Our Early Intervention/school Professional Development Coordinator Wendy Deters tells us how our new Little Free Library came to be:
“There is a saying in my house when something breaks or needs to be put back together: “Papa can fix it.” Papa is my dad Andy Ban.
My dad had a long and successful career as a mechanical engineer. But he is now retired and spends his time riding his recumbent trike, swimming, reading, socializing, being a father to my sister and me and a papa to my two boys — and of course still fixing things.
His engineering background and handiness make him an incredible woodworker, which is really his main hobby. His talents span from making toys to furniture like bookshelves and coffee tables. The joke is that we cannot mention a project in passing to my dad if we do not want it to end up in one of our houses a week later.
One evening, as my family walked around the neighborhood where my sister lives, we passed a “Little Free Library.” I told my dad how wonderful I thought they were but that they were actually quite expensive to buy a kit and make one.
When I turned around he had gone back to take pictures and examine the details of the library. About three weeks later, my parents came to my house and my dad asked me to come to his car and help him unload something. He surprised me with our own Little Free Library that he had created himself. We were thrilled.
Later that month I mentioned that it would be wonderful to have a Little Free Library in front of Child’s Voice. I should have known that soon that passive comment would result in this beautiful addition to our newly renewed building.
What makes this even more special is that my dad is also a bilateral cochlear implant user. My dad lost his hearing to meningitis as a baby in Hungary during WWII. Through his tenacity and intelligence, he learned to listen and talk. His family immigrated as refugees to the United States from Hungary where he continued his education.
He and my mother, who is also a bilateral cochlear implant user, have always been active in the deaf community and are actually the people who introduced me to Child’s Voice when I was in college.
I am forever grateful for that and Child’s Voice remains a very special place for my family and me.
Our hope is that this Little Free Library is just one more representation of the power and potential of individuals with hearing loss, just like my dad and all of the children who attend Child’s Voice. It is already filled with books to share so please stop by outside and leave a book or take a book and read with joy!”