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Books on the bus rolls through Arlington


Christopher Andersson

Mirna Hernandez flips through the books available to her at the Arlington School District's Books on the Bus program.

Arlington kids will be able to keep reading this summer as the Arlington School District's Books on the Bus program has started up again this year.

This is the third year for the district's bookmobile program which began on June 28 and will continue until Aug. 16. It stops at five different locations each Wednesday.

"We are excited to be able to go around to different stops in Arlington to provide books for kids," said Jacqueline Arnold, library/technology teacher at Eagle Creek Elementary.

The bus stops at the Arlington Boys & Girls Club from 9:10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., at the Twin Ponds Apartment Complex from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Haller Park from 12:20 p.m. to 1:20 p.m., at the High Clover basketball courts from 1:40 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. and at Mobile Estates off of 67th Street from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Students can check out up to three books from the mobile library each week.

The books are organized according to the Accelerated Reader program used at the district, so students should be able to grab a book that is right at their level, "or they can stretch a little bit higher," said Arnold.

"There are all different genres, fiction, non-fiction, English and Spanish," she said.

"Some kids ask if they can check out books for their mom or dad that have Spanish and it's nice that we can provide that," she said.

Local parent Eba Pantoja said she enjoyed having the multi-language books.

"Because it's in Spanish I can enjoy it with him [her son]," she said.

"[Books on the Bus] is good for him because he's enjoying reading," she said.

Arnold said the program is meant to help keep kids reading during their vacation.

"As teachers we know that students that don't read during the summer tend to lose a lot of the skills that they've learned the previous year," she said.

"We're hoping that by reading each week and being inspired ... that they will be able to maintain their skills or even grow," she said.

Local parent Mirna Hernandez said that the program helped give her daughter something to do.

"It's helpful for them," she said.

Her daughter also enjoyed seeing the bookmobile come around.

"She's excited to see the bus from the program when it comes," said Hernandez.

The bookmobile also helps establish friendships between kids and the libraries at the school, said Arnold.

Christopher Andersson

Ivan Pantoja looks for books at Arlington School District's Books on the Bus program.

"We're establishing relationships with families and children who are pre-school age or babies," said Arnold.

"We get to connect kids with literature and really meet them one-on-one. We spend a lot of time at some of the stops reading with the kids and having them read with us. It's good to be able to interact individually with them," she said.

Arnold said this year's Books on the Bus has been attracting more kids so far. "We're surpassing our numbers from last summer," she said.

"We'd love to have more kids of course, but we're really happy with the turnout so far," she said.

The program runs until Aug. 16. Students earn points by returning books to the bus and during the final week they can turn in points at a celebration at their stop to get prizes.


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