@gmail.com.


For more information on the Little Free Library organization: https://littlefreelibrary.org/about/

For more information on the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: https://imaginationlibrary.com/usa/
 

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