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N.B. mother and son hope mini outdoor libraries encourage kids to read

Click to play video: 'NB mother and son make mini outdoor libraries to encourage more kids to read'
NB mother and son make mini outdoor libraries to encourage more kids to read
WATCH ABOVE: A Sussex mother and her 5-year-old son are spreading their love of reading by making mini-libraries and placing them throughout the community. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports – Sep 23, 2016

A Sussex mother and her 5-year-old son are spreading their love of reading, making mini-libraries and placing them throughout their community.

Their hope? That the increased access will encourage more young New Brunswickers to fall in love with books.

“You can see the whole world without ever leaving your living room — [reading is] important, learn and grow, it’s fun,” said Kathleen Crawford who is making the little libraries with her son Connor.

The mother-son team fill the boxes with free children’s books and place them in various play parks around Sussex.

“You can take books or leave books or just sit there and read books,” Kathleen said.

She says there is no library card required, or late fees. She’s just hoping that parents and kids will grab a book and read more often.

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“The first one was easy,” she said. “I just took a filing cabinet out of my sister-in-law’s closet and spray painted it with fun colours and wrote Dr. Seuss quotes on it. I love Dr. Seuss.”

Her latest creation is in the shape of a covered bridge, which she says seemed like a fitting design for New Brunswick.

New Brunswick has low literacy rate

The province still has among the lowest literacy rates in the country.

“I think it is because kids spend more time playing on tablets than they do reading,” Kathleen said.

READ MORE: New Brunswick literacy expert calls for more training to teach children how to read

Kathleen says she reads to Connor every day and she’s trying to encourage more parents to do the same. The bright coloured little library boxes are meant to entice children to take a look inside.

Connor says his favourite parts of the project are “the books that you put in it and the spray paint.”

He puts books from his own collection in the boxes, happy to share his love of reading.

Kathleen says she will check on the boxes every week to make sure they’re being used and not abused.

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