CHES Little Free Library grand opening honors Ray D. Gray Jr.

Published 10:23 am Sunday, May 30, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Little Free Libraries are a global phenomenon. The small, front-yard book exchanges number more than 100,000 around the world in over 100 countries — from Italy to Brazil to Japan.

Now, a new Little Free Library at Cape Hatteras Elementary School will join the movement to share books, bring people together and create communities of readers.

With grant funding provided by Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund, Cape Hatteras Elementary media coordinator Jenn Augustson worked with the Little Free Library organization to purchase an outdoor library for the Hatteras Island school and organized a ribbon cutting ceremony for Friday, May 14 at the school.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

The celebration included a dedication to Ray D Gray Jr., former Cape Hatteras Elementary principal.

“Mr. Gray has always been a champion for our Hatteras Island students and his love of literacy made him the perfect choice to honor for our Little Free Library dedication,” said Augustson.

Cape Hatteras Elementary Principal Rachel Benton kicked off the ceremony with a welcome to all and a big thank you to the Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund.

little free library

Former CHES Principal Ray D. Gray Jr. Courtesy DCS

Gray and his family, along with school staff, enjoyed listening to fond memories about his time as principal sent from former colleagues and students.

After Gray cut the ribbon to formally open the Little Free Library, he shared a few words with the crowd and then added a favorite book from his personal collection. Friends enjoyed perusing the library while having cake and punch out on the lawn to celebrate this special event.

How does the Little Free Library work? If you see something you’d like to read, take it. You don’t have to give a book at the same time as you take one. After you’ve read it, share it in any Little Free Library book-sharing box, bring it back to the Cape Hatteras Elementary Little Free Library or just pass it on to a friend.

Little Free Library® is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community and improves book access by fostering neighborhood book exchange boxes around the world. Little Free Library received the 2020 World Literacy Award and has been recognized by the Library of Congress, the National Book Foundation and others for its dedication to expanding book access for all. To learn more, visit

Other Little Free Libraries on Hatteras Island are located in Salvo at the volunteer fire department, at 25508 NC 12, Waves, in Avon along the sidewalk, and at Cape Hatteras Secondary School.



Columbia High School academic honorees named

ADN students receive nursing pins at COA ceremony