HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After a controversial new policy took several books off the shelves in Hanover schools, one Hanover student and girl scout is pushing back on the policy and creating a space for students to read freely.

In June, the Hanover County School Board approved a new library materials policy, removing 19 books from school shelves.

Many parents around the county agreed with the decision, but a local girl scout did not. Kate, who did not want her full identity shared, said she read some of the books on the list herself and found what she learned useful.

“It’s really important in education to understand things from other perspectives,” said Kate.

Kate said she wants her peers to have access to information, which is why she reached out to county leaders and businesses to host a Free to Read Banned Book Nook, where students and residents can check out books anonymously.

Alison Sanderlin and Josh Orris, both of whom work in Hanover businesses where the nook has been displayed, said they has been positive reception to them hosting the banned books in their storefronts.

“We don’t have, like, a ton of foot traffic coming in to our shop, but the people who do come in seem really supportive of it,” said Sanderlin. 

“The majority of people are super supportive of everything we’re doing,” said Orris. “There are some people that have issue with it, but you don’t have to check them out. So, it’s that easy.”

Hanover School Board chair Bob May tells us the board wishes Kate the best in her endeavors. Kate is now in the process of receiving a Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.