WESTFIELD, NJ — Three Girl Scouts from Holy Trinity School in Westfield are creating a small lending library at Houlihan and Sid Fay Fields that will hold about 75 books for kids ages 3 to 10 to read while they are at the fields.
Eighth-graders Megan Bourke, Emma Morasse and Sophie Vastine presented their plan for approval by the Westfield Town Council Tuesday. Together, the girls said they will build the library’s wooden structure as well as collect, sort and maintain all of the books for the project.
The three girls have already collected some books, and they raised the funds to create the library last year through a bake sale, they said.
The library, made from wood, will allow kids will borrow a book for the duration of time they are at the field and return it before they leave. Children may also leave books, if they wish.
“Houlihan fields in Westfield are sporting fields with nothing for kids to do while they are waiting for their sister or brother,” Vastine said. “We’ve decided to do this project because we’ve all been in that situation where we've had nothing to do while at siblings’ sporting events.”
“We think this is a great way for kids to have better reading skills that will have a knowledgeable, lasting effect,” Morasse said.
The lending library will be about four feet high by three feet wide and will contain two or three shelves of books. It will be weatherproofed with a plexiglass window and be anchored into place by being attached to a fence at the field, instead of bolted into the ground, the girls explained. The scouts said that they made this decision because Houlihan field is made of turf, rather than grass.
Bourke, Morasse and Vastine are building the lending library to earn their Girl Scouts Silver Award, which encourages innovation and must have a lasting effect on the community and the people using the project.
“They are actually learning how to use the tools.They will do the painting. They’ve done the book collecting. They’ve done the sorting,” said Jacque Bourke, Megan’s mother. “This whole project is very age-appropriate from soup to nuts. They’re empowered versus the parents being empowered, which is the best part about it.”
As they get older, the girls said they plan to pass on the responsibility of maintaining the library down to younger scouts.
The girls received unanimous approval from the council. They hope to complete the project within the next few months.