Little Free Library

Jim Unkenholz installs a Little Free Library along 12th Street South in front of the Open Door Community Center in Bismarck on Wednesday morning. Watching are students at the Christian preschool who, after the library was installed, each placed a book inside the wooden box made by Unkenholz and decorated by the kids. For a video of the kids filling the library with books, go to www.bismarcktribune.com.

One by one Wednesday, preschoolers at the Open Door Community Center placed books in the new "little free library" installed that morning.

All 22 kids recently stuck their hands in paint to decorate the exterior with a colorful garden, each handprint forming a flower head.

The new library contains books for new readers and ones for elementary-aged children, as well as books on crafts. Kids can take them as they please and return them or place other books inside.

Also on the shelf is a bible.

"That's what makes us unique," director Jolene Puhalla said.

Open Door offers Christian-based preschool education and is governed by local United Methodist churches.

The little library was installed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Open Door.

A member of the anniversary committee, Jim Unkenholz, volunteered to build the structure. Puhalla said he made one at his home and used the same design for the one at the preschool. Randy Nelson contributed supplies.

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(Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8267 or amy.sisk@bismarcktribune.com.)