Little Free Library installed in San Pedro Town

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

With the aim to promote reading to island children, a Little Free Library was installed in the DFC Area ittle Free Library in San Pedro Town on Friday, March 29th. Little Free Libraries are small wooden boxes set up in public spaces used to encourage children to read and share their favorite books with their community. It operates under the honor system that you take a book, and you leave a book, this way the content of the boxes is constantly changing.
The Little Free Library mission started in 2009 when one man in Wisconsin, USA built a little book shelter in his yard for the neighborhood children. Now, ten years later, Little Free Libraries is an officially incorporated nonprofit in the USA, and over 75,000 of these tiny libraries live in 88 countries worldwide, including Belize. In October 2018, Tanya McNab from McNab Visual Strategies and Kim Simplis Barrow from Special Envoy for Women and Children Belize in partnership with the Ministry of Education installed the first one out of the nine on the mainland, at St. John’s Cathedral in Belize City.
The Little Free Library initiative here in San Pedro Town was led by island resident Jeanna Barrett. “My life has been really impacted by books. I read from an early age and fell in love with reading. This really was the foundation I needed to succeed in school, college, my career, and my business. Education has the ability to spark dreams, build careers and change lives, so I want to give that opportunity to more Belizean children,” she said. Barrett also added that she aims to install more Little Free Libraries around Ambergris Caye as well as in Caye Caulker.
The island team is accepting both children and adult books. There are many ways to donate, such as dropping them off at Belizean Melody’s Art Studio at the end of Barrier Reef Street, ship used or new books to the Belize Freight address on their website, who have graciously offered to ship the books free of cost. Many books cost $1 in thrift stores across the world, so it doesn’t need to cost a lot to donate. You can also visit http://belizebookworms/donate to find out their shipping address, an Amazon book wish list has also been created, with specifics on types of books to donate, and other donation details.
The islands first Little Free Library was built by Belizean carpenter Ronny Perez and painted by local artist Melody Sanchez Wolfe. Books were donated by many people in San Pedro, the USA, and Canada. The library placards were registered and donated by Kristen Hughes. Barrett who led the initiative created the logo/website and is the main point of contact. You can email her at [email protected]

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