Lions Club works with Ohio County groups to create ‘‘Little Libraries’’

Right to Left A WLU student, Angela Curfman, Corpus Christi Principal Shannon Walls, and Matt Rafi OC Virtual Lions Club.

Ohio County Virtual Lions Club is repurposing old newspaper dispensers to create Little Libraries across the area. The club has teamed up with Ogden Newspapers, West Liberty University’s Kappa Delta Pi Chapter, Wheeling Parks and Recreation, and Grow Warwood Pride to complete the project. The goal is to bring children and adults some joy through reading.

One of the first libraries to be completed sits outside of Corpus Christi school as a celebration of Read Across America. The box is Dr. Seuss themed and was designed by Janet Pissos. Inside the box, readers can find books of all levels and age groups as well as a flyer that gives tips for reading with your children. Professor Angela Curfman in the College of Education has been working closely with the project and commented, “This collaborative partnership started with a common interest: promote positive growth and development in our community. Literacy engages all citizens, young and old. Literacy fosters the development of kindness and empathy. Literacy development has a lasting impact on individuals, families, and the overall quality of life for the whole community.”

Curfman has employed the help of Professor Brian Fencl in the Department of Media and Visual Arts to decorate the boxes. Fencl is having his Art 150 students work in teams to decorate and paint them, and the hope is to have them finished by the last Wednesday of March. All the supplies are being directly donated by the College of Arts and Communications. Fencl comments, “I am excited to be able to work with the art students on this public art project. The opportunity to work in teams, create cool art and do something for the community is energizing. For most of the pandemic everyone’s focus has been internal, so to be able to do something for our community is a sign that we are moving closer to normalcy.” The project was somewhat put on pause due to the pandemic. It is finally able to continue due to lifted restrictions and the vaccines.

For more information about the Little Libraries, contact the author at [email protected] or Professor Angela Curfman at [email protected]