Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
In the past few years, Little Free Libraries were installed at several schools across the Division. The outside location makes it easy for patrons to exchange books at any time of the day. Mary Williams Elementary School opened their Little Free Library in the spring of 2018. Recently, it has become a place to get food while picking up a book.
With schools and libraries closed because of COVID-19, many students are without access to new reading material in the form of print books. The Little Free Library helps to fill this void,. The Mary Williams Elementary staff also added essential supplies to assist students in need. Community members have kept the movement going by also dropping off food such as rice, cereal and canned goods, and also diapers. This access to food and essential items is a welcome resource for families.
School Staff Weighs in on the Little Free Library
“I think the Little Free Library gives families a sense of comfort knowing that our school is still there to support them,” said School Counselor Nicole Myers. “The fact that the library keeps getting filled day after day is so encouraging. I hope students learn the value in looking out for the needs of others and paying it forward when they are able.”
“As educators we know that the students who read the most achieve the best scores on standardized tests,” Reading Teacher Kathy Maxfield said. “In our community, we have military families who move often and may not have a large core of books. We have multi-generational families sharing spaces that might not allow for a home library. We have working families who may not be free to visit libraries during normal business hours or may lack transportation to the public library. Our Little Free Library improves book access for all our students and their families.”
Teachers and staff at Mary Williams hope that students also learn valuable life lessons from these acts of kindness. In times of crisis, being a good community member and helping those in need is important.
Mary Williams Elementary School is located at 3100 Panther Pride Drive, Dumfries.