Our school district has a program called ROPES, which stands for Rite of Passage Experience. This is an outside-of-school project, chosen by the student, in order to try something they wouldn't have time to learn in school. Students are allowed to participate in 5th, 7th, and 8th grades. Adam has participated twice before: In 5th grade, he designed and built Adirondack chairs for Camp Okizu, under the tutelage of my dad, who is a woodworker; and in 7th grade, he decided to tackle the school lunch program, which was an ambitious project (I blogged about it here, scroll down to the end of the post). Kate participated in 5th grade; she wanted to know where chocolate comes from and how it is made. That was a fun project for all of us!
This year, Kate is in 7th and Adam is in 8th grade, so they're both eligible, and seeing as it's the only year they can do a project together, they took advantage of that. They decided to build a Little Free Library.
Do you know about this movement? LTL's are popping up all over the country, and indeed, the world. We thought it would be excellent to have one in our neighborhood, which is full of kids and adults who love to read.
Adam and Kate have been working on this since the beginning of March, when they designed the library (with a lot of help from my dad) using Sketch Up. Dad had some Ponderosa Pine boards that he donated to the cause, and with his help, over the past month, the kids have slowly built their library box. They had to give consideration to where it would go, how folks would access the books, how to keep the books safe and dry, etc.
Well, the library is mostly finished. Today they painted it and wrote their report. They still have to prepare a presentation to give in front of District representatives (that will be April 19), and once that presentation is finished (they need to take the box in as the visual part of the report), we'll install it in our parking strip garden, right next to the sidewalk. It'll need posts and cement, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
We had to register it with the Little Free Library association and they'll send us a sign to attach to it, so it'll look very official. Then it will go on the world map so folks can find it. We've got a whole load of books ready to go in, but it'll be fun to see what people choose to take and what books we get in return. And oh yes, you letterboxing folks, I'll be putting in a box to find, as well! We expect the library to be installed and ready for business by the middle of May.