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Elementary School Librarian Reads to Students Through Personal Lawn Meetups

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - Nikki Capshaw is a librarian at Bret Harte Elementary School. When the school transitioned to virtual learning due to COVID-19, she reached out to families and offered to read to students, socially distanced, in their front lawn.

Photo Credit, Karina Gutierrez

Before she was hired back in Spring 2019, Capshaw had two daughters attend schools in the Burbank Unified School District. She never imagined that within a year, schools would close because of a pandemic.

When schools shut down, Capshaw felt the need to give back to her community. She began offering her time reading to children at their homes. Every week she reads a chapter a day to about 20 children at no cost. While some prefer to meet in person, others prefer connecting online.

“They just need something that’s a little bit normal like their old routine was,” said Capshaw.

Fidelia Sillas has a daughter who participates in Capshaw’s Lawn Library. Capshaw has read four books to Sillas’ daughter since the beginning of April. Sillas says it’s a good idea for the librarian to read to the students as it establishes a sense of normalcy for them.

Capshaw makes sure to maintain her distance when reading to the kids. At times few students will gather at a front yard and she will read to them while keeping a distance. While its unsure of when schools will open, Mrs. Capshaw will continue reading to the children until schools reopen.

By Karina Gutierrez

Photo, Karina Gutierrez

Video, Karina Gutierrez


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