Building a community library in Park Heights

Building a community library in Park Heights

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - George Mitchell is the kind of guy who makes friends everywhere he goes. Lately, his feet haven’t left the halls of the Langston Hughes Center in Park Heights.

In July, Mitchell was handed the keys to the old Langston Hughes school, he wanted to start a community library.

“Only one in 14 kids in Park Heights can read at a 4th grade level, so there was a need for a library,” said Mitchell.

His vision became more than just a place to read; the center offers three libraries, a gym, before and after care and senior activities. It’s now a safe haven for the community.

“We want to give our kids dreams and hopes. Some of our kids are living nightmares right here,” said Mitchell. “You drive around and see torn-down homes, parents on drugs. We just want to make this a safe place for our children, give them some hope - give them a chance at life to do the right thing.”

Pearl Clarke has helped Mitchell transform the old school.

“Most of what he does you don't know. They see the results but they don't understand who did it," said Clarke. “I think it’s only fair that everyone knows about him.”

That’s why Clarke nominated Mitchell for "Pay it Forward."

Mitchell received $500 as a thank-you for all his work in the community.

“My mom told me something, and I live by this,” Mitchell said. “'Winners do what they have to do and losers do what they want to do.' It’s hard getting up in the morning, I could be out drinking iced tea on the beach somewhere, but it’s well worth it. These kids they give you so much love back, it's amazing.”

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