William H. Taft STEM Elementary School opened its second “little free library” for students and members of the community to cultivate a love of reading. The event helped kick off the school’s “Read Across America” program, which takes place the last week of February.
Read Across America is a national program that was started by the National Education Association that encourages all communities to celebrate reading. The initiative promotes reading year-round, but especially on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.
As a nonprofit, Little Free Library works with neighborhoods to provide decorative mailboxes or receptacles full of books, free of charge, for anyone in the community. No library card is needed, and books don’t need to be returned, although readers are encouraged to replace a book they borrow with a book from their own collection. Fifth-grade student Juwuan Hopgood designed Taft’s new little free library, with help from third-grade student Ari’Yanna Miller.
Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann visited the school to read a proclamation from Mayor John Cranley and the City of Cincinnati to designate Monday, Feb. 25, as “Read Across Taft Elementary Day.” Partners from Good Shepherd Church stuffed the new little free library with books, so the community could immediately start enjoying the benefits.
“We are so appreciative that Mayor Cranley, Councilman Mann and the rest of the city is helping to support our efforts to cultivate a love of reading in our students,” said Jonathan Brown, principal at Taft. “Our students have performed very well in reading because of input from the community and partnerships like Good Shepherd Church, which provides tutoring for our students.”
After opening the little free library and reading the proclamation, Councilman Mann visited two classrooms and read “Dragons Love Tacos” to students. Mann is one of many special guests that visited the school throughout the week to read to students and talk about the joys of reading. Other visitors included FC Cincinnati team members, Rosie Red and more.
Keep up with the great things happening at Taft Elementary, a district leader in literacy, at taftelementary.cps-k12.org.