A special gift…

Growing up, I remember some of my favorite times sitting on my dad’s lap reading a book. The shared special times of discovering new stories, adventures, and unlocking mysteries found in the pages of a book will always be with me. For me and my own kids, reading has a special place in our house…it’s a part of a nightly ritual. I strongly believe, as so much developmental research suggests, that reading to your child and with your child is far and beyond the best thing you can do to help in their development.

When I look at my own kids, I can see that they need more time to disengage from screens, they need more time to wander, be bored, and imagine. They need more time to work through a book, learn about other people and cultures, and go on adventures in their minds…we all do! The teacher in me wanted to bring some of this to our neighborhood, and especially to the park and pool.

I’m happy to share today that we have a new addition to the park – our very own Bretton Ridge Little Library! This project has been in the works for almost a year, and is the product of some passionate people. It might be the teacher in me that wants to bring a love of reading to kids in the neighborhood, but it’s also the love of art and creativity that brought this project to completion.

Last year, I approached my god friend Jan Saunders (president of the Bretton Ridge Women’s Club) about decorating a little library for the park. We went back and forth about whether either one of us really had time for something like this, but we also quickly saw how awesome it could be to add to our neighborhood. I’m so grateful that Jan agreed to take part in this – and as you can see, her inspiration and artwork is simply amazing – I very literally could not have done it without her!

With some leftover building materials, I constructed a simple miniature house with and open door on one side to house the books. I was able to seal and prime the outside, then left the rest up to Jan to design and paint. Jan would probably describe the paint job as a ‘labor of love’ as it (the house) took up a lot of space in her home studio for some time. However, it’s pretty clear that she shares the love of reading, creativity and imagination that I do. She was able to add so much to this project, and truly brought the simple white box to life!

Soon, our own Bretton Ridge Little library will be added to the world map of little free libraries (https://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/)! We hope that this addition to our park and pool will bring enjoyment and adventure for years to come.

The idea behind a little free library is simple…take a book when you want to read, and bring it back any time. If you have a book that you would like to share, bring it to the library some time and leave it for someone else to enjoy! It’s always fun if you leave notes inside to share your adventures with other readers.

I hope that this gift of reading, art, adventure and creativity will bring some new life to the park, and hope that the community will enjoy sharing their favorite books with friends and neighbors. Most of all, Jan and I both hope that the library will foster a love of learning and discovery for years to come. Please help us keep the library going by visiting, reading and sharing in this adventure. Thank you!

Jon Jarc

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