Celebrating a Summer of Reading
For the past fourteen years, the Amazing Reading Bus has lumbered through the streets of Allendale loaning books and borrowing smiles from students who might not otherwise visit a library during the summer months.
Monday’s celebration at Allendale Township Park was a colorful reminder of just what this program means to our community members and how much our youngest readers value the opportunity to search for new stories.
Over the past six weeks, the Amazing Reading Bus (whose interior is pictured above) has shared fiction and phonics with over 600 students! With the goal of simply keeping kids reading throughout the summer, Allendale Elementary Assistant Principal Ryan Coghill noted that getting books in the hands of kids is paramount. By creating bus stops and disseminating a schedule, students are given the chance to get new books each week!
The Amazing Reading Bus Party was a culmination of more than a month of the mobile library encouraging reading and boosting reading comprehension. The twelfth of its kind designed to by Title 1 Coordinator Richelle Rybinski, yesterday’s celebration was a carefree family outing filled with fun. Jill Wilson, Principal of Allendale Elementary School, summed it up by saying, “It’s a nice time of year to reconnect with families and get them excited about the transition back to school.”
The success of the Amazing Reading Bus hinges not only on the kids who eagerly await its weekly arrival, but also on the wonderful women behind the wheel.
Connie Merrill and Deb Oros devote their summers to helping students find books at their reading level, study new sight words, and create flash cards to help students practice. They say that there’s nothing better than hearing kids get excited about reading and recommend books to each other. It makes their day when two friends choose the same book so they can read it together.
Amazing Reading Bus drivers Connie Merrill & Deb Oros pictured with Title 1 Program Coordinator Richelle Rybinski (L to R)
The ladies of the Amazing Reading Bus also wish to thank the parents who so often have brought them something to drink, a snack to enjoy, or let them in their homes to use the restroom. “We even got root beer floats this summer!” they commented.
All agreed: it’s the kindness of Allendale families that make their jobs a joy. Thank you to all of the families who joined us at the Township Park and for all the hours you spent reading with their children this summer! See you next year!