‘Little Free Library’


Unveiling at Meigs Primary

Pictured are Lisa McCarty, director of Children’s Programs, Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Hayley Venturino, Project BEAR director, Shawnee State University; Pandora Dupras, CEO of Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Debby Canter, Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library regional representative; Sarah Crabtree, Project BEAR Region 2 literacy support member; Kristin Baer, Meigs Primary School Principal; Jody Howard, Meigs Intermediate Principal; Kim Wolfe, Meigs Primary School Librarian; Darla Kennedy, Meigs Primary School Title 1; Chris Shaffer, Chair of ServeOhio’s Commission and Director of Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs at Shawnee State University.

Pictured are Lisa McCarty, director of Children’s Programs, Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Hayley Venturino, Project BEAR director, Shawnee State University; Pandora Dupras, CEO of Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Debby Canter, Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library regional representative; Sarah Crabtree, Project BEAR Region 2 literacy support member; Kristin Baer, Meigs Primary School Principal; Jody Howard, Meigs Intermediate Principal; Kim Wolfe, Meigs Primary School Librarian; Darla Kennedy, Meigs Primary School Title 1; Chris Shaffer, Chair of ServeOhio’s Commission and Director of Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs at Shawnee State University.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy

Students from Cynthia Enright’s 2nd grade class stock the Little Library with assistance from Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Regional Representative Debby Canter.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy

Debby Canter and 2nd Grade Teacher Cynthia Enright discuss the benefits of the Free Little Library to area students.


Lorna Hart | Courtesy

MIDDLEPORT – Project BEAR unveiled a Little Free Library in Meigs County during a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday morning.

Meigs Primary School was chosen as the first site, and representatives from the school and sponsoring organizations looked on as students from Cynthia Enright’s second grade class began filling the library with books.

A Little Free Library is a book-sharing box that functions on the honor system. Books are free, there is no sign in or registration. Anyone may take a book, and are encouraged to return the book to the Little Library when they are finished reading. Participants can also share a book they wish to donate by placing the book in the box.

The Little Free Library is part of a reading program entitled Project BEAR developed at Shawnee State University Children’s Learning Center in Portsmouth, Ohio. Project BEAR stands for Building Emerging and Achieving Readers. It had its beginnings in Scioto County, and is now offering the program to other counties in Ohio.

Funding for the initial project came as a result of AmeriCorps, who chose to partner with Shawnee State. The expansion of the program has led to include additional partnerships that include Easterseals, ServeOhio, and the Governor’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.

Ohio University student Sarah Crabtree is the Project BEAR Region 2 Literacy Support member, and directed the ribbon cutting ceremony. She said that it is the perfect opportunity for kids who may not have access to the libraries in their area.

“There are many reasons kids may not be able to go to a library,” Crabtree said. “This gives them another place to get books any time, they just go to the Little Library and select their book.”

Meigs Primary School Librarian Kim Wolfe was pleased with the installation of the Library at their school and said it ties in perfectly with their planned Bookwalk, which will be placed along the walking trails behind the school.

“It is another opportunity for us to put the love of books into our students especially when school is not in session,” Wolfe said. “We are happy to be chosen.”

Project BEAR Director Hayley Venturino said the mission of Project Bear is conveyed in the name, Building Emerging and Achieving Readers, and she encourages anyone interested in information on the Free Little Library, or to volunteer, to contact her at 740-351-3059 or by email at hventurino@shawnee.edu.

© 2021, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Pictured are Lisa McCarty, director of Children’s Programs, Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Hayley Venturino, Project BEAR director, Shawnee State University; Pandora Dupras, CEO of Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Debby Canter, Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library regional representative; Sarah Crabtree, Project BEAR Region 2 literacy support member; Kristin Baer, Meigs Primary School Principal; Jody Howard, Meigs Intermediate Principal; Kim Wolfe, Meigs Primary School Librarian; Darla Kennedy, Meigs Primary School Title 1; Chris Shaffer, Chair of ServeOhio’s Commission and Director of Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs at Shawnee State University.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.10-1.jpgPictured are Lisa McCarty, director of Children’s Programs, Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Hayley Venturino, Project BEAR director, Shawnee State University; Pandora Dupras, CEO of Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio; Debby Canter, Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library regional representative; Sarah Crabtree, Project BEAR Region 2 literacy support member; Kristin Baer, Meigs Primary School Principal; Jody Howard, Meigs Intermediate Principal; Kim Wolfe, Meigs Primary School Librarian; Darla Kennedy, Meigs Primary School Title 1; Chris Shaffer, Chair of ServeOhio’s Commission and Director of Institutional Research and Sponsored Programs at Shawnee State University. Lorna Hart | Courtesy

Students from Cynthia Enright’s 2nd grade class stock the Little Library with assistance from Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Regional Representative Debby Canter.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.10-01.jpgStudents from Cynthia Enright’s 2nd grade class stock the Little Library with assistance from Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Regional Representative Debby Canter. Lorna Hart | Courtesy

Debby Canter and 2nd Grade Teacher Cynthia Enright discuss the benefits of the Free Little Library to area students.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2021/11/web1_11.10-04.jpgDebby Canter and 2nd Grade Teacher Cynthia Enright discuss the benefits of the Free Little Library to area students. Lorna Hart | Courtesy
Unveiling at Meigs Primary

Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.

Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.