By William Odis Martin
NORWALK – Students at Field of Dreams Learning have launched a “Free Little Library” project that will install 20 small libraries around the community. On Tuesday, in collaboration with YouthBuild Los Angeles, 100 students from Norwalk, Compton, and Venice teamed up to build, paint, and catalogue over 5,000 books at a variety of reading levels.
“We are hoping to build literacy in order to combat the incarceration rate and the poverty level in our community,” said Sayaka Ponce, executive director of FoDL,a Norwalk non-profit.
“Students in our program conducted research and found a linkage between low reading skills and incarceration. We want to empower our community with knowledge through this project.”
It was an exhibition of just how much a diverse group with a mutual goal can accomplish. They collectively worked together to make positive impact within the community. Students and staff gathered in front the FoDL facility, located at 15014 Studebaker Road in Norwalk, for a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.
Sara Silva, the co-executive director of the YouthBuild organization, said, “Today is really a day for young people to show the amazing service that they are doing for their communities. We are building 20 little libraries to distribute throughout the city of Norwalk so that people who traditionally do not have the access to literacy materials can go and pick out a book and bring it back when they are finished.”
The launch of the Little Libraries Project was one of four simultaneous community development projects around the greater Los Angeles area to commemorate YouthBuild Day.
FoDL was founded in 2011 to provide young people between the ages of 16 through 24 with mentorship, vocational skills and guidance. Their goal is to empower the next generation of leaders with skills that will help them succeed in the real world.
Ponce and her attentive staff build one-on-one personal relationships with each of their students in order to provide individualized teaching methods. To learn more about how to donate books, visit fieldofdreamslearning.org or call (562)409-5567.