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BKD Family Helps Bring Books to Greater Nixa Community

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Nixa, Missouri, Welcomes Brand New Little Free Library

Callie’s family after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Rotary Park in Nixa, Missouri.

Callie’s family after the ribbon cutting ceremony at Rotary Park in Nixa, Missouri.

In August 2020, eight-year-old Avid Mitchell attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for his work to install a Little Free Library at Rotary Park in Nixa, Missouri. Avid told Ozarks Independent he “wanted to do this project because books are just my thing, and I wanted to help everyone have more books.”

Continuing education is an integral part of BKD culture. BKDers attend learning opportunities throughout the year, participate in BKD University, the firm’s online hub for personal and professional development courses, and consistently pursue their passions outside of the workplace. It’s no surprise that this core value extends throughout BKD families.

Callie Mitchell, Avid’s mom and an administrative team leader in BKD’s Springfield office, told Ozarks Independent “it was fun for [Avid] to see that he could align his passions with something that would benefit others.”

Avid’s school encouraged students to develop a mindful exploration project, with help from their families. The project could fit a variety of categories, including problem solving, helping others, creating, and learning. Avid considered building a treehouse or a lemonade stand or increasing recycling options, but ultimately, he felt a Little Free Library satisfied all four categories. During his research, Avid learned children who grow up in homes without books are on average three years behind those who grow up in homes with books. He wanted to help. This project gave Avid the opportunity to research, fundraise, communicate, and construct, while resulting in benefitting the community.

“Access to books is such an important step to future success,” says Callie. “Books are the one purchase we try never to deny our kids. Reading to them before bed is one of the highlights of my day. Even my 12-year-old still allows me to read to him.”

Avid raised $1,100 in donations, which gave him enough funds to purchase a premiere kit (more sustainable in varying weather conditions) from the Little Free Library organization. Avid still has more than $300 left in donations, which he plans to use to construct another library. In the meantime, he’s used some of these funds to mail inclusive, diverse, and bilingual books to other Little Free Libraries in need. Avid bikes to Rotary Park once a week to check in on the library and replenish it with book donations he continues to receive.

“Little Free Libraries have really grown in popularity since the pandemic,” says Callie. "I would encourage everyone to find one near them. It’s such a simple and fun way to pass along new books or books you no longer use. Plus, your kids will have fun helping!"

Visit Avid’s website for more information.

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