Washington, PA - This morning, Wed., Oct. 26, 2016, Community Action Southwest (CAS) hosted a ribbon cutting to launch its latest awareness project, Little Free Libraries. The ribbon cutting was held in front of a group of 30 people at 84 Lumber in Eighty Four, PA. 84 Lumber is the inaugural corporate Little Free Library supporter and sponsor of six libraries. Two locally-crafted Little Free Libraries were unveiled.

David Newell, who has played Mr. McFeely on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, was on hand to make a “speedy delivery” of books for the project. Mr. Newell entertained several children by reading and singing with them. “When you read, you’re imagining,” said Mr. McFeely, “It’s pretending of sorts!”

The Little Free Libraries campaign is an ongoing fundraising and literacy awareness project.  Community leaders, corporations and CAS supporters are invited to sponsor a Little Free Library, which is an outdoor cabinet that provides easily accessible, free books to the community. Little Free Libraries will be placed near early childhood education centers, public housing communities, and lower income neighborhoods.

“Little Free Library users are encouraged to borrow books and donate books – new or used,” said Darlene J. Bigler, Community Action Southwest CEO. “In this way, we can provide books to children and adults, as a simple, effective and inexpensive way to promote language and literacy growth, and enhance education.”

Cathy Friend, Friend Aircare Co-Owner/CFO and Chairperson of CAS’ Little Free Library campaign; Becky Mancuso, 84 Lumber VP of Marketing & Public Relations; and Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan added their support to the project.

For each Inaugural Sponsorship, CAS will coordinate the construction of a Little Free Library using local manpower and ecofriendly resources. It will be installed in the community on the sponsor’s behalf, filled with books for children and adults of all ages and registered with LittleFreeLibraries.org. Each library will also be personalized with the sponsoring business’ logo or the name of someone the sponsor wishes to honor or memorialize. One sponsorship will enable CAS to construct, install, monitor and maintain the library for a full year. CAS plans to place at least 30 free libraries within the next year. 

The community is invited to participate in this initiative to help increase children’s literacy and opportunities for their success. Volunteers are being recruited to help construct and install the Little Free Libraries, and may contact CAS at https://caswg.org/volunteer, or by calling 724/225-9550. Donations can be made by pressing the Donate Now! button on the agency’s website at https://caswg.org, or mailed to CAS, 150 W. Beau Street, Suite 304, Washington, PA, 15301. Community Members are encouraged to participate in the free community book exchange. As the Little Free Libraries are erected, announcements will be made on CAS’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CASWG/

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Community Action Southwest is a local non-profit organization that strengthens families and builds community.  It is one of 43 community action agencies in PA and more than 1,100 nationwide, designated to implement strategies that alleviate poverty and help individuals and families reach and maintain self-sufficiency.