Little Free Library Project

Area of Focus: Basic Education & Literacy

Lead Club Name: Cordelia

Lead Rotarian: Swanson, Tiffany

Year: 2020-21

Project Budget: $2,280.75

DDF Grant Amount: $1,300.00

The Rotary Club of Cordelia would like to purchase and install a total of 3 “Composite Two Story Blue Little Free Libraries” and install them in surrounding areas (Fairfield, Suisun and Cordelia) that would most benefit populations who are unable to have easy access to other resources such as public libraries. Identified areas include city parks highly trafficked by families, outlying neighborhoods of economically disadvantaged populations and downtown Fairfield near the Solano County Health and Social Services building. This need was identified by the Cordelia Rotary Club due to the statistics reported by the State of California regarding literacy ratings. Currently, Grade 4 reading assessments in 2019 showed that only 32% of California students were at or above proficient. Many students enter kindergarten performing below their peers and remain behind as they move through the grades. Differences in language, exposure to print and background experiences multiply as students confront more challenging reading material in the upper grades. Children in poverty are less likely to have parents who have time to take them to the library due to working multiple jobs, as well as many parents have reading levels and practices that are low such as reading at bedtime and laptime reading. Our clubs Little Free Libraries would be stocked with books for all ages as well as books in Spanish to appeal to the general population and promote literacy. The library boxes will be registered on the Little Free Library website which allows the public easy access to a map to find their locations. Club members would be responsible to maintaining and refreshing books as well as keeping the excitement about the libraries alive whether that be through social media or scheduled events such as story time reading gathered around the boxes. Parents, teachers, caregivers, and members of the community must recognize the important role they can play in helping children learn to read. The research shows that what families do makes a difference, what teachers do makes a difference, and what community programs do makes a difference. It’s time for all those who work with children to work together to ensure that every child learns to read. It is our shared responsibility.

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