Anna Coates Completes Leadership Project

by Anna Coates, ACE Trainer

As part of my year-long commitment as a student in the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy, I had to propose a project that filled a community need and was sustainable beyond just my class year. The Friends of Literacy project is actually the merging of my proposal and that of another classmate, one of three projects that the entire class voted to accomplish. After the vote, our class split into three groups charged with carrying the projects through by the time we “graduate” in June.

Our group created a little free library at the Barb Food Mart, which had its ribbon cutting last week. Thanks to the generosity of the community, they were able to collect about 3,000 books!  A special thank you to Family Service Agency for their amazing donation of about 400 brand new books, which ranged from early readers to chapter books of American classics. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, children and families that use the Barb Food Mart were able to take new and gently used books home to have for their own enjoyment.  The Friends of Literacy gave away over 500 books to local kids to keep as their own. We also provide information on the importance of literacy and having books available.

We also showed the kids and parents how the little free library works. The little free libraries are based on the honor system: Take one, Bring one. This means our little free library will be self sustaining.  Since our community has several little free libraries in it, I created and shared a map of local locations that the families can use to find one nearby.  The Friends of Literacy understand some books may not come back, so we supplied the Barb Food Mart with back up books restock the little free library.  Our goal was to get books into the hands of local children and we did!  Thank you for you support!


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