Building a Library

Driving Question

How can we build and curate a library in our new building in the “Woods” space?
Grades Involved


What PBE Principles were highlighted in this project?

Community as Classroom, Learner-Centered, Design Thinking

Project Description

One of the neat things about Mountain River School moving to a new campus at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, is that students had a unique opportunity to design and be stewards of their own learning environment. Meadows (grades 3-5) and Forests (grades 6-8) students have been challenged to design, build and curate a library in the “Woods Building,” where their classrooms are located. Students have been grouped into three working committees: Organization, Protocol, and Celebration. The committees were selected based on observations during our Waterbury Public Library visit, class discussions, and prior knowledge. Students showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm as they worked together on important logistical tasks, such as: sorting and organizing books selecting categories and creating a system for shelving developing rules for checking out books designing book displays and reading areas.

 How did this positively impact community? How was it shared?

Through this project, we have made new connections in our community – with the Waterbury Public Library, which has served as an inspiration and a tremendous resource for us, as well as with family members who have volunteered and are contributing to our efforts. Building a Library is providing our Meadows and Forests students with a novel opportunity to collaborate amongst themselves, to share their authentic knowledge and ideas, to communicate and gain consensus, and to ultimately use their voices to influence their own learning environment.


The Woods Building Library is up and running as of the end of October. And there is a lot of excitement for reading as a result of spending so much time working with our entire book collection!

Read more about this project on the blog