FULTON, NY – Granby elementary third grade students of Karen Murdoch’s class entirely designed and created Fulton’s very own Little Free Library.
What is a Little Free Library? you may ask. Well, it is simply that: a little, free library.
Presented at Bullhead Point, a small, free standing library now exists for community members to take a book and return a book for free.
Inspired by Marty Rainbow from the Hayner Hoyt Corporation, Karen Murdoch and her class felt they “needed to focus on how we could allow more student choice, student voice, life skills and most of all, student engagement while meeting the necessary third grade standards in all academic areas,” said Murdoch.
Pairing that with the inspiration from their first learning module in the ELA curriculum (“Why do people seek the power of reading?”), Murdoch’s third grade class came up with its new dynamic question: How can we share the power of reading in our own community?
The students had been learning of how many people in the world do not have access to books and how fortunate they are to have such convenience in our community, but still realizing that many people, even in this community, do not have access to reading materials.
The students then decided they wanted to create a small library for kids, teens and adults alike to be able to access books to enjoy for free.
One student pointed out that their library should be placed on the opposite side of the river from the public library, to give access to people in the community who may be unable to get transportation to the other side of town.
Then the decision came of where to locate the finished product.
The class found answers through Friends of Fulton Parks, a group that works to restore and keep up the many parks of Fulton.
The students chose Recreation Park, located right next to Lake Neatahwanta, and they felt their library will be a great addition to the revitalization of the lake area.
While Recreation Park Revitalization Project is under way, the Little Free Library will be free standing at Bullhead Point Tourism Center.
Next year, after Phase One of revitalization is complete, the Little Free Library will be moved to its permanent home at Recreation Park, in ground next to the flowers and benches planned for the park’s entrance.
The marketing team of the project created a brochure to be sent home to parents after presenting their PowerPoint to each class in their school.
The students designed multiple boxes for book drives, leaving boxes in their own school and in each of the other elementary schools in the district.
Hoping to acquire a few hundred books from their book drive, the students and teachers alike were overwhelmingly pleased when they received thousands of books for their little free library.
The students then combined their 19 separate design plans and came up with one that fit the needs and wants of all students.
They then constructed, with help from Hayner Hoyt Corporation, and painted, with help from Lowe’s of Oswego, their very own Little Free Library.
The Little Free Library is up and running at Bullhead Point and is anyone is welcome to use it.
Numerous teachers, school staff and students have agreed to maintain the library through the summer and beyond, stopping by to refill the library as needed.
Murdoch plans to have all future classes run the library as well and even hopes to create more Little Free Libraries for the Fulton community.
“All in all, our students imagined, designed, engineered, created, and marketed their very own Little Free Library. They can’t believe that their dream actually became a reality! Our class is honored to have actually had a hand in creating our city’s first Little Free Library and are helping to share the power of reading,” said Murdoch.