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Free Libraries Built by Middle School Students to Benefit Community

To support literacy in local communities, engineering students from Wydown Middle School recently used their knowledge and skills to build nine “little free libraries” to be placed in locations across Clayton and Normandy.

With guidance from their teacher, Scott Mandrell, students brainstormed the design, constructed the libraries and painted them using cover artwork from some of their favorite books.

In December, students showed off their hard work to Lindsey Noblot, Education Resource Manager at Beyond Housing, who works closely with the Normandy Schools Collaborative through the Normandy Read With Me! initiative. The Normandy Schools Collaborative is working to improve its students’ reading skills by making books available throughout the community.

“These free libraries will improve reading skills of kids for many years to come,” said Noblot. “I’m thrilled these students wanted to use their skills to benefit both the 24:1 and our neighboring Clayton community.”

The students have partnered with Beyond Housing to conduct a book drive this February to fill each library. By doing so, these libraries will provide books for readers of all ages to take and enjoy. The books are free, and when readers have finished, they can return the books and exchange them for new books to read.