Cassandra Kennedy has a history of doing good for St. Louis Center. Cassandra is a member of American Heritage Girls Troop 3498. Several years ago, in order to complete requirements for her Dolly Madison Award, she successfully organized a gift drive to help provide St. Louis Center residents with some much-needed items. The residents were so glad to meet her when she and her mom came to the Center to deliver the gifts, and again, later that spring, when she came with her mother and siblings to help pack Easter baskets for the residents.
The beginning of a great project
Cassandra is now completing her Stars and Stripes Award, an endeavor that involves even more planning and paper work than an Eagle Scout project. She remembered the joy of the residents when she completed her past award and decided to pair her love of reading with her desire to design a project with a lasting impact. Thus the Little Libraries project was born.
One of the most important aspects of a Stars and Stripes Award is that the project has to be something that the recipients want and that will have a lasting impact. Cassandra met with St. Louis Center Chief Operating Officer Deana Fisher to be sure that Little Libraries would be a welcome addition to the SLC campus. As an avid reader herself, Ms. Fisher gave a resounding “Yes!” They both feel that having greater access to books will encourage the residents to pick them up more often. sort of bridging the gap for those who can’t get to the local library very often.
Cassandra completed her project documents and began planning the projects progress. Once all the details were in place, Cassandra shopped for supplies and sketched out her library design.
All About the Books
In late January, Cassandra was invited by the Friends of the Chelsea District Library to come and select books to fill the Little Libraries with from their used book sale. She was so excited to get so many books because part of the plan is to swap out the books quarterly so that the residents will have a a seemingly new selection of new books to choose from each season.
Cassandra also hosted an Usborne Book Fair to assist with the purchase of new books for the residents. Through the generosity of donors and the Usborne corporate contribution, over $1200 worth of new Usborne books are part of the book collection.
Little Libraries are Born
The next step was to get the libraries built. Members of Cassandra’s troop, American Heritage Girls Troop #3498, and their parents were faithful volunteers throughout the building and painting process. The volunteers also painted rocks to adorn the bases. Once the libraries were completed, it was time to place the posts in the ground and mount the libraries in place.
On what felt like the coldest day of the year, post holes were dug and the posts cemented into place. The libraries were than mounted on the posts. The final step was to arrange the rocks around the bases. The residents were immediately curious and ready to start checking out the books.
A formal dedication ceremony is being planned for April. Watch our website and social media for details.
Would you like to help bridge the gap for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities? All contributions make a difference in the lives of St. Louis Center residents.