The Free Little Libraries was a service project started by Junior Miss Leslie Lind Holm in 2017, as a member of the Copperas Cove Five Hills Royalty.

Since then, other members have kept the project going. This year, 5-year-old Miniature Mister Five Hills Maddox Tobias made this his service project.

The Free Little Libraries were set up to create a place where CCISD students could come and pick out a free book, take it home, read and enjoy. The great part is that they do not have to return the books; they can read them over and over.

This was the first time since the project was started in 2017 that each bookstand was given a complete makeover.

Miniature Mister Five Hills Maddox Tobias, Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer, Senior Ms. Five Hills Dawn Hale, 2020 Teen Miss Krist Kindl Emily Kimball, Senior Ms. Kristl Kindl Bonnie Turner, Jillian Tobias, and Jose Tobias all pitched in by cleaning each stand, painting them all a beautiful shade of blue, “Free Little Libraries” signs were put on each one, they made them all look brand new.

Maddox Tobias chose the Free Little Libraries as his service project because, he said, “I love reading, and I want other kids to enjoy reading. They can pick up a book anytime day or night. It has been a fun experience. It is really important for kids to have access to free books.”

Maddox, who is almost in Kindergarten, says that his favorite books are a part series called “Notebooks of Doom,” also he loves scary books

Sherwin Williams of Copperas Cove donated the paint and supplies for the refurbishment project, Home Base of Copperas Cove provided the Plexiglass for each stand, and Cali Signs made the signs for each stand. The Killeen Daily Herald donated all of the newspaper stands, which are now the Free Little Libraries.

Jillian Tobias, Maddox Tobias’s mother, said, “I am not surprised that Maddox chose this as his service project because he loves reading, he loves helping others. When we found out about this project, we knew Maddox would be passionate about doing this.

“These libraries are important right now especially during the pandemic so kids can get a book and take it home and enjoy.”

Mrs. Tobias added that they replace the little library stand with new books every few weeks, wipe down and sanitize every book, and clean the stands.

“We get many donations of books so we are able to swap them out pretty regularly,” she said.

Wendy Sledd, director of the Copperas Cove Five Hills Royalty and the Communications Director for the Copperas Cove Independent School District, said, “This is the first time since the project was started by Junior Miss Leslie Lindholm in 2017 that we have done a refurbishment on all of the Free Little Library stations around town.”

Jose Tobias, Maddox’s father, said “I think that with him doing this project, it sets a great foundation for him and it teaches him a great work ethic, and how to support his community and be a part of things something more than himself.

“I think this a great thing for kids as a way to entertain themselves other than playing video games. I also like the fact that they can pick up a free book, take them home and not have to bring them back.”

Emily Kimball, the 2020 Teen Miss Krist Kindl, said, “I like the fact that these kids get the opportunity to get a book whenever they need to and can get them right in front of their school.”

Hayley Sawyer, the 2020 Five Hills Junior Ambassador, said, “I love that we get to help with their education, and reading. I also like that they don’t have to buy the book from a bookstore, or have to return it, they can keep it and enjoy them for years to come.”

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