I mentioned in a post earlier this week that there was one task involved with getting my Little Free Library going that I was NOT looking forward to.
But I tackled it today, and I’m just hoping my actions will reap some results.
A very important aspect of having an LFL is gathering community support. For one thing, I want people in the neighborhood to know about the library so they’ll use it and enjoy it. Just as importantly, getting people on board and supportive will, I believe, go a long way toward preventing vandalism.
All along I’ve thought it would be very helpful to get the support of the librarians and administration of the two schools within blocks of our house. Smart, right? But here’s the issue:
For a year and a half I worked at the elementary school around the corner. And our kids went there, so I was a frequent visitor and volunteer. In those years, there was a P.E. teacher who truly despised our family. In my role as a paraprofessional I witnessed her regularly bullying children. When she was called out for bullying a special education kid, she blamed me for not TELLING her the kid was in special ed (as if that would have prevented her from being horrible to this child).
And then there were our kids. All three of them were in our district’s gifted program, which meant they were away from their home building one day each week. For various reasons, this sometimes meant that they came into their P.E. class late. This same teacher bullied them and berated them in front of the whole class when this happened. Along the lines of “You make me sick, wandering in here whenever you feel like it. You don’t get special treatment just because you’re in your sweet little gifted class.” My husband and I got to find ways to deal with this abuse without making the situation worse. Oodles of fun.
The problem is, the librarian of this school was always tight with that P.E. teacher. So, though I volunteered extensively for the librarian, she didn’t much care for me, either. Both are still at this school. I’m really afraid my overtures toward the school will be rejected – I’ve got a stomach full of butterflies over it.
So it wasn’t easy for me to send an email today, explaining the Little Free Library and asking to get together to talk about how the school kids could benefit from it. A friend suggested I copy the school principal on the message, in an attempt to force accountability.
My fingers are crossed. I’m hoping a sense of community and good will might win the day.