Fall Branch students receive a little free library just in time for summer break

Mackenzie Moore • Updated May 23, 2018 at 7:45 PM

The Washington County Public Library, Jonesborough Community Chest and Johnson City chapter of the Elks Lodge teamed together to give Fall Branch students a resource that will benefit them for years to come.

Fall Branch School Principal Mark Merriman unveiled a little free library to a gymnasium full of students Wednesday. The miniature library-resembling box will boast a collection of books for K-4 students and young adolescents.

“We have a special opportunity to promote literacy and reading,” Merriman said. “Being in a remote part of Washington County, this provides our little tri-county region access to quality material.”

The Elks Lodge constructed the piece, and the library will stock the little free library with books funded by the Community Chest.

The program will have a take-a-book, leave-a-book policy, and the Washington County Library provided several other places — such as the Pizza Parlor in Jonesborough — with similar free libraries.

Library Director Richard Griffin said he hopes to reach out to children who may be bored while running errands with parents. He hopes to open more libraries in laundries and banks.

“We are trying to get new books in the hands of kids,” Griffin said. “Sometimes for the first time. We want to get them interested in reading. If you talk to a successful person, there’s one thing they all like to do, and that’s to read.”

The Jonesborough Community Chest sponsored the program, and President Adam Dickson remained confident that with the two entities’ coordination, the efforts will ultimately be effective.

“We discovered we get a bigger bang for the book if we all came together with this network,” Dickson said. 

Fall Branch students will have access to their little free library the entire summer, and they will have the opportunity to trade their finished books for new stories and ideas.

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