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Local 5th Grader’s Little Free Library Sparks Connections with Books and Alexian Village’s Older Adult Residents


Ariana Trausch, a 5th grader at Salt Creek ElementaryIn supportive living community Alexian Village’s living room sits an adorable little free library stocked with children and adult books for everyone’s reading pleasure thanks to local fifth-grader, Ariana Trausch. Ariana’s little free library offers Alexian Village’s older adult residents and their guests a choice of books to read, but what’s more, her good deed comes with good reads when the fifth-grader visits every two weeks to re-stock books and read aloud to whomever is up for listening to a good story.

The idea to build the little library came from a class project at nearby Salt Creek Elementary School that challenged grade school students to find ways to follow their passions. “I decided to share books with my community, because I love reading,” said Ariana, an 11-year-old from Elk Grove who brought the library to Alexian Village in April.

Alexian Village residents love that Ariana chose to place her little free library in their community room. “They look forward to Ariana’s visits to see what new books she will bring and what story she will pick to read,” said Alexian Village’s Community Life Manager Andi Rothenberg. “The little free library is a wonderful complement to our cozy home environment and encourages more reading.”

To make the little library possible, Ariana raised about $200 through a GoFundMe website to pay for building materials and books. Her teacher’s handy husband made the custom-built library, and Ariana filled it with second-hand books from the Salvation Army, Goodwill and donations.

Adult and children books are available for borrowing, and each are marked with a sticker that says, “Thanks for sharing my love of reading.”

Ariana’s next story hour is planned for Monday, May 15, at 4pm at Alexian Village, located at 975 Martha St, Elk Grove Village. “Having a young and passionate reader as the caretaker of our little library is such a treat for the residents, who welcome the opportunity to share books and conversation,” Rothenberg said.

Owned and operated by Pathway Senior Living, Alexian Village is a supportive living community offering award-winning VIVA! programming and wellness care, quality residential accommodations, amenities and support services at affordable prices. For more information, visit or call us today!