A retired pastor in our neighborhood build this little free library this summer. I love the idea and hope that people are taking advantage of it. He has books for both kids and adults available. I found a site on the Internet http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/index.html that offers little libraries available for sale along with directions for those wanting to build them themselves. It seems that there are free little libraries popping up in neighborhoods in many communities. What a wonderful way to promote literacy and build community. I was especially touched to read about one of the first free little libraries built in Accra, Ghana which proved to be so popular that there are now 40 in Accra. The mission of the Little Library organization is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide. They hope to build more than 2,510 libraries around the world.
On a different note, I worked at the community kitchen this Saturday. Around 50 people showed up for the meal which was simple but nutritious and greatly appreciated by the dinner guests. There were a few families with young children among the people served. I didn't know the kids but it made me think of kids at my school. As teachers we spend time thinking about goals that we have for our students such as where we want to be at the end of the school year. We spend time evaluating them and much care is taken to make sure we are meeting them where they are at academically. I'm interested in what the kids are doing but I don't always give a lot of thought about what their weekends are like. I occasionally see students at sporting events that they participate in or maybe run into them at the store. After the dinner on Saturday it occurred to me that not every kid gets the opportunity to play soccer on Saturday morning. Not every kid gets to go to Target or McDonalds or any other place that I might go to and think nothing of. There are kids in our community that aren't getting enough to eat. They have to worry about where their next meal comes from. I'm glad that schools offer free and reduced breakfasts and lunches for those who need them during the week. However, it's those kids who have to worry about the weekends that are on my mind tonight. It saddens me to think that there are little ones who are being forced to face the harsh realities of life at a young age. True, there are some things I can do to help. I can make donations to the food bank. I can provide meals at one of the community kitchens. As I prepare to teach this week, I'm going to be mindful of the kids who might have had a tough weekend. Perhaps the most important thing I can do is to provide a caring and supportive environment for kids everyday at school.