Berkeley kids use Kickstarter to fund school library


A can-do attitude is at the core of the REALM Charter School's curriculum. Now in its third year, the school has classrooms full of technology and teachers full of energy, but no library. The eighth grade class is about to change that.

"I really want the future students to love it because we worked really, really hard on this," student Agustina McEwen said.

Call it a legacy, when they graduate, they're leaving behind a gift. They're calling it "x-space."

"It's a space made out of x's and we use these x's to make everything in here," Agustina said.

From the bookshelves, to the tables and chairs, it all started in their design class taught by a local group called Project H.

"It's sort of humbling and awe inspiring to watch a 13-year-old build something that came from their head, that they prototyped on their desk, and now is full scale," Project H founder Emily Pilloton said.

They started on paper, moved on to cardboard models, then plywood, working not on computers, but in the real world.

"Things can float in the middle of space on a computer, but here they have gravity, they have friction; they have all the resistance of real life and splinters and needing to sand corners down," 8th grade design instructor Hallie Chen said.

More than just a building block, the x's are a symbol. Each one can be assembled by a single student, but together, they form something much greater.

"My favorite thing is being able to be with my friends and do this together and have fun," student Moises Barragan said.

They found the joy and power of working as a team to build the library and to buy the books that will line the crisscrossed shelves.

A few dollars at a time, they raised more than $78,000 on Kickstarter. Now, they're hoping to have the library open by the end of the school year.

"It's actually a really good feeling to know that this is your legacy and this is what you started -- and it's going to become bigger," Moises said.

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