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Art, Construction Students Install Little Free Library
Little Library
Pictured, from left, Jon Gianelli, RHS media instructor; Cory Casteel, Building and Construction teacher; Mesa Verde Administrative Assistant Colleen Nabors; Principal Kim Ott; and Attendance Secretary Audra Rivers admire the handiwork of the Riverbank High School students who designed and built the new Little Library installed on the Mesa Verde campus. Ric McGinnis/The News

As the school year wound down recently at Mesa Verde Elementary School, school staff and high school instructors admired the work of their students as a “Little Free Library” was opened for business on the local campus.

The lending library structure was built and installed by Riverbank High School students and will be maintained by the elementary school.

The Little Free Library program is a non-profit organization that “inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world,” according to the group’s website,

Although not all are listed presently, there are at least four locations of the libraries around Riverbank, including two in Crossroads.

The website includes plans for the units, and includes kits of several different styles of units. In Riverbank, the Riverbank High School media class, taught by Jon Gianelli, designed the library, and building and construction class students taught by Cory Casteel built and installed it.

The project is intended to increase access to books for everyone.

According to the website, children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books.

The goal of the Little Free Library is to get books into the hands of all kids by providing continual access to books, helping to encourage a love of reading. There is no charge; students can borrow books, bring them back and even donate books to the site. It is open to adults as well, with a variety of genres and reading levels represented.

The students at Riverbank High who helped on the Panther Little Free Library project at Mesa Verde Elementary School included Lewis Hampt, Victor Verdin, Joey Garcia, Christopher Martinez, William Esquivel and William Kendrick.

Others helping were Luis Andrade, Edgar Arana, Joel Lizarraga, Janie Salcido and Teresa Valenzuela.

Instructors noted that the Home Depot in Riverbank donated some of the materials for construction.