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Oconee's Habitat for Humanity Club builds libraries

Members of the University of North Georgia's Oconee Campus Habitat for Humanity Club built a Little Free Library for the city of Watkinsville. Pictured in front of the Little Free Library are, from left, Randall Parish, Dr. Cyndee Perdue Moore, Emery Peavy, Matthew Beelman, Cameron McKelvey, Anne Whatley, Ashley Watson, Gicel Sagastume, Maria Anifowose, Susan Brantley, and Phil Branyon.

While members of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Oconee Campus' Habitat for Humanity help build houses in the Watkinsville, Georgia area, students demonstrated their abilities to construct other things as well.

In spring 2018, the Habitat Club built three Little Free Libraries and placed them around Watkinsville, said Gary Adcox, adviser of the Habitat chapter on the Oconee Campus. A Little Free Library is a book exchange where residents are invited to take a book or leave a book.

Adcox said the project stemmed from Leadership Oconee conducting a book drive for children who receive a low-cost or no-cost lunch through the Oconee Area Resource Council. Adcox said Leadership Oconee wanted to provide nourishment for the body and nourishment for the mind.

During the drive, hundreds of books were collected, including books at a reading level too advanced for children.

"As we had so many books, the idea arose to build a Little Free Library," Adcox said. "The UNG Habitat Club students built them, painted them and presented them to the community."

He said these kinds of projects teach UNG students to engage in civic activities.

"I think it sets an example of how to give back to your community," he said.

The Oconee Campus' chapter of Habitat for Humanity was founded in 2006 by Randall Parish, a professor of political science at UNG, and Jim Konzelman, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UNG.

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