PED Building Gets Little Library To Promote Literacy

During a visit today, Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus, 3rd from right, thanks students and staff from Media Arts Collaborative Charter School in Santa Fe, who designed and built the little library. Courtesy/NMPED

A close-up of the little library, which is clad in license plates from all over the U.S. Courtesy/NMPED

PED News:

  • Media Arts Collaborative Charter School built and donated the it little lending library

SANTA FE – Students from an Albuquerque charter school put finishing touches today on a little lending library as it was installed outside the Public Education Department building in Santa Fe to celebrate New Mexico’s Year of Literacy.

Students with learning challenges in grades six through 11 at Media Arts Collaborative Charter School built the little library during math and English resource classes with teacher Paul Meeker and career and technical education instructor Andrew Barrow. Resource classes are provided for special education students and general education students who need specialized instruction in a small-group setting for a portion of the school day.

Workers from the state’s General Services Department installed the completed library in front of the Jerry Apodaca Building, 300 Don Gaspar Ave., as the students and their teacher watched and applauded.

“This is a functional and beautiful representation of New Mexico’s commitment to literacy,” Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus said. “Anyone coming to the state capitol complex is welcome to take a book or leave a book for others. We are grateful to the students and staff at Media Arts Collaborative Charter School and to members of the public who donated books to stock our little library.”

New Mexico state government workers and members of the public donated dozens of books, which PED staff members pulled out to the installation site in a red wagon to stock the little library.

The little library, made of plexiglass, plywood and license plates from all over the country, was first completed in 2018 as part of a class project titled “Books Take You Places.”

 When Steinhaus declared the 2021-2022 school year New Mexico’s Year of Literacy and invited schools to build a little library for the PED building, Meeker decided to redo the original build with help from the original students.

“Those students (the oldest now in 11th grade), plus a couple others with learning challenges who joined our school after the first painted build, picked up the project again this past fall once COVID-induced remote schooling ceased, and we all returned to campus,” Meeker said. “They decided a redo was appropriate with a new door and a new skin of license plates.”

Although he served as project sponsor and safety officer, at least 90 percent of the work was done by students, Meeker said. 

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