Eden Prairie Boy Scout collects 7,100 kids' books
The project helped him become an Eagle Scout
Looking for a project to help him achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, 15-year-old Jeff Leppart became aware of a Lutheran kids’ ministry looking for more library books.
A member of the board at Kaleidoscope, an afterschool and summertime program for kids sponsored by two south Minneapolis ELCA congregations, suggested the project to Leppart, who is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Bloomington.
Kaleidoscope Executive Director, Jamie Spanks, told Metro Lutheran, “We thought we’d get one or two thousand books from this effort, and we knew we needed that many to replace copies that are wearing out. We also like to send books home with our participating kids, so they can develop reading skills at home.”
Leppart began laying strategy last September. He solicited 1,500 homes in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where he lives. Each house got a door-hanger bag and a message explaining what was being solicited. A week later he and some friends returned to pick up books that families had put in the bags and left out for him.
According to Spanks, Kaleidoscope was literally overwhelmed with the outpouring of children’s books the project generated. “Jeff showed up with his parents, other Scouts and friends, and boxes and boxes of books for us. We can use a maximum of 3,000 in our library. He brought us 7,100 children’s books!”
Kaleidoscope was so im-pressed with Leppart’s efforts, it presented him with a framed certificate of appreciation.
What will the ministry do with all those books? Spanks says, “We can use 2,000-2,500 copies. Some of the rest will go home with the kids in our program. And still others we’ll share with others who need books.”
Kaleidoscope serves 45 children in its afterschool program and 115 during the summer. Individuals wishing to serve as one-time or ongoing volunteers may call 612/871-9268.