Annual Giving

Corbett Prep Fifth Graders Establish Little Free Library

The Fifth Grade Leadership Council installed its first Little Free Library box to promote literacy and a love of reading.

Little Free Library

The Fifth Grade Leadership Council stands with George Page in front of the Little Free Library box that Page built for Corbett Prep.

Jan. 29, 2015 (TAMPA, Fla.) – A new library is open at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS that encourages reading with an environmentally friendly twist: “Leave a Book; Take a Book.”

The Fifth Grade Leadership Council installed its first Little Free Library box on the Eastside of the Corbett Prep campus as part of a community service project to benefit the school. People are encouraged to recycle their old books by bringing in books they have enjoyed and leaving them on the shelves for someone else. Anyone can stop by the Little Free Library to browse the collection and take a book that interests them.

All books are free. Regular, voluntary donations sustain the collection and ensure that visitors always find something to read.

Fifth grader Patrick Smith, an avid reader, shared the Little Free Library idea with the Leadership Council this school year after spotting several boxes in Dunedin, where his grandparents live. He loved the idea and the way the boxes looked.

“I just thought it would be a fun thing to do,” Patrick said.

Modeled after a birdhouse, the beautifully painted library box is located near the steps to the fifth grade classrooms and is easily accessible to all Intermediate students. The Leadership Council hopes to generate enough interest to build and install additional library boxes with collections geared toward Primary and Middle School students and possibly adults as well.

Building the box could have posed a challenge, but the Smith family lives next to George Page, who loves to build. He built the library box, adding a glass door to protect books from the elements. Patrick and his mother, Sarah, painted it.

Little Free Library

Students in the All-Star class hold up gummy worms and bookworms that the council brought to remind students to become bookworms.

Every year, the Fifth Grade Leadership Council selects two community service projects — one within Corbett Prep and one to reach a broader area, typically a used book sale that benefits the Cochlear Implant Assistance Program. Students join the Leadership Council by writing about leadership traits and sharing what they wrote with their class. Each Intermediate grade, third through fifth grade, has its own Leadership Council.

Sarah Smith said she was thrilled how the project came together and was proud of her son’s part. Smith has also officially registered Corbett Prep’s box as a member of the Little Free Library network, and it will appear on the world map.

More than 20,000 Little Free Libraries have been established worldwide, according to the nonprofit organization. The Little Free Library’s mission is to promote literacy and a love of reading and build a sense of community as participants share skills, creativity and wisdom.


Founded in 1968, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS (formerly Independent Day School - Corbett Campus) is a fully accredited, nonsectarian private school located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood. The school serves over 500 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and offers the International Baccalaureate program of study for all students. Teachers are endorsed in gifted education through a master’s level grant with the University of South Florida College of Education. Corbett Prep balances a dynamic, nurturing and safe learning environment with high standards and high expectations to develop a positive approach to life and learning. Corbett Prep has become recognized as an exemplary school with over 7,000 visitors observing and learning from Corbett Prep teachers. For more information, visit or contact the Admissions Office at (813) 961-3087.