GRANJENO, Texas (KVEO) — A local nonprofit is on a mission to provide a low-resource community with the joy of reading right in their backyard.
Granjeno is a small city right along the border with a population of just over 300. At the start of the pandemic, its only park closed down.
“It’s becoming a little bit difficult to get children engaged within our community,” Granjeno Mayor, Yvette Cabrera said.
To provide youth with another outlet, South Texas Literacy Coalition is raising money to create a 24-hour access free little library.
“This will allow for individuals to come and grab a book,” Frank Lopez, STLC marketing and communication associate said. “We’re in quarantine. You want to get out of the house; you want to do something different.”
STLC serves more than a dozen counties through educational workshops and donating tens of thousands of books each year. The goal for Granjeno is to raise $1,000.
“Right now, with the pandemic, we’re trying to prevent contact with miscellaneous items because of health reasons,” STLC Programming and Outreach Associate Valeria Chong said. “So what we’re going to be pushing for this time being is come pick up a book, which is why we’re providing a whole year’s worth of (K-5) to 12th grade school level books.”
About one-fifth of the city’s population are children, and with the nearest library 10 miles away, Mayor Cabrera says having access to book within walking distance will make a world of a difference in shaping their brains.
“Picking up an actual book is very important, especially in this area,” she said. “Right now, we only have satellite and sometimes the service out here to get is very hard to get.”
STLC launched its fundraiser on giving Tuesday. With about half the amount already raised, Chong and Lopez say they feel optimistic for getting the library quickly set up.
Eventually, the coalition hopes to bring a little library to all parks in Hidalgo county.
The fundraiser will remain open until Tuesday, December 15.