It seems like a simple concept. If children have access to books early in life, they have a better chance for academic success down the road.
However, many families in need struggle to provide books to their children, and many new parents aren’t aware of the importance of early language and literacy. Within our own community, there are “book deserts” in areas where poverty is prevalent and many homes lack the adequate quantity and quality of books necessary to engage young children and their families in language and literacy.
One way Southwest Human Development is doing its part in the community is by partnering with individuals, neighborhoods, local businesses, as well as other nonprofit organizations in Maricopa County to place as many Little Free Libraries as possible for children who need them most. Little Free Libraries are “take one, leave one” book stations. The movement allows any individual to have easy access to books, regardless of their financial situation.
Here’s how it works…
Step 1: Creating Your Little Free Library Each Little Free Library kit comes to you as a stack of wood with an “easier than IKEA” assembly process. Your team gets to choose your colors, design and décor. Each kit will keep 6-12 people busy for 2-3 hours depending on the complexity of your design. You can build your Little Free Library at your office or we can help arrange an off-site location with you. Have a big team? We can combine your Little Free Library build with a variety of other volunteer opportunities to keep your entire team engaged!
Step 2: Installing Your Library When the library is complete, Southwest Human Development will pick it up and place it in the community. You can choose the location and we can also help organize an installation and unveiling event with your team.
Step 3: Stocking Your Library with Children’s Books Many of our community partners hold a children’s book drive as part of their Little Free Library kick-off effort. It’s a fun way to engage your entire team, along with your customers and other partners! We can also help keep your Little Free Library stocked with children’s books donated throughout the year from our other community partners.
Here’s What You Provide
$500 donation per library
Volunteers for assembly
Your company’s brand colored paint, if desired
Decorations that you want (beads, buttons, logo, etc.)
Preference for library placement location
Gently-used children’s book drive
On-going maintenance (optional)
Here’s What We Provide
DIY kit for library and instructions
Official charter number and recognition plaque
Paint for customizing your Little Free Library
Staff or volunteer onsite day of building to support and share your community impact
Assistance with securing location and permissions in neighborhoods where there is little or no access to books
Installation of library
Assistance with book acquisition; ongoing maintenance of the library (optional)