COTTAGE HILLS — If knowledge is power and the best things in life are free, Girl Scout Troop 769 has brought its community the best of both worlds.
“We wanted to finish up the junior level and the bronze award is the highest honor,” troop member Allie Schrumpf said. “We had to do a project to help our community, so we looked up ideas and came up with the free little library.”
After seeing a similar idea on TV, the Girl Scout troop decided the free libraries would be the best way to give back to people in several communities. The concept of the free library is to take a book and leave a book. People are welcome to take a book home and bring it back, keep it for themselves or bring a different book back. Troop members say they hope placing the books at parks will encourage other children to read as well as entertain parents watching their kids play. The books range from young to adult to help fill the needs of everyone in the area.
Building three free libraries, the troop placed them in three areas to spread the project. Troop leader Dave Schiber wore his Man Enough to be a Girl Scout T-shirt as they placed their third and final free library in the ground at Kutter Park in Cottage Hills.
“We wanted to put them in different areas where we could keep up with them,” Marlo Schiber said. “We put one at Glazebrook Park in Godfrey, one at our school at Evangelical and one here at Kutter Park. We live nearby so we thought it would be a good place to have one.”
Troop 769 held a book drive at their school and asked classmates to bring new or used books that would be used to stock the free libraries.
“We’ve checked on them many times and we’re thrilled they’re actually being used,” Dave Schiber said. “We can tell that some books are gone and new ones have been returned or donated. Anyone who wants to donate a book or many books can simply take them to those locations and put the books inside the free library for others.”
Kutter Park has many events and amenities for families, including baseball diamonds, basketball hoops, playgrounds, pavilions and a Frisbee golf course.
Girls who worked on the junior bronze award for Troop 769 include Marlo Schiber, Kareena Hunter, Allie Schrumpf, Savannah Scheffer, Hannah Phillips, Clair Paule and Katie Hatch.