Little Free Library, Worcester Historical Museum exhibit share stories, history

Community fridge to community library: Stories are an integral part of community building. A kindergarten and first grade class at Fitzgerald Community School in Northborough, who have been exploring this topic all year, are now ready to share some stories of their own. Teacher Maria Ravelli, known for helping start the Worcester Community Fridge project (her class was inspired to start one in Northborough as well), has been teaching the kids about how stories have been passed down through history – such as the oral traditions of indigenous cultures , and how it could be applied to their own community. “We practice project based learning,” said Ravelli, “and every year we give the class a problem to solve – this year it was how can they share stories in their community.” While the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtotem poles held an appeal for much of the class with the carved images of various animals such as mice, bears and eagles, they settled on a more practical method through a small lending library outside the school. The kids opened a snack bar at their school to raise money to purchase the kit from Little Free Library, a national book sharing organization that sells premade kits for mini-libraries that anyone can build and set up, as well as the initial round of books to fill it. Most little libraries have a theme of some kind such as diversity or anti-racism. The Fitzgerald free library will focus on children’s stories. “We wanted people to have books to give to their kids so they can learn how to read faster,” said Ryan, the class’ self-appointed spokesman in a Zoom interview. The class chose the colors, and a parent volunteer will help build it – with the official opening being on May 1.

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