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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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When Chris Peters became Harborcreek High School's librarian this year, she wanted to see through idea to make space relevant to tech-savvy teens who had little use for encyclopedias. With a team of volunteers, Peters unscrews wooden bookshelves anchor to cement floors. They take every book off every shelf. They buy Keurig coffeemakers and K-cups, sofas and rocking chairs, record players and vinyl records. They instal black chalkboard and paint few walls orange, one of the school's colors. A local contractor lends his time and skills to transform old shelves into tables. That wasn't all. Peters turned one area into a makerspace where kids tinker and create. And she halve librarian's office to make a kitchen for the Cafe. Some of it, she admit, was done without permission of maintenance personnel. But her vision in its entirety has come with overwhelming support from fellow teachers, staff members, administrators and school board members. Peters, elementary school teacher in the district for 24 years and elementary librarian for the last four, came to the High School library with grand plans. Hook, line and sinker, she says about impetus for her idea. I want to get kids in here. If they're in here, then they could be taking advantage of all the resources we have. You know, my goal for this is that they would read more because I firmly believe that the more you read, the smarter you are. At times in life when pressures of the world can stress and strain students, library, Peters think, could be a place to unwind, relax and engage others in friendly conversation or game of checkers. And it also could serve as a place of inclusiveness. That's why Peters, in coordination with friend and learning support teacher Amy Vande Merwe, started Common Ground Cafe. Vande Merwe's special-needs students take and fill orders, take stock of inventory and count money that students, teachers and staff members pay for cups of coffee, iced frappes and other beverages. What used to be a place to check out and turn in library books now doubles as a cafe counter. Students Gia Flood, Isaiah Langer-Williamson, Seth Brock, Manny Grandinetti and Justin Legenzoff run business, profits from which will one day go toward post-secondary scholarships for special-needs students. Grandinetti, eighth-grader at junior High, calls it her favorite place. Grandinetti, 13, has wanted a job since she was 4. Legenzoff only came to the school library to check out books before this year. Now he spends mornings meeting other students, making friends and gaining real-world experience, He says students come in, come out and I'm just taking orders for coffee, any kind of beverage, Legenzoff, 18-year-old senior, say. I like seeing their face. It's good work opportunity for students. Flood says making friends is her favorite part of her job at Common Ground Cafe. I always make new friends every day, Flood, 17-year-old senior, say.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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