“[During] the pandemic... it was very challenging for parents to get to the libraries.”By Andrea Alvarez

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – One Hillsborough County teacher is using her “once upon a time” story to encourage her students outside of the classroom. She says she became joyfully empowered by books and wants to pass that same motivation on to students who don’t exactly have quick access.

“It brings me so much happiness when I fill it up with great books,” said Kimberly Preziosi, a teacher at Springhead Elementary. “They get to travel to another world, they get to go into the future and through that as well, they build empathy.”

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Empathy – something that comes easy to Preziosi.

“We kind of thought about where the need was,” she said. It started as a narrative between her and her husband. The next chapter would present something novel. Little libraries scattered among the community.

“These children are far from any public library so we want to bring the library to them. Madeline is our first one.” she explained, pointing to her first little library at he corner of the street. “Springhead Elementary has been phenomenal. The teachers there are donating books to help.”

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Part of her story, she says, was her mother’s influence.

“As my mom always says, I was just born to be a teacher. I was playing school and doing things like this when I was in my neighborhood from the time I was young, very young.”

More than two decades later, she’s encouraged readers in classrooms across the world.

“And most of the time teaching I have been focusing on reading,” she explained. And with empathy for young aspiring readers intact, she plans to continue rolling her cart and filling those little libraries with books… dozens of books.

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“I just want our children to be able to read. That’s the number one decision, we want them to be able to have access to books. Good quality books at that,” she said. She and her husband are working to install their third library in the next few weeks in another Plant City neighborhood.