With limited access to libraries and many bookstores closed, one Morris Park teacher wanted to come up with a way for her students and the community to get books for free.
Roseanna Ayala, 33, a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 83, said she coincidentally came across the Little Free Library online and upon further research, became intrigued by the idea.
“The design of the Little Free Library makes reading appealing and fun,” she said. “It feels almost like a book club.”
She then broached the idea of creating a Little Free Library with her students, who were immediately on board.
The idea is simple: participants can set up newspaper cartons or boxes filled with books in front of homes, business or schools. Those who are interested can peruse the literary offerings and either take a book or leave one.
Ayala is a Norwood resident who has taught in Morris Park for eight years and told the Bronx Times after doing research about the free library, she discovered there were none in the Bronx. The closest one is in New Rochelle.
“They’re really excited,” she said. “The kids have reached out and talked about it.”
Ayala put the first library in front of her school in June and has plans to put ones in front of Sweet Water Dance and Yoga near Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Native Shop. Also on Aug. 10, the Morning Call, a newspaper in Pennsylvania, donated 10 boxes for books.
But, Ayala is confident she will find 10 homes in the near future. She shared that books from the first library have already been taken.
“I’m trying to create a network,” she commented. “The goal is to create some type of roadmap.”