LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Budget concerns are putting the future of La Crosse’s South Branch Library in doubt, and some School of Technology and Arts (S.O.T.A) students want to do something about it.
“It just started from a little idea on a piece of paper, and then it grew and grew,” Save the Library club founder and S.O.T.A Elementary student Kaitlyn Erickson said.
Kaitlyn, only nine years old, carries many family memories with her from the South Branch Library.
“(Our family) would always ride the city bus to the library and I would dress up like a princess. We would then walk home and get some ice cream,” Kaitlyn said.
When Kaitlyn first heard about the possibility of the library closing down, she started the “Save the Library” club with her friends, to think of ways to raise money to help the community.
“If the library closed, then a lot of people would be sad and I would be sad because I go there a lot. I would just be heart-broken,” Kaitlyn said.
The group includes upwards of eight S.O.T.A students, and they’ve met at Kaitlyn’s grandmother’s house after school almost every Friday since November.
“She (Kaitlyn) felt very strongly about this. I wanted to help her achieve some degree of success,” grandmother Joyce Erickson said.
The group has made bracelets and opened a “Save Our South Branch Library” checking account at River Bank, which is open to anyone willing to make a donation.
“All donations are accepted. None are too small, and none are too big,” Joyce said.
Joyce said the club is very close to reaching its goal to raise $1,000, but money isn’t everything. Joyce said she believes this initiative instills leadership, cooperation, and self-confidence in Kaitlyn and her friends—something money can’t buy.
The club had a “read-a-thon” fundraiser in March, and they’ll host a second fundraiser on Saturday, April 26th at Javavino. Group members will sing and play songs, starting at 1 p.m. All proceeds from the event will go towards the “Save Our South Branch Library” checking account.
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