PHOENIX — A Valley grandfather is building “little libraries” and installing them on elementary school campuses in Laveen to remind students about the importance of reading.
Daniel Magos constructed the first libraries in 2019 after a request by administrators. Families and business owners donate new and used books to keep the libraries stocked. Students are welcome to borrow books or keep them.
“I love the education system and any small contribution I can come up with, I’m glad to do it,” Magos said.
“They need to know that books are part of their life everywhere. It’s not just going to the city or school library,” said Laveen Elementary School principal Robert Kaplinger. “We want kids to build their libraries at home. We want families to read with their kids. Reading, reading, reading. It’s essential to everything.”
Schools face the challenge of keeping students interested in reading books. Studies by the U.S. Department of Education show the percentage of elementary-aged children who read for enjoyment has gradually declined since the mid-1980s.
“They have a lot of distractions like TikTok and Instagram,” Kaplinger said. “We make sure they are learning to read for long spans.”
For Magos, the libraries also provide a way for him to give back. His two daughters attended Phoenix schools and today are successful in the fields of finance and education.
“I’m proud to help,” Magos said. “And I’m not ready to retire and go into my rocking chair.”
Magos is also a crossing guard at Laveen Elementary School.
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