Kent Doehrman (left), Construction/HVACR teacher, helps students Marvin Rodas, 17, and Michael Lyons (right), 16, as they build book exchanges at Maxwell on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Students from Maxwell High School of Technology, are partnering with Gwinnett Coalition for GREAT (Gwinnett Reading Exchange & Art Transforms) Little Minds initiative to provide access to books, encourage art appreciation. Those tiny libraries will now be on exhibit at The Hudgens Center before being placed in needed areas of the county. (Hyosub Shin /

Students, artists efforts to enhance literacy on display this weekend

Students and community artists across Gwinnett County will get the opportunity to see the fruits of their hard work and generosity with a literacy event Saturday. Gwinnett Reading Exchange & Art Transforms Little Minds (G.R.E.A.T. Little Minds), a program of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, is hosting an exhibition to showcase miniature libraries built by students and decorated by members of the community.

There are two receptions set for 10 a.m. to noon to highlight educational partners and 2 to 4 p.m. to introduce many of the community artists at The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Building 300, Duluth.

"Our community partnership with the Hudgens Center for Art & Learning was the foundation of our Call for Artists on transforming the book exchanges into inspiring works of art,“ said Ellen Gerstein, Gwinnett Coalition’s Executive Director. “The exhibition is a way to invite the community to see a collaboration of providing access to early learning children’s books in a very creative way." 

Related story: Gwinnett students build tiny libraries in big literacy project

Back in October, students at Maxwell High School of Technology in the construction trades program built the components for 200 miniature libraries to be placed throughout the county — mainly in lower-income areas.

The partnership with the GREAT Little Minds project allowed the students to use their construction skills for a good cause.

The vision is to have free book exchanges, painted, adorned and transformed into works of art by local artists, in parks, churches, schools, early learning centers, health care facilities, homeless shelters, and other places where books are scarce. Anyone will be allowed to contribute or take books.


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