KATY/FORT BEND COUNTY (Covering Katy News) - The Falcon Ranch area Walmart Neighborhood Market has added a library with free books in an effort to promote youth reading. The store is located at 24919 Westheimer Parkway at Falcon Landing Boulevard. It's very close to Rylander Elementary School.
Walmart Neighborhood Market stores are smaller than the traditional big box Walmart locations. They are designed to serve a neighborhood. A new youth reading initiative that's underway at the Falcon Ranch Walmart Neighborhood Market is accomplishing that goal.
"It started with a dream about a year ago," said store manager Tara Ferguson. "We wanted to do something to give back to the community and to encourage reading among our youth."
The project is an extension of what she's teaching her own kids.
"My husband and I have six kids," Ferguson said. "Most of the time they want to play video games, or swim in the pool, or play on the internet. We want to encourage reading. So, I thought why not do this at work and give back to the community. We have the elementary school across the street from us. It's just a fun way to give back."
So Ferguson and her staff started thinking about ways to provide free books to kids. They came up with the idea of a library that looks like a house that could be placed by the front door of the store.
"My associate said I might be able to build that," Ferguson said.
Last week her associate brought the completed book house into the store. They filled it up with books for kids, and even some books for adults.
"The purpose is to encourage reading and doing something different than playing video games."
The project was launched last Tuesday. Ferguson said she reached out to Falcon Ranch Home Owners' Association president Robert Serrett who promoted the project online. The neighborhood responded with numerous donations of books for the library.
"Now we have boxes of books waiting to be placed into the library," Ferguson said.
People don't have to return the books that they take, but they can if they want to do so.
"I'm excited and our customers are excited," she said.
Not only have residents been donating books, Walmart's customers are so excited about the project that they've been stopping by the store and taking pictures of their kids picking out books.
Ferguson is thankful for the support of the neighborhood around her store. She loves the little book house.
"We might need to get another one," she said.