Arlington School District’s bookmobile began traveling to local neighborhoods again for the summer on June 26.
The Books on the Bus program gives local kids an opportunity to read during summer break by traveling out to them each Wednesday until Aug. 14.
Kids can check out up to three books at the bus to keep until the next week.
“This is the sixth year of our bookmobile running through our community and our goal is to bring books out to our students and families throughout the summer to really help them keep up with their reading,” said Terri Bookey, director of early learning and categorical programs at the district.
The district runs the program so that students don’t let their reading skills slip during the summer break.
“As we know, the summer slump is a real thing. If kids are not engaged in some sort of academics we will see a drop in their skills when they come back in the fall,” said Bookey.
“By providing these things right in their neighborhood we’re giving kids a way to stay engaged,” she said.
Parents said they thought the program was good at encouraging their kids to read.
“This is our first year coming to the book bus. We kept trying to come last year but we were late. But they loved it today,” said local parent Veronica Bembry.
Local parent April Bacon said her kids came last year as well.
“We really like it. The kids look forward to it,” she said.
“I think it’s great because it gets them excited about reading books,” she said.
Students who turn in their books get a point for each book they read and are able to spend those points on prizes at the end of the summer.
Bookey said they try to make the program enjoyable for the kids.
“We’ll play games with them, and this year we added a puppet theater so they can do some puppet shows,” she said.
“I think they like the fun of it, and they love seeing their teachers they might see during the school year,” she said.
Bookey said that last year went well and they had about 400 students check out books from the program.
“It’s been amazing every year and it grows every year,” she said.
The collection is hundreds of books large and is sorted by grade level for the kids.
Arlington’s bookmobile stops at five neighborhoods each Wednesday: the Mobile Estates on 67th Avenue from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Crown Ridge Boulevard and Vista Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Timbers Apartments from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., Presidents Elementary from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Eagle Creek Elementary from 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
The district’s Mathmobile also follows the same schedule but visits the neighborhoods on Mondays.