Kristen Jean, left, and Megan Smithwick with students Charlotte Hope and Emilee Donelly at the opening of the Street Library last week.

Whittlesea Community Garden unveiled its new Street Library earlier this month, bringing the community together in the sharing of books.

Put together by the Whittlesea Men’s Shed and painted by the students of Whittlesea Secondary College, WSC, the idea was presented to the school by Whittlesea Community Garden facilitator Megan Smithwick in early 2021.

The project was delayed due to COVID, and although the students who originally began work on the library have since graduated, the project was completed with the held of students from three semester cycles.

WSC teacher Kristen Jean, who taught some of the classes who put the Street Library together, said the intention was to encourage younger students to read more.

“The purpose of the Street Library is to bring community members together in the sharing of books,” she said.

“Our target audience was to be primary aged students or younger, those who may enjoy a walk to a little street library.

“It’s decorated in many recognisable Disney characters and furthermore, the hope is that a book could be enjoyed, shared and a love of literacy and reading will develop.”

The Street Library installed at Whittlesea Community Garden is one of two in Whittlesea, with a second one to be installed at the Lemon Tree site in Walnut Street.

The Lemon Tree was created in 2016 and has since received two mosaic hopscotches and a mosaic seat. WSC students work to maintain the Lemon Tree with help from Whittlesea’ primary schools as part of the Kids Teach Kids program, and the community is also welcome to help maintain the site.

Community members are encouraged to exchange their books with the Street Library, recycling them and providing an opportunity for others to enjoy them.

Whittlesea Community Garden is welcoming new members. For more information, people can call 9716 3361 or email communitygarden@whittleseach.com.au.

People are also encouraged to visit the Whittlesea Community House at 92A Church Street for more information about programs, courses and activities on offer.

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