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Eagle scout builds lending library for Harper

Each year the students in the journalism program at PHS finish the course by writing press releases. The class partners with the Princeton Herald to publish the stories. These are also featured on the district website under Latest Headlines. This article is written by Haley Romero.

Eagle Scout builds lending library for Harper. Local Eagle Scout Griffin Hunt built an outdoor Dr. Seuss-themed lending library for Harper Elementary School as part of his advanced scouting project.

Hunt has spent the last month working on the library. In addition to the actual construction of the library, he hosted a book drive to supply the lending library with books.

“First, I held a book drive to collect books for the library,” Hunt said. “It took a weekend to build the actual frame and shelves of the library. We painted it white, and then my mom spent several days painting the Dr. Suess quotes and images on the library. After the painting was complete, we attached the door, shingled the roof and added weather stripping to help make it resistant to weather. We installed the posts to support the library in concrete, let it cure for a couple of days and then mounted the library to the posts.”

While looking for an idea for his Eagle project, Hunt knew he wanted to do something that could benefit kids.

“I really wanted to build the library for kids that might not have a lot of access to books when school is out,” Hunt said. “My  family belongs to Creekwood United Methodist Church, and our church helps to serve Harper Elementary. I have seen a few little lending libraries around like the one at Watters Creek in Allen. I looked online at different images, thought about how I could build one, and decided I would build one for my Eagle project.”

Harper’s principal, Ms. Nichole Powell, says the new lending library is a hit with the kids and their families.

“Our students are excited about the library,” Ms. Powell said. “We still need to send out a flyer announcing the library, but we have already had families take books to read. We also have students and parents talking about books they can trade out.”

One of the goals at Harper is to have their students reading more. The new library, which allows 24/7 access to books, helps the school achieve that goal.

Lending library at Harper. “Reading can be a great way to bring families together, and this lending library is one way to encourage families to read together,” Ms. Powell said. “The more time students spend reading, the greater their vocabulary grows. Reading also allows students to gain experiences beyond those in the classroom.”

Hunt is delighted he was able to build the library for the students and appreciates Harper Elementary for allowing him to do so.

“I take having regular access to books for granted,” Hunt said. “I'm glad to be able to provide books for kids that might not have that same access. Reading is such an important part of learning, and I hope this library will be another opportunity for Harper students and their families to experience the fun of reading.”

Although the lending library goes a long way in assisting Harper with its goal of increased reading for students, another organization is doing its part again this year. The Heritage Ranch Storytellers donated $1,000 to Harper’s library to purchase books. This same group donated $3,000 last year.

“I’m happy that so many people in our nearby communities are taking an interest in Harper,” Ms. Powell said. “This definitely makes an impact on our students and their opportunities to read more.”

-- Story by Haley Romero


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