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Rondout Valley Teacher Creates Children’s Library to Inspire a Love for Reading in the Kerhonkson Community

Kerhonkson Elementary School is proud to announce the opening of the Little Ganders Library, a community book-sharing initiative for children led by Special Education teacher Gerald Cheers. Students had expressed the need for a nearby location where they could borrow books, Cheers explained, as there is no public library in the Town of Kerhonkson. 

The construction of the library was a collaborative effort, with contributions from faculty and staff, parents and guardians, and community members. Cheers used recycled wood to build the structure from scratch in his free time. The Bauls, a Kerhonkson Elementary School family, installed finishing touches including cedar siding, a metal roof, and doors. To secure the structure, the Rondout Valley Central School District Facilities Department installed posts set in concrete near the entrance of the school. Kerhonkson Elementary School Teaching Assistant Julianna Bonelli created the colorful poster that adorns the library’s window. The library is currently stocked with books donated by families. 

Cheers hopes that this new addition to the school will encourage students and children in the community to engage in reading, and to share their favorite books with one another. The library will allow books to be more accessible to the children in the community all year long. The suggestion is the “take a book, leave a book” approach, Cheers said, but all are welcome to browse the library’s offerings. The library is only accepting books geared towards children. To donate books, community members can place them in the Little Ganders Library directly. 

Cheers is happy to see the project come to life. "I wanted to create a space where our students could explore new worlds through books and stories that they love right in their town," he said. "The Little Ganders Library is a wonderful way to build a sense of community and foster a lifelong love of reading." 

Kerhonkson Elementary School Principal Jacqueline Vannosdall is proud of the school community’s collaborative efforts. "This initiative embodies the spirit of our school community,” she said. ‘It provides a resource that can be enjoyed by everyone and highlights the importance of reading in education and in life."