When Katrina hit the gulf coast in September 2005 thousands of school children were displaced and lost their schools and libraries. As an extension of our library skills and lifeskills programs, Bay Farm students participated in a relief effort to do something tangible to help children and support reading, creating the "Library in a Box" project. This project is a completely student-driven project from start to finish...from personal book donations, to book sorting, theme development, book clustering/bundling, letter writing, club photos, box design, marketing logos/labels, and finally to the completed project. As the project continued to grow, other schools began asking us how the project works. We see that this project can be replicated, developed, and shared, so that other schools can work together to make an impact on their world in a positive way and help more children enjoy the love of reading.
Our community is enriched by parents and students who love to read and have a wealth of reading material at home and at school. By sharing gently read books donated from home students can reach out and help children survivors of Katrina, utilizing the life skill of caring, and share their love of reading while reaching beyond themselves. They will extend and deepen their own interests in reading as they explore donated books and develop boxes, but more importantly, they will learn that they can make a difference in their world, and that working together maximizes their creativity, energy, and contributions.
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