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Boy Scout teen builds mini library for Sunnyhills Child Development Center

On October 7, a new Little Free Library was installed at the Sunnyhills Child Development Center on 356 Dixon Road in Milpitas. 

A Little Free Library, or mini Library, is an accessible way for anyone in a community to get access to books without any hassle. People are encouraged to take a book – and leave a book for someone else to enjoy. Usually in the form of a wooden box, Little Free Libraries are taking the world by storm, encouraging literacy while building community. 

Daniel Muller of Milpitas’ Boy Scouts Troop 163 built the library for his Eagle Scout project badge. He partnered with Mayor Carmen Montano, who launched a Literacy Project to encourage children throughout the Milpitas community at the start of her mayoral term. 

Ever since he was a young kid, Muller has been an avid reader. His favorite books are the “Inheritance” series by Christopher Paolini.  


Daniel Muller at the Free Little Library installation.


“I’ve always loved reading, and found this would be a good project. Eagle Scouts is supposed to be a way to connect to the community, while also giving back. So I thought this project would represent that very well,” said Muller, who is a senior at Irvington High School in Fremont. 

Muller’s Scout Master was able to connect him to Mayor Montano to start laying the groundwork and determining the logistics for the project. 

After finding the design online, Muller bought all the materials, cut the wood, and put it together. He led up a group of a few other scouts who wanted to help out. And his sister and parents pitched in, too! 

It took a couple of months for the project to be completed. 


Daniel Muller and other scouts install the library at the Sunnyhills Child Development Center.


Vanessa Espitia is Coordinator of Early Childhood Education and Community Engagement for the Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD). She oversees the early childhood centers for MUSD, which include Sunnyhills and the Rose Child Development Center. 

“All the love we can give to the Sunnyhills Child Development Center is really special to me,” said Espitia. “I’m excited that the kids coming to our center – and even the families walking through to get to Weller Elementary – will have access to a mini library.”

As a retired school teacher, Mayor Montano understands the power of literacy and the doors it can open for children…

“I want to build different mini libraries in parts of the city, like neighborhoods and schools. I also want to work with Americorps so they can tutor children in the classroom,” Montano told The Beat. 


Daniel Muller (left) and Mayor Carmen Montano (right).


Currently, there are Free Little Libraries in several locations in Milpitas, including Rose Elementary School and Rancho Middle School. A map of other mini libraries can be found at the Little Free Library website

“I feel like there’s a real movement happening right now,” said Montano.  

The mini library located outside of Sunnyhills Child Development Center is always open and available to anyone in the community wanting to grab a book, share a book, or both.


Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.


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