SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Students line up for books in Lori Shubat's second grade class at Lincoln Center Elementary in South St. Paul. They aren't on their way to the media center. They merely have to walk to the back of the classroom to peruse the books in the free Lil' Library -- patterned after the official Little Free Library movement that started in Hudson, WI.
"Really, actually seeing one of your stories on KARE11," said Shubat, when asked what inspired her. Boyd featured the first Hudson Free Little Library as one of his "Land of 10,000 Stories" series.
Shubat sent a note home with her students -- seeking a volunteer to build one for the classroom.
Someone answered the call. "Mr. Lind, my grandpa's friend," said Ivy Dubois.
Mr. Lind used donated materials to build the library, which resembles a one-room school house. It practically invites students to open it's kid-sized door and choose a book they can take home and keep. The fact that students can pass along their favorite books to a friend makes it even more fun.
Second grader Grace Dox was inspired to write an ode to the Lil' Library. "Free Little Library is a treat, bring a book, take a book and your life will be sweet."
Grace's neighborhood is home to an official Free Little Library. Grace says it mostly has chapter books, which her parents read. "My dad really likes to read. He likes reading 'Star Wars' books, so he'll swap," she said.
Shubat plans to keep the library going after this class moves on.
"We'll be having summer school here, and I plan to have it out for students to use at that time as well," said Shubat.
Shubat continues to find ways to bring better learning to her classroom with the help of volunteers and donors. You'll find her latest crowd-funded project here.