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MEDINA READING CORNER – Rishika Bhojanapalli, a sophomore at SGC, saw a void in her community and created the Medina Reading Corner, a free mini-library geared toward children inside Medina City Hall. Parents can “check out” books for their kids any time City Hall is open. Photo by Logan Watson.

SGC student opens mini-library to Medina

By Logan Watson

The fact that Medina didn’t have its own library was unacceptable to a avid reader Rishika Bhojanapalli, but rather than drive to Humboldt or Milan, the sophomore at South Gibson County High School took matters into her own hands over her summer break.
“I’ve always loved to read,” said the soft-spoken member of the SCG Hornets Marching Band, “but Medina doesn’t have a library. Kids can use the library at school, but what do they do when school is out?”
In order to make sure that kids in Medina always had access to books, Bhojanapalli created the Medina Reading Corner, a mini-library inside Medina City Hall where kids can pick up something new to read any time of the year. With the help of her family, friends and the City of Medina, Bhojanapalli has amassed close to 250 books suitable for kids under the age of 10.
The collection includes Nancy Drew mysteries, books by Dr. Seuss and other traditional children’s literature, as well as a complete set of encyclopedias.
“Most of the books were donated by parents whose kids have outgrown them,” said Bhojanapalli, “but it’s not just for kids. I would like to add more young adult books, as well.”
Bhojanapalli, whose interests range from J.K. Rowling to Jane Austen, hopes that her library will spread to other locations in the city.
“It would be great if Rhodes Diner or some of the churches in town could spare room for a shelf,” she said.
Bhojanapalli’s idea has already outgrown its bookcase at City Hall, and donations continue to pour in.
“A lot of people have said that they want to donate since reading about it on Facebook. It’s a great way to get rid of any books that your kids are finished reading.”
The Medina Reading Corner operates on the honor system, but Bhojanapalli is not concerned about having the books returned.
“Many kids have gotten back into reading because of authors like J.K. Rowling, which is a good thing,” Bhojanapalli said, “but it’s important to start their love of reading early on.”
For more information on how you can donate books to the Medina Reading Corner or host a location at your business, contact Bhojanapalli at rishikab@live.com.

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