OT: Boy Starts Program to Help Kids Read But City Won't Stand for It
by Suzee Skwiot
While some kids may be glad to be done with school for the summer, one Kansas boy was thrilled to be reading and sharing his love for books with his community. That was, until, his city decided to shut down his small library. The city says his "take a book, leave a book" stand was deemed an illegal "detached structure."
Apparently, the 9-year-old's neighbors complained about the large birdhouse-looking box, and the family received a formal letter from the city government asking them to take it down. Now they've moved it into their garage and away from the park bench.
Seriously? How does this make any sense? The structure was a simple bookshelf, designed to promote and encourage reading in the small community. Take a book, leave a book. It's a simple concept that we've seen pop up throughout cities and towns, but it seems like this one's not buying it. Apparently they must not like literacy.
And how discouraging is it for a little boy to learn that his ideas and charitable work are literally shut down by "the man?" He's only 9 years old and has already seen that his good ideas and pure intentions have been rejected.
Sadly, this is something our kids will all have to deal with at some point. They'll run into those pencil-pushing bean-counting types who will do anything to make life harder on them.
Not pleasant, but it's a life lesson, and one parents need to face head on. Teach the kids this is how people are, and teach them when and how to take a stand.
This little boy's showed him it's important to follow rules but also not to let a bump in the road completely destroy you.
Since they simply moved the box out of their front yard, his idea continues to live on, if only in another form. Hopefully that's a better lesson that he can take away from the otherwise disappointing situation. At least the parents didn't give up and are persevering despite the municipal setback.
Fight the power, fam!
Has your kid run up against "the man" yet?
What did you do to keep them from being too discouraged?