Tanglewood Elementary student starts ‘little free library’ in Fort Myers

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Photo WINK News
Evelin Rienzo shares books at her little free library at Jefferson Park in Fort Myers – Photo by WINK News.

A new structure will be installed to one Fort Myers park, and you can’t miss it. It’s brightly colored and was designed to get more people reading. Making reading fun for all, one Tanglewood Elementary student is sharing her passion and project with the community. 

Ten-year-old Evelin Rienzo transformed a newsstand into a library as an opportunity for her Fort Myers neighborhood to explore new worlds through the pages of recycled books. 

“This is my little free library,” Rienzo said.  

Rienzo is passionate about reading and sharing books with others. “Harry Potter,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Percy Jackson” novels are among her favorites.  

“If it’s a good book, I just disappear into the world of my book,” Rienzo said. “I’m hoping that they will love to read like me.” 

Rienzo receives help from And Literacy For All, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

“There are some of these little free libraries that we put 50 to 60 books in every week,” President Mary Corrigan said. “I’m just so proud of Evelin [because] she has stepped up and done this on her own.” 

Rienzo’s little free library will include children and adult books and be added here in Jefferson Park to invite everyone to experience the Tanglewood Elementary student’s passion.  

“I hope that when this project is done that everyone else will take a book and will want to read too,” Rienzo said.  

Rienzo has garnered the attention from her neighborhood and community leaders as well.  

“What an awesome addition to our neighborhood,” said Jenn Robinson, an employee of Lee County school district. “It’s encouraging and exciting because she’s taking initiative and designed this and worked so hard on it.” 

Rienzo’s mother is probably the most excited about her daughter’s positive actions toward her community. 

“I love it,” Jodi Rienzo said. “It’s inspiring, and I’m so proud of her.” 

Rienzo hopes this box brings books to more people in the community, who may not reach for them otherwise.  

“I really feel that we need to increase literacy in the community to those who can’t reach books as easily,” Rienzo said.  


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