Roosevelt Teacher, Students Create ‘Little Library’ For Their Neighborhood

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Roosevelt Elementary School Teacher Peggy Renfro stands next to the new “Leroy’s Little Library” cabinet. (Photos courtesy USD 470)

Third graders at Roosevelt Elementary in Ark City have established a new “little library” for people in their neighborhood to enjoy.

According to a news release from USD 470 Tuesday, “Leroy’s Little Library” will be installed outside St. Paul United Methodist Church in May. It will promote literacy and provide an opportunity for local residents to borrow books.

Peggy Renfro, the teacher behind the project, and her husband Mike, established the original Leroy’s Little Library near their home in Newkirk.

“Sally the Bulldog” on the side of Leroy’s Little Cabinet.

Leroy, who passed away two years ago, was a lifelong friend of Renfro’s and the inspiration for the project.

“Leroy and I were childhood friends — we grew up together,” Renfro said. “My husband and I decided this would be a good way to honor his memory. I think Leroy would be thrilled that children in multiple communities will have easy access to free books.”

Mike constructed this second library and a mother of one of the students added the Sally the Bulldog emblem on the side. Students and staff members are already enthusiastically donating books to share with others, the school district said.

“My students are excited to be part of the service project and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact the library might have on their community,” Renfro said. “The students have learned valuable lessons about giving back and are proud to be involved.”

USD 470 said Renfro, who has been an educator for 44 years, knows the unfortunate truth that not everyone has a book at home.

“Having easy access to a book at home is something many of us take for granted,” she said. “I hope this project helps ensure anyone who wants a book at home can have one. I also hope this project is one my students can take pride in for years to come.”

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