Duncanville

Independent School District

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DHS Students Design, Build ‘Little Free Libraries’

Melissa Perez watched as students in Duncanville High School’s construction class used drills and saws to assemble a project she designed.

“I think it’s pretty amazing,” Perez said.

Melissa worked with fellow architecture student Charles Fuentes to draw up plans to build ‘Little Free Libraries’ to be placed around Duncanville. The structures look like large birdhouses – big enough to accommodate books that people can take home, read and then either bring back or replace with ones of their own.

Chris Dodge, a retired Duncanville reading teacher, approached DHS principal Tia Simmons with the idea last summer. Simmons, knowing that she had groups of students who are capable of designing and building virtually anything, quickly said yes.

“They do awesome work,” Simmons said. “They are committed.”

Community groups, like the Duncanville Rotary, contributed money to purchase supplies, and local lumber company DeFord’s donated the wood.

Construction teacher Tamara Gurnell said her students are using the building skills they learned first semester to assemble the little libraries. The fact that it contributes to a community project gives them a sense of satisfaction.

“It gives them such a sense of honor,” Gurnell said. “They’re happy.”

The purpose of the project is to encourage people to read. The ten little libraries built by Duncanville students will be stocked with children’s books.

“It fits with the district’s focus on early literacy for the future Panthers coming our way,” Simmons said.

Chris Dodge has organized a group of organizations to maintain and stock the little libraries.

“The whole point of this is community,” Dodge said. “Those who contributed books, money and supplies are all connected, and they meet each other at the box.”

The first Little Free Library will be installed at Armstrong Park near City Hall on Saturday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m.



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