Victorville, CA: Local Boy Scout collaborates with Victorville Fire Department and builds four lending libraries to be set up in front of four fire stations.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Sources: City of Victorville Public Information Officer Sue Jones and Boy Scouts of America (Press Release and Information)

Pictures: City of Victorville (Courtesy)

Victorville, California: Local Boy Scout, Mahkai Shelton has collaborated with the Victorville Fire Department to build four lending libraries for his final service project to become an Eagle Scout – the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouts of America (Scouts BSA).  Shelton (14), a member of Scouts BSA Troop 5679 and an eighth grader at Lakeview Leadership Academy, created the lending libraries to make it possible for residents to have access to free books right in their neighborhoods.  Community members are welcome to take a book or leave a book for others to enjoy.

Kai’s Unity Book Boxes are in front of Victorville Fire Stations 312, 313, 314, and 315.  Placing the lending libraries at Victorville Fire Stations was important to Mahkai as he plans to pursue a career in the fire service.  A fifth box is located at Green Tree East Leadership Academy.

“I remember in the third grade I didn’t have access to books.  I chose to build these boxes to provide a free reading source for children in our community and hope to inspire others to build more book boxes,” said Shelton.

Shelton led a team of 13 Scouts and two adult leaders to build and install the book boxes in just two days using donated materials and weather-proof paint.  Each box features a solar light and a leash hook for visitors with pets. Community members generously donated nearly 800 books to be placed in Kai’s Unity Book Boxes. Shelton will maintain the lending libraries and ensure they continue to be stocked with books while he attends high school.

“We are incredibly proud of Mahkai for his dedication and commitment in pursuit of becoming an Eagle Scout,” said Victorville Mayor Debra Jones.  “And, we are grateful to have Kai’s Unity Book Boxes at our Victorville Fire Stations where community members can visit and share their love for books.”

According to Scouts BSA, only eight percent of its 2.1 million youth members earned the Eagle Scout rank in 2019.  To achieve this prestigious rank, Scouts BSA members must progress through the six ranks leading up to Eagle Scout, earn 21 merit badges, and serve in a position of responsibility that includes other leadership duties.

For more information about the Boy Scouts of America, please go to: https://www.scouting.org/

Great work and thanks to local Boy Scout Mahkai Shelton and everybody who helped build, set up and provided books for lending libraries so that the community can enjoy the wonderful world of reading.

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