CASSTOWN — The Miami East FFA recently installed seven repurposed newspaper boxes full of books around their school district to be part of the Little Free Library project.
Seniors Alex Isbrandt and Emily Thimmes and junior Kylie Blair transported the brightly colored news boxes to their new homes last week.
Marie Carity, agriculture teacher and FFA adviser, said it was the junior and senior class project, which was inspired by her students who were avid readers.
“We don’t have a library within our district, but we do have a library in the elementary, but they are only open 180 days,” Carity said. “These are open 24 hours a day. People can stop by and take a book or leave a book around the district.”
The trio said their favorite part of the project was painting and refurbishing the news boxes, which were donated by AIM Media Midwest’s Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.
“They took a lot of pride in painting these. Each one has a theme,” Carity said.
Thimmes said she helped paint “Under the Sea”-themed the box installed at the Staunton Township building on Cathcart Road.
“I helped paint this box; I’m pretty proud of it,” she said.
Carity said the word has spread about the project and the feedback has been positive.
The Miami East FFA’s Little Free Libraries are located at A.B. Graham Center, Elizabeth Township Center, Miami East Board of Education office, the youth baseball fields at the Miami East campus, Fletcher Park and the Staunton Township building.
The chapter is still in the process of finding a location for their final news box in the Lostcreek Township area.
The FFA chapter received a National FFA grant to purchase books and materials for the libraries. The chapter also received support from community members who donated money and more than 400 books and supplies. The chapter is still raising funds and writing grants to register the libraries on the Little Free Library organization. The cost to register each library and its location is $40.
A list of Little Free Libraries can be found at littlefreelibrary.org.