Local mom shares love of reading
BY CURRENT IN WESTFIELD · MAY 24, 2016
By Jenna Liston
After creating a community project due for her class, Esther Mead decided her small library project needed to be more than just an assignment.
While being a mom of three, attending college to finish her teaching degree and being an active member in the community, Mead decided it was time to bring everyone together and spread literacy throughout the community.
“There is such a strong need for books in the community. Some kids don’t have any books at home and rely on the books given to them at school. I am trying to give these kids a chance to have those needs fulfilled for free,” Mead said.
The Itty Bitty Libraries will allow for those in the community to take a book in exchange with another book. The libraries are currently placed in front of the elementary schools allowing for students to ride their bikes along sidewalks to access them safely.
“The schools are a great resource for students to check out books but when the summer comes how can these children get a new book? Instead of having to drive to the library, these kids can now have a way to get a book closer to home,” Mead said.
Mead plans on expanding the libraries and eventually becoming a nonprofit organization that will have a library for every elementary school in Westfield. With the help of students from Westfield High School, the libraries are now being built and painted by construction and art students.
“We have had tremendous help from the high school librarian with coordinating students to work on this project and understanding what it means to help your community,” Mead said.
For more, visit facebook.com/IttyBittyLibrary.
Check out more of their posts! Go to http://girlvscity.com/ Enjoy!!
WOMEN WHO ROCK: ESTHER MEAD OF THE ITTY BITTY LIBRARY
WOMAN WEDNESDAY JANUARY 19, 2017 Today’s Woman Who Rocks is a little off schedule. My sincere apologies, life can happen and we had a small cross with this post in related to getting images to share. I decided to steal a few that I love from our rocking woman’s Facebook page (and hope she does not mind).
So far, I’ve been sharing some literary ladies. However, I want to include women from all walks of life. If you believe you are a woman who rocks, or want to nominate a woman who rocks for a feature, please fill out this survey (and follow the instructions about sending me your images).
Today, we will be featuring Esther Mead of Indianapolis and her darling project, the itty bitty library. I first met Esther in my previous life as a regional makeup artist for Aveda. She was a killer hairstylist in one of the salons I was guesting at and of all the girls that were there that day, she is the only one I remember. Esther has a zest for life that fills up the room immediately. She has a natural joy, a contagious laugh, and is always styled to perfection. Calm down, my feminist friends, I’m not saying that a woman has to be styled to rock, but if you want to embrace fashion and frill, do what makes your little heart happy and keeps you kicking ass.
Let’s dive in and meet this little dynamo, Esther Mead of the itty bitty library in Indianapolis, Indiana!
What led you to create your current business/project/organization/book/etc?There are kids growing up with out books in the home. After 3rd grade, kids read to learn. If they aren’t great readers, learning will be hard for them.
What makes your endeavor different or unique?
We provide a place for kids to get books and keep them as long as they would like. The itty bitty libraries are located in places kids can walk or bike to like in front of schools, churches, and parks.
What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle that you have overcome to date?
We rely on donations! Getting books can be fairly easy, however, materials to build and the actual building of the small structures is the MOST challenging. We are looking into recycling old newspaper stands in the future.
Who do you look up to in terms of mentoring or successful aspirations?
I look up to Leslie Knope and my friend, mentor, and professor, Dr. Barbara Wylie.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in your field (or changing their path)?
If you have passion for something it will happen. Passion is fire! It spreads from one person to the next. If what you want to do is helping others, you will succeed! Just jump in with both feet and know you WILL get wet, but the splash is worth it!
What advice would you give to someone who isn’t seeing the results they want?Think about it differently. Its always the ‘outside the box’ kind of thinking that can make things happen! Don’t give up!!
What makes your daily workflow or progress unique?
Hahaha! I am a fulltime student, I work about 35 hours a week at a school, I have three kids. Workflow? Ha! Its done everywhere I go. If I’m at Starbucks, I ask if I can put a donation box up. If I’m in the food store and see a kid I ask them what they like reading. No matter where I am, I will try to bring up the itty bitty library and the extreme importance of children’s literacy! I network A LOT! (Its a community effort!)
What is one ap or plugin that you absolutely cannot live without?
You can bring five guests alive or dead to your dinner table. Who would they be and why?
It's the time people all around are getting ready to buy stuff for their families, friends and coworkers. I just ditched a bit of homework to it and spend some quality time watching Matilda with my loved ones. I love that movie, and over the summer re-read the amazing book by Roald Dahl. As I was watching, Matilda reminded me that sometimes a book is a great place to go to get away from everything. It's also a great place to make new friends.
This year as you are shopping for your REAL family and friends, please consider giving a donation to us to help give the gift of books to children. Your donation helps with the building of new locations, more books (or friends and far off lands) to place into the hands of eager readers, and the spreading of our mission to create a more literate community.
---Right now you can donate 4 ways!
1)Financially through this website on our homepage.
2)Locally you can drop off new and gently used book donations at Barnes and Noble in Noblesville (Now - Christmas!).
3)Locally you can drop off new and gently used book donations at Starbucks @ 161st and Springmill Rd in Westfield.
4)Contact us if you have a rather large donation and we can work out a pick up! :)
Thank you! Without you, this would not be possible.
Some of these are quite disturbing, but this is why we (itty bitty library) do what we do...
1. Having books in the home is twice as important as the father’s education level. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2010
2. The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school. National Commission on Reading, 1985
3. The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998.
4. who struggle in vain with reading in the 1st grade soon decide that they neither like nor want to read. Juel, 1998
5. 2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. BegintoRead.com
6. Urging young people to read more when there is little available to read makes as much sense as urging starving people to eat, when no food is available. Krashen, 2007
7. In middle income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age appropriate book for every 300 children. Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006, p. 31.
8. 80% of preschool and afterschool programs serving low income populations have no age appropriate books for their children. Neuman, Susan B., et al. Access for All: Closing the Book Gap for Children in Early Education. Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2001, p. 3.
9. 61% of low income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.
10. Only 24% of Waukegan 6 year olds engage with books! 2009 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, United Way of Lake County 2010
11. More than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
12. Perhaps the most serious problem with current literacy campaigns is that they ignore, and even divert attention from, the real problem: Lack of access to books for children of poverty. Krashen, 2007
13. Each dropout, over his or her lifetime, costs the nation approximately $260,000. Rouse, C.E. (2005). “Labor market consequences of an inadequate education.” Paper prepared the Social Costs of Inadequate Education symposium, Teachers College Columbia University. October 2005
14. When the State of Arizona projects how many prison beds it will need, it factors in the number of kids who read well in fourth grade. (This is also true of MOST states!) Arizona Republic (915 2004) Advertisement by Sheahomes
15. The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low income children is to increase their access to print! Newman, Sanford, et all. “American’s Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy”; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000
16. Out of school reading habits of students has shown that even 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in a year. Anderson, Wilson, & Fielding, 1988
17. A single, brief exposure to good reading material can result in a clear increase in enthusiasm for reading. Ramos and Krashen, 1998; Cho and Krashen, 2002
I am the founder of itty bitty library, mother of 3, girlfriend to an amazing partner man, full-time student, employee of the best elementary school, concussion survivor, artist, and lover of coffee and chocolate (together or separate).
noun: The ability to read and write/ competence or knowledge/ fundamental part of all learning
noun: a group of people living in the same place/ sharing a common goal/ as a result having a feeling of fellowship with others