Breaking News
More () »

At 8, this Cedar Hill student had dreams of growing her local library. Now, those dreams have come true

“Building our future, that’s what’s happening here,” 13-year-old Saniyah McGrew said.

CEDAR HILL, Texas — This time of year, a lot of people feel blessed.

But 13-year-old Saniyah McGrew couldn’t be more grateful for a giant pile of dirt.

“Building our future, that’s what’s happening here,” McGrew said, referencing the dirt.

McGrew started thinking about the future five years ago, when Cedar Hill proposed plans for a new library.

In order to build it, voters needed to approve funding.

McGrew was only 8 years old when she made a video and posted it to social media, imploring people to vote "yes."

“We didn’t ask her to do it,” Library director Aranda Bell said. “In fact, I don’t think we even knew she was doing it.” 

Bell said the city had outgrown the current library. So much so, McGrew said, every book she wanted to read, she already had.  

To her, making that video was so important.

“I want everybody to be able to experience how great reading can be,” said McGrew

“It really energized the community,” said Bell. 

It energized the community so much that the bond passed. 

McGrew’s enthusiasm, as a third grader, inspired the mayor to appoint her to the library board, allowing McGrew to provide input on the new building.

She didn’t hold back. 

“She definitely shared her voice,” Bell said. “She was not shy. She took a stand and is part of the reason we are where we are today.”

Finally under construction, the library will open in 2024; a two-story building with a single story to tell. 

“No matter how young or old you are, your voice always matters,” McGrew said. “You can always make a difference.” 

“Every dream begins with a dreamer, and Saniyah has definitely been such an impactful, energetic and thought-provoking dreamer,” said Bell. 

That’s why they’ll always remember who helped lay the foundation.

Before You Leave, Check This Out