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St. Charles Family Care in Madras opens a Little Free Library

Author: Ben Salmon, 7/19/2019 3:47:00 PM

St. Charles Family Care in Madras has opened a tiny library with the hope it will play a big role in inspiring children to read.

In partnership with Little Free Library—a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a love of reading, building community and sparking creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world—the clinic presented the library to the community in a ribbon cutting ceremony near the main entrance of the St. Charles Madras hospital.

“We’re really trying to help children of all ages and backgrounds have access to age-appropriate books,” said Marcus Thompson, a community health educator at St. Charles Family Care in Madras. “We thought building a Little Free Library and installing it right outside the clinic would be a fun and easy way to help our community connect and increase early literacy in our youth.”

Research shows that children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books, even when controlled for other key factors. Little Free Libraries, like the one opening at St. Charles Madras, play an essential role in providing access to books in areas where books may be scarce.

Funded by a St. Charles Foundation mini-grant, the Little Free Library will help augment efforts already underway to promote reading among children, including the Reach Out and Read program at St. Charles Family Care in Madras. The library will be stocked from books donated by that program as well as from caregivers, community members and the Foundation.