“Little Library” Installed at Kennedy Park for Young Readers


Karen Fream, a Literacy Coach at the Multi-Cultural East End Community School, on Munjoy Hill with Her Son, Harrison, 17, Who Supervised  the Construction of the “Little Library” Behind Them.

Harison Fream (L) With One of His Volunteers, Adam Auricchio, 11.

Pam Leo, of Book Fairy Pantry Project (L) with Former First Lady of Maine Karen Baldacci, a Retired Teacher Who is an Advocate of Reading for Children.  She and the Former Governor, John, Live in Portland.  A Bubble Machine was Busy – Providing a Festive Atmosphere for all.

“I used to read a lot.  Reading is important for any kind of development,” said Harrison Fream, 17, at the installation of the “Little Library” in front of the Community Garden in  Kennedy Park this afternoon.

For Harrison this project was the completion of an Eagle project for a badge with the Boy Scouts.  It took this high senior about 150 hours to complete.  He had to get funding to purchase the material and supervise a team of about 20 volunteers who put in many hours on the project.  It’s built to last –  with a concrete base and constructed of pine with pressure treated wood.

The nearby Community Police office will watch over it – keeping it clean and replenished as needed.  “It was hard to do fund raising during a pandemic,” said Harrison.  But he managed to raise $600. for this Little Library and one to be installed at a later date in Riverton.  Lowe’s donated to the fund and the rest came from family and friends.

The books are to be supplied by Pam Leo, of the Book Fairy Pantry Project, who collects children’s books from a variety of sources. The non-profit is five years old and was originally established to serve those from birth to five years old.  But the age limit has increased due to the pandemic.  One of her supporters who attended the installation ceremony today is Former First Lady of Maine Karen Baldacci.  “Books are calming.  They are a way to escape and find yourself,” she said.

Harrison attends Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland,  with his twin brother, Gordon.  Gordon earned his own Eagle badge by making face masks for the homeless and students at the East End Community School where his mother Karen just happens to be employed.  Seniors in high school, both brothers intend to go on to college pursuing careers as naval architects.  Sailing has been an important part of their lives.

Asked who is the better student, Gordon laughed and answered:  “I’m not going to say!”

“I enjoyed volunteering for this project because I like helping people making projects to help others in need,” said Adam Auricchio, a 5th grade student.  Adam spent about ten hours constructing the box itself.  “If you work hard it will turn out to be a success. We can’t always do things alone.  Sometimes a team is needed.  Harrison had a team,” Adam said.