Running, jumping, climbing and reading.
That all comes together at the recently upgraded Belzak Park in Patchogue, where on Friday a Little Free Library was unveiled to the public.
The “take a book, return a book” structure went up Monday just a few yards from the new playground off Lakeland Avenue.
It came courtesy of longtime neighborhood resident and schoolteacher Patricia Lee, whose dad, Tony Scalercio, did the construction work.
“I couldn’t have done it without him,” said Lee. “I always have some sort of project for him; he always pulls through.”
She also got help from her two children.
Her son and daughter each donated books and helped with labeling. The kids now enjoy checking the library to see who signed in, their mom said.
“To be able to share my love of reading and books with kids is exciting,” said Lee. “I think it’s important to give back to the community, and literacy is very, very important.”
Part of a global project, there are now over 75,000 such structures in 88 countries, according to the Little Free Library website.
Locally there are such libraries in Bellport and near Corey Beach.
Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri on Friday talked about how the little library in the park, and other literacy awareness efforts, “really rounds out who we are as a community.”
“We take our kids to parks for a lot of reasons … to play, to be with family, once you add this element to it, you’re telling them a whole a different story,” Pontieri said. “It’s about being healthy, it’s about family, but it’s also about education.”
Pontieri mentioned he’d like to see the village erect a staked sign that draws additional attention to the structure.
“So it jumps out at you as something as important,” he said.
Top Photo: Mayor Paul Pontieri, Patchogue Village Trustee Joseph Keyes, resident Patricia Lee, her daughter Addison and father, Tony Scalercio, with the new Little Free Library at Belzak Park on Friday (Credit: Michael White)