A child’s educational success directly correlates with their access to books.

In Stanislaus County, high schoolers are building free little libraries in order to increase accessibility to children’s books and raise Stanislaus County’s reading readiness. Leo and Aimee are juniors at Stanislaus Military Academy. As kids, they didn’t have access to books inside their home.

“I was one of those kids who didn’t have a book to read,” Leo said.

“When I was younger, it was harder for me to get anything. My family struggled so building this and giving back to the community means a lot to me,” Aimee added.

The high schoolers here at Stanislaus Military Academy will build 34 Little Free Libraries. Eight have already been scattered throughout Stanislaus County schools and parks.

“It feels good because you get to share knowledge with people in your environment,” Leo said.
“I love being in this class cause your building something and helping other people,” Aimee added.

Stanislaus Reads is behind the effort to add more Little Free Libraries throughout the region. It’s a multi-agency, multi-year effort to help children read at grade-level by the end of third grade. Right now, less than 30 percent of Stanislaus County kids can do so.

“Approximately 60 percent of low income children in Stanislaus County do not have access to books in their home,” Dr. Jacob Barber said.

Barber is one of a handful of residents doing what he can to promote reading. Vicki Reid, another Stanislaus resident, has had her Little Free Library for over a year.

“This note says, we love your little free library, thank you for all you do,” Reid said. “The whole idea is to get books out for kids the kids to read.”

Since she put in her little free library, kids and parents leave notes, and draw pictures along her sidewalk.

“We look forward to getting more of these in Modesto, so we can be known for our little free libraries,” Reid said.

If you are interested in getting a Little Free Library for your front yard, or you want to help supply books for a Little Free Library, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/ for more information.