The Waldo Project
“The Waldo Project” is a collaboration between the Lake Oswego Public Library, the Kiwanis Club of Lake Oswego and Hunger Fighters Oregon. For years, children have jumped at the chance to find a 5-inch-tall Waldo in the Lake Oswego Children’s Library. Now, we are turning that excitement toward an altruistic project that delivers free, new books to the homes of families in our community.
Research shows that children have much to gain, even beyond literacy, from having plenty of books at home, and that children who grow up surrounded by books have greater success when entering Kindergarten. The Kiwanis Club has generously donated funds to purchase new, high quality picture books and early readers, and the library is matching their donation with grant funding from the State Library. Hunger Fighters Oregon, our local food pantry, will distribute the books to their clients as a means of spreading the joy of reading.
Now, when a child finds Waldo in his hiding spot, they go straight to a vintage gumball machine filled with wooden tokens. After turning the crank and retrieving a token, they drop it into a jar which designates how many books will be distributed. The importance of having books at home, and of making a difference in your community, are important conversations our youth librarians are having with our patrons. Not surprisingly, our kids are super excited to be searching for Waldo again.