Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Legacy Leadership students fashioned a Little Free Library and donated it to the public on Saturday, March 20. The library, located near the entrance of The Gardens at SIUE, was created to encourage children and young adults to read, and to provide for those who may not be able to afford books, according to Emily Skowron, Legacy Leadership member and program director in the Office of Education Outreach.

“Developing and installing the Little Free Library has been a humbling and memorable experience,” said Skowron. “It was touching to see the joy and excitement of everyone who participated. Members of the SIUE Legacy Leadership organization made this incredible project a reality.

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“The purpose of this capstone initiative was to make the world a better place, and offer children and adults the opportunity to read and learn. I am extremely proud and honored to have been a part of this initiative, and I hope it will benefit society for generations to come.”

SIUE’s 2020-21 Legacy Leadership program is led by Brett Bertok, Legacy chair of the Student Leadership Council and geography graduate student; and Melinda Stitzel, assistant director of Leadership Programs in the Kimmel Student Involvement Center. Other members include Brigid Aslin, Meredith Bates, Rachell Crayton, Hannah Dietz, Taylor Ewing, Chris Heaton, Alicia Iannece, Jacob Meier (library project leader), Ally Moulton, Lindsy Perry, Hailey Phillips, Elizabeth Rechtien, Evan Senat, Tami Tutor and Megan Walsh.

SIUE’s Men’s Soccer, of which Meier is a team member, will sustain the Little Free Library. The library was built by local volunteer carpenter Dave Mueller, of Edwardsville.

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