United Way Installs 20th Little Free Library in Region
RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 24, 2023) – United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg has installed its 20th Little Free Library at the Patrick Henry YMCA located at 217 Ashcake Road in Ashland. The installation was supported by volunteers from Pitney Bowes, a shipping and mailing company located in Ashland.
In collaboration with Truist, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg is adding 10 more Little Free Library installation sites throughout the region as part of the movement to increase literacy rates in Metro Richmond.
Little Free Libraries are small, publicly accessible book-sharing structures that encourage children to read and provide families with easy access to new and used books. Community members trade books and United Way volunteers also restock them regularly.
Over the past five years, youth literacy rates have steadily dropped across the region. In 2021, the Richmond area saw that nearly 40% of students were not reading on grade-level by third grade.
“We’re thrilled to reach this milestone for our Little Free Libraries,” said Tiffani Beissel, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s volunteer manager. “Increasing access to books and encouraging a love for reading early on helps ensure children are reading at grade-level by third grade. We are incredibly grateful to Truist for its continued support and to Pitney Bowes, for helping to helping to make this milestone possible.”