June 7, 2019
Young readers who visit the memorial bench of former teacher
Mrs. Beth Shannon at Western Avenue Elementary School this summer will now discover
a place to indulge in a shared love of books and citizenship: the Little Free Library.
The community library box was donated by Girl Scout Troop 4801 members Megan McChrystal, Katie Wilson, and Kyra Kopec — who are also Geneva Middle School students.
The concept is that of a sharing library. And while the give-a-book, take-a-book approach is not entirely new to Geneva, according to Kyra’s mother Mrs. Kim Kopec, the girls specifically chose to house elementary-themed books in their Little Free Library so as not to compete with the others around town (such as at the train station).
The girls undertook this labor of love as part of their Silver Project with their troop as a way to give back to the community. They spent more than 60 hours planning with the local partners, and preparing/installing the box, according to Mrs. Kopec. Hand-built by the girls (with some assistance and tools from a parent’s workshop), the project was student-led from start to finish.
“The girls were able to build this library from the hands-on skills they learned at Geneva Middle School, proving that electives matter,” she added.
The library is made of wood and includes a copper roof,
donated by Gerry Klemm of G. Klemm Roofing Co. The first book was donated by
Western Avenue teacher Mrs. Tammy Thompson, and additional books were provided
by the Geneva Public Library, St. Peters Library, and community members.
Appropriately nestled next to the memorial bench, the Little Free Library sits ready to greet any young bookworm, just in time for the summer reading season. The Girl Scouts have already reached out to the younger generation and been assured that the young Scouts will continue to nurture the box and pass the legacy on, so that the Little Free Library remains a staple at the school for as long as the community’s love for reading remains.
From left: Megan McChrystal, Katie Wilson & Kyra Kopec
The girls meet with Gerry Klemm of G. Klemm Roofing Co. as he donates copper roof to Little Free LIbrary.
Western Avenue Elementary School teacher Mrs. Tammy Thompson donates the first book to the
Little Free Lbrary.