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GREENSBORO -- Ten free, miniature libraries are coming soon to parks in Greensboro city parks, in an effort to promote literacy in the Triad community.

Tuesday morning, BB&T employees, students in General Greene Elementary's ACES program, United Way members and Reading Connections employees converged in Festival Park to begin constructing and stocking the "little libraries."

Reading Connections development director Christy Collum explained the libraries, which resemble large bird houses, will remain open to the public around the clock and will be restocked, as needed. Collum said she encourages anyone to take a book, keep it if he or she wishes and bring back another book to share with the community.

Will Shupe, the executive vice-president of BB&T, explained the constructing of the libraries has become an aspect of the company's Lighthouse Project outreach program. He said the company's goal was to complete all 10 libraries by the end of Tuesday.

Collum said Greensboro Parks and Recreation will begin installing the libraries at the parks within the week--before the expected summer decline in reading rates.

"We believe this will help with the summer slide and help get books into the hands of kids who might not have quick, ready access to them," she said.

General Greene Elementary students helped collect donated books to stock the first set of libraries. Volvo also donated 4,000 books last year for the project.

General Greene fourth-grade student Cayla Johnson acknowledged the benefits of the little libraries. She said, "If they want to learn how to read, they can come to one of the parks and get a book and learn how to read with others who can assist them."

Second-grade student Emily Hill said, "If you couldn't read, you couldn't read signs, you couldn't read music, you couldn't read nothing, and you wouldn't know how to read for the rest of your life maybe."

Collum said the broad objective is to put the little libraries in all 300 Guilford County parks.

For information about how to donate, contact Reading Connections through its website.

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