Winston-Salem teen starts reading center at homeless shelter

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Katherine Bell works hard keeping the book shelves stocked at the reading center at the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope shelter.

Bell is a senior at RJ Reynolds High School and an avid reader.

That hobby inspired her to create, design and supply the books for the reading center which opened in December.

"I wanted to do this somewhere where it would be useful," Bell said.

The center, which started off as Girl Scouts’ project, took Bell two years and a lot of hands-on work to complete.

Besides building and staining book shelves, Bell also painted the walls and held book drives and car washes to raise money for the books and furniture at the center.

"It was very hard," she said.

But the hard work paid off.

It's also been a popular spot for children and their parents looking for a quiet place to do homework -- quiet that can be hard to find at a shelter.

"Normally a child can go to their room and study and read,” said Abigail Linville, volunteer coordinator for the Salvation Army. “Right now, here in a shelter, your room is going to have other people in it."

Completing the project earned Katherine a gold star award which is the highest award given by the Girl Scouts.

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