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Celebrating the next generation of readers!

Douglas County Health Department, Commissioners, Boy Scout Troop celebrate the opening of “Little Free Libraries”

Posted on December 11, 2023 2023News and Events


Pictured Left to Right: Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas; Guy Hopkins, Scout parent; Douglas County Commissioner George Teal; Mark, Scout Troop Leader; James Hopkins, Eagle Scout candidate; Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon; Heather, Scout Troop Leader; Tania Hopkins, Scout parent; Jean Newell, Douglas County Health Department

Do you remember your favorite books growing up ­­­- the ones that taught you life lessons and transported you on wild adventures? Knowing that not all children have access to the joys and benefits of books one Douglas County Boy Scout, soon-to-be Eagle Scout, decided to take action.

Today, the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners, the Douglas County Health Department, and Boy Scout Troop 628 gathered to introduce community children with their future favorite books at the unveiling of our new “Little Free Libraries!” Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and are accessible to all, removing barriers to book access.

This project was brought to life by James Hopkins, an Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 628, who used the service project to earn his Eagle Scout rank. James Hopkins worked with the Douglas County Health Department to host a book drive.

In September, you donated gently used baby, child, and teen books to the Reach Out and Read Colorado “Little Free Libraries” book drive. Your response was resounding! With the help of our partners, including the Aurora Book Outlet, 50 boxes of books were donated to stock the two libraries at two Douglas County Health Department locations in Castle Rock (410 Wilcox St.) and Lone Tree (9350 Heritage Hills Circle), and Douglas County Human Services (4400 Castleton Court in Castle Rock).

Families using these services will now have access to free books in the little libraries that James constructed himself. Community members can continue to donate books at any time, just by leaving them in one of the libraries. Reach Out and Read Colorado and The Aurora Book Outlet have committed to continually donating books for this effort.

“This is what community is all about,” said Commissioner George Teal, who also serves on the Douglas County Board of Health and has been an assistant Scoutmaster. “We are thankful to our new Eagle Scout, James Hopkins, who saw a need in our community and took action. Thank you for your dedication to scouting and to our community!”

Why is this project so important? Books and reading, although a simple thing, have profound impacts to health of children and families. Reading early and often stimulates brain development, creates strong bonds between caregivers and children, improves kindergarten readiness and contributes to lifelong academic success.

As part of the Douglas County Health Department, the Douglas County Maternal and Child Health program’s focus is to enhance the social and emotional well-being of families in our community. Governed by a Board of Health, your Health Department is providing services in sync with the unique needs of Douglas County. Learn more on our website.

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