Jamesburg elementary school gets free ‘little libraries’

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JAMESBURG To promote continuous learning and sharing, the United Way of Central Jersey (UWCJ) partnered with Johnson & Johnson to give John F. Kennedy Elementary School “Little Free Libraries.”

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world, according to the organization’s website.

Representatives of UWCJ contacted Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., one of the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies, to work with volunteers to construct and install two of the libraries at the Jamesburg school on Nov. 1, according to UWCJ Director Bill Dennison.

“A Little Library helps to encourage reading by providing a place for children to share books,” Dennison said.

One library is located near the front entrance of the school and the other is on the side entrance on Davison Avenue, according to John F. Kennedy Elementary School Principal Pamela Hernandez.

She said the school was notified in late September that it would be the recipient of the libraries.

“We are delighted that Johnson & Johnson was kind enough to provide John F. Kennedy Elementary and the surrounding Jamesburg community with two Little Free Libraries. The unique nature of the libraries lends itself to even more excitement about books for our JFK superstar students,” she said. “Our superstars are encouraged to read every day and 24-hour libraries really help to make that happen. The locations of the libraries on school grounds helps to facilitate a stronger school and community connection, which enhances student achievement.”

According to Dennison, UWCJ has been promoting literacy development for many years by working with schools to help provide supports for low-income children and families.

“UWCJ is a non-profit organization that works with different partners to address the most important issues resulting from poverty in the central jersey community,” he said. “Volunteers working together with schools, government, faith-based groups, corporations and individuals identify strategies to produce measurable improvement. For example, by focusing on young children and families, UWCJ can improve student success, so that graduation rates improve and the community is healthier and stronger.

“Support for John F. Kennedy Elementary School over the past few years to promote literacy have included funding for summer school programs, donated books, volunteer readers, literacy kits for students to take home and parent engagement programs. The Little Libraries are a continuation of this effort and will help to make the importance of reading visible and accessible by providing a place for children to give a book and take a book,” he said.

For more information about the United Way of Central Jersey, visit www.uwcj.org/history.

For more information about Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc., visit www.jjhcs.com.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.