Michelle Hamilton’s third grade class from last year gathered, on the last Tuesday of summer vacation at Hopewell Elementary School (HES), for a ribbon-cutting for the “Little Free Libraries,” a student-lead and teacher assisted project.Students, families, teachers, school administrators, Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano and various volunteers celebrated a new amenity to the community, brought about by one teacher and her students.
As part of a measuring unit in math, Ms. Hamilton’s class came up with the idea of installing these little structures for the community to enjoy. In March 2016, Ms. Hamilton’s class appeared at a Hopewell Borough Council meeting to ask permission to install 2 of their 3 “Little Free Libraries” on Borough property — one at the train station and the other outside of Gazebo Park at the kiosk. (The third library will be on school property on the exterior of the building.) Students took turns contributing to the presentation before Borough Council.
“You take a book and give a book,” explained one student.
“I love every aspect of this student-centered project which embraced the engineering design process – asking, imagining, planning, creating and improving,” said Hopewell Elementary School Principal David Friedrich. “Our community will benefit from the three little free libraries for many years to come.”
“The Little Free Libraries present a wonderful opportunity to expand the reading opportunities to the children of Hopewell Valley,” said Mayor Anzano. “We have many families who will use the LFLs as an opportunity to expand existing efforts to promote early education reading and the additional benefit to promote reading/english language skills with our Borough residents without stigma where english is a second language. A win across the board.”
“I absolutely loved doing this project with my students last year. Not only did it tie in with the math curricula and social studies curriculum (local government), it also was a great community building activity. Many community members helped make this project come to fruition,” said Ms. Hamilton thanking all who were involved.