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Students unveil new freestanding library

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 16, 2015

WARREN — If you’re looking to curl up with a good book, a group of Warren Woods Tower High School students can show you the way.

The school’s Green Club, along with students from the Make It Work program, got together to create a freestanding library located on the school grounds at 27900 Bunert Road, across from the historic schoolhouse. WWTHS is part of Warren Woods Public Schools.

Freestanding libraries are popping up all over the country, and using one is easy. People can take a book from the library to read, and when they are done return it or donate another book in its place. Books are for people of all ages: kids, teens and adults. The school’s library is registered online at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

The libraries are basically made from wood with a design that is a cross between a miniature one-room schoolhouse and a bookcase, and they are located in spots throughout the community.

The  WWTHS library was the Green Club’s idea, but members needed help executing it. That’s where the Make It Work students and occupational therapists Michele Morgan and Debb Carlton stepped in.

The Green Club is open to the student body and consists of members that support environmental causes. Make It Work students “have been identified as requiring a supportive environment to develop the skills needed for competitive employment.”

Morgan and Carlton were able to secure funding through the Warren Woods Foundation with Principal Michael Mackenzie’s support for the project. Once materials were purchased, the Make It Work students built the library when it met last July for the group’s summer program.

“They worked very well together,” Morgan said. “They became a very close-knit family.”

“It was an interesting process and interesting to make,” Make It Work senior Austin Wells said, adding that they used a palm sander and a wood stainer when working. He also said roof shingles were added to the top of it.

“We just did what (the Green Club) told us to do,” Make It Work senior William Uteg said. “I saw the whole process going on. I stained the wood.”

Senior Kyle Carnaby, a member of the Make It Work team and the Green Club, also had a hand in the building of it.

“I think it looks awesome,” Make It Work senior Alexis Coffman said. “It was fun doing it.”

Custodian Paul Zuccaro helped the students install the freestanding library.

“She always does so many amazing things with the kids,” he said of Morgan.  

Teacher and Green Club advisor Deann Kujawski said the club held a book drive last year to garner donations for the freestanding library.

“We had some donations, and a lot of staff brought in books,” she said.

Morgan has made plans to add a garden and brick pavers this summer and wrote a grant for funding. A plaque also has been ordered.

Morgan said the project allowed the Make It Work students to develop positive work behaviors and taught them stamina.

For more information on freestanding libraries and how to find one, visit www.littlefreelibrary.org.