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Grant from OnPoint Community Credit Union will go toward four little library boxes to be installed this summer

ONPOINT CCU - Gervais Elementary Principal Creighton Helms (left) accepted an Excellence in Education award from OnPoint Community Credit Union for GES recently.
Gervais Elementary School just got a little extra help for its summer project to install four small library boxes in front of its building this year.

GES was one of four schools to receive a $1,000 donation from OnPoint Community Credit Union as part of the local financial institution's annual Excellence in Education awards.

Gervais was selected to receive a Community Choice Award to help assist in the funding of a special school project — free little libraries — part of a larger community service project that will turn the outside of the elementary school into a small outdoor library this summer.

The prefabricated libraries are all-weather boxed enclosures that sit atop large posts, and each one will be filled with English and Spanish books dedicated to a specific level, from pre-kindergarten through early adult. The libraries will be installed along with several all-weather benches that will read "Gervais Elementary School" to create a welcoming reading area in front of the school.

The small outdoor libraries will be initially stocked with books from the school's main library, with hopes that the selection will quickly change throughout the year, as families are encouraged to leave a book from their own collection for every book they take.

The libraries will continually be restocked from the school collection in the case that books never return, an inconvenience that the school welcomes, since it means that is one more book in a home that otherwise didn't have it, said GES Principal Creighton Helms.

Because the all-weather libraries will be covered in sheet metal to combat the elements, students will be unable to customize them with original art, but will instead provide bookmarks and positive messages hidden inside the initial books for users to find.

The Excellence in Education award program has given out more than $275,000 in prizes to schools and educators over the past nine years.

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