Upon retirement from 36 years of teaching elementary school, Rachell Stepney was looking for a fun project and a way to contribute to her community when she read an article last year on the West Jxn Blog about Little Free Libraries. She knew that her neighborhood, full of young kids, would be the perfect spot for a Little Free Library. So she told her family about it and her daughter, Harriett Oppenheim, and son-in-law, Jed Oppenheim purchased a Little Library for Mother’s Day!
“I’m excited to be able to build community and provide books to children who might not be living in a literature-rich environment,” said Ms. Stepney.
Perched on the lawn of a retired Jackson teacher’s white and black home on Terrace Avenue sits what looks like a large red, white, and blue mailbox. Instead of being a home to mail, it contains books that are waiting for neighbors to pick up, either to borrow or keep for free.
Ms. Stepney said, “I do it to promote literacy, community and friendship.”
This marks the fourth Little Free Library in West Jackson and Bobby Pamplin, assistant director of the Center for University-Based Development installed the library on the property. Ms. Stepney says she may not know all the parents on her street, but she knows all the children and they come visit her often. As the Little Free Library was being installed, children came over see what was going on, and Ms. Stepney explained to all the children the concept of the Little Free Library.
If you are interested in donating books to the Little Free Libraries, all you have to do is drop the books off at one of the locations listed below.
Stewpot Community House
Jayne Avenue Community Center
e-City Building at JSU
For more information, please call 601-979-5828.