WHEELING, W.Va., Jan. 14, 2020 — The City of Wheeling’s Department of Parks & Recreation is collaborating with West Liberty University and the Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) Education Honorary, XI Chapter, to establish Little Libraries at numerous public spaces, playgrounds, and ball fields in Wheeling.
Director of Parks Recreation Jesse Mestrovic said the City is excited to partner with WLU by adding more engagement and inclusivity along with improving the experience in the parks and recreational facilities.
“Literacy is a key component to a vibrant community. By installing more free little libraries throughout our community, it gets more books in our parks and creates more opportunities for our residents to read,” he said.
A free book sharing program and network, Little Libraries are designed to improve book access for all and literacy rates. Little Libraries have the potential to inspire a love of reading and to create a culture that values reading.
KDP Faculty Advisor Angela Curfman, who is an assistant professor of Teacher Education in WLU’s College of Education and Human Performance, said research has shown that book access is fundamental in literacy success.
“One of the most successful ways to improve the reading achievement of children is to increase their access to books, especially at home,” she said. “Academically, children growing up in homes without books are on average three years behind children in homes with lots of books.”
Kappa Delta Pi is one of the largest and most prestigious educational honor societies in the world. Students are invited to become members based on outstanding scholastic achievements in the field of education. Literacy and community service projects are fundamental KDP initiatives.
Wheeling Parks & Recreation and KDP are seeking the community’s assistance with building the little libraries and/or with monetary donations to purchase prefabricated little libraries. Those wishing to assist should contact Mestrovic at 304-234-3655 or via email at [email protected] or Curfman at 304-336-5584 or via email at [email protected].