The phenomenon known as the Free Little Library has spread across the world and at last arrived at West View Elementary School’s doorstep with help from A.W. Beattie Career students.
West View’s Free Little Library was unveiled Friday, May 10 at a ceremony outside of the North Hills School District’s elementary school.
“We’re really excited for the community,” West View Principal Jesse Simpson said. “Some Beattie students and their teacher were gracious enough to build us this beautiful library and we’re so happy that we’re able to open it today.”
Free little libraries became a sensation about one decade ago with the idea that small, front-yard book exchanges would inspire community-building among residents.
West View Parent/Teacher Association president Krissy Evans and the late Arlene J. Bender approached A.W. Beattie about one year ago for the project. The career center’s Carpentry and Building Construction instructor, John Brown, jumped at the opportunity.
“I was trying to think of ways we could support kids reading, and I saw (a Free Little Library) at a park,” Evans said. “I went to Mrs. Bender for contact information at Beattie, because she always spoke so highly of Beattie and their expertise.”
North Hills’ Ben Senchak and Deer Lakes’ Vince Donatelli and Christopher Rudy were tasked with taking the lead on building the Free Little Library for the elementary school.
“It feels awesome to give this to the community to share books with each other and to give everyone a piece of Beattie,” Senchak said. “We put a lot of time and effort into it to make it special.”
West View’s Free Little Library was dedicated in memory to Arlene J. Bender for her commitment to A.W. Beattie’s students, staff and programs.
“She would be joyous today with what took place here with the kindergarteners, the student ambassadors, the school board, the teachers and A.W. Beattie,” Jim Bender, Mrs. Bender’s husband, said. “She would just thrive on this and celebrate everyone involved with this at North Hills School District and A.W. Beattie Career Center.”