Books close the gap between ages, races, religions and income brackets. They enhance imagination, cross galaxies and bring new worlds into the hands of readers. Clairfield, Tennessee, native Sharon Petro understands the importance of literacy on many different levels.
“I want to get books into the hands of young children for two reasons. Children will enjoy a book and secondly, the nurturing that’s going on. When an adult is sitting with a child and a book, that’s priceless,” said Petro.
She decided to share her passion with the construction of Tree House Books for Kids in Sept. 2015 and the Little Free Library in Clairfield.
Tree House Books for Kids is a large building with sliding windows where people can come in, sit with their children and read, study or work on homework. The space is meant to provide a positive learning area to share in the joy of a book or doing something productive.
It is located at 6646 Highway 90 in Clairfield.
The Little Free Library is a small birdhouse-like building that has books inside. It is located in front of the Dayspring Family Health Center in Clairfield.
The purpose of this is to give families a way of quickly stopping by, any time of day, and grabbing a book to enjoy together. She has received donations for the Little Free Library through www.plenty.org and community members who back her efforts.
Petro is a retired preschool teacher, substitute teacher and teacher aide. She continues her efforts by volunteering with the Children’s Reading Foundation of Appalachia.
In her spare time, Petro is an avid turkey hunter and hiker. She is in the process of certifying with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to be a hunter education teacher.
If you would like to make a book request or give a donation to either of Petro’s libraries, contact her directly at 423-437-6981. More information about the libraries can also be found by searching on Facebook.
Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.