Read, return, repeat. That’s what Devin Carosi wants children and families to do with books in the little, red, community, library box in Johnstown’s West End.
“Fostering that love for learning. Starting young. Setting that foundation. Pushing it through the rest of their academic, professional careers,” said Carosi, a social studies teacher at Johnstown High School who started the Read, Return, Repeat project more than a year ago.
Carosi got a $5,000 grant and enlisted students to help build 25 library boxes.
“Hopefully, to them, this is life-changing for them. Hopefully, this is something setting a foundation for them that they do give back and obviously learn a little bit on the way,” Carosi said.
Word spread and donations came pouring in: 5,000 books and counting. With so many donations, Carosi said families are welcome to keep the books if they want.
Monday, the library box located at 315 Garfield Street was dedicated to Devin’s brother, Ryan Carosi, who was stabbed to death in Pittsburgh on August 13, 2017. The dedication ceremony took place on the anniversary of Ryan’s death.
“It means the world to myself, my family, friends,” Carosi said.
Ryan was a carpenter who first learned the trade at Johnstown High School. That’s why Devin said this labor of love is close to his heart.
“It just goes to show that regardless of some of the harsh times that we went through over the past year, that a lot of positive things can come out of this.”
The library boxes will also be filled with toiletries and warm hats and gloves in the winter. Donations can be dropped of at the Johnstown High School main office, addressed to Devin Carosi or the Johnstown Interact Club.