Community Outreach Center gets Little Free Library

Ector County ISD’s Community Outreach Center became got its first Little Free Library Monday, courtesy of Georgia Hayse.
Hayse has given of her time with ECISD’s Volunteers & Partners program for 30 years since her two sons were young. Most of her three decades have been spent at Gonzales Elementary School.
She purchased the Little Free Library, which is shaped like a small house and has a glass front door, and decorated it.
“I’m a a firm believer that children need to read. They need access to books,” Hayse said. “Not everybody can make it to the library …”
Hayse credits a teacher named Jesse Smith with starting her volunteer career.
“She thought I could hang the moon when I didn’t think I could and she taught me at 34 years old that I didn’t have to be scared to talk in front of people. I could handle things and so I’ve been doing it ever since,” Hayse said.
The children are what keeps her going.
“I love kids. I love when the little light bulb goes off. They struggle and struggle then all of a sudden one day it’s bing,” Hayse said.
A native Odessan, Hayse and her husband, Wilbur, have two sons. The couple has been married for 43 years.
Scott Randolph, director of school attendance at the Community Outreach Center, said families come through when they register for school. This is the first official Little Free Library the center has had.
“In the past, we’ve had a little Tupperware box on the ground that said ‘free’ and every once in a while we would have books, so this the first real system like this we have,” Randolph said.
He added that he thinks people will enjoy having it there. It will be placed outside on a stand and include books for all ages.
“Often times, we’ll get families that will be in shelters and they really have nothing with them, so whenever they would see free stuff in the box they’ll take it. The kids love it. It’s definitely needed. We also have a food bank here, so families that are needy will come and they’ll get food and stuff like that so this just ties into the education so beautifully,” Randolph said.
He added that he can obtain clothes and they have a uniform closet and can help with basic needs.
Debbie Lieb, community engagement specialist-volunteers, said VIPS’ goal was to have a Little Free Library at every campus. “Georgia just said let me buy one; where do we need one and so this is the place. She bought it, she decorated it; she’s donating it,” Lieb said.
“She has such a generous heart. She keeps giving,” Lieb added.
She said she loves reading.
“It’s one of my favorite things and I really want everyone to have access to books to read. I love to cook, so cookbooks are always fun; getting new recipes as well. … This is my hometown, so I love giving back to my community,” Lieb said.
She added that she has two Little Free Libraries that need to be adopted and she needs volunteer to deliver meals to ECISD’s remote learners. If anyone is interested, they should contact Lieb at 432-456-9012 or deborah.lieb@ectorcountyisd.org.