In an effort to encourage reading and give children a head start on the upcoming school year, the Chartiers Valley School District has temporarily transformed one of its box trucks into a bookmobile. It will make its inaugural journey on Friday.
“The purpose of the bookmobile is to encourage reading and generate excitement about the upcoming school year,” said Kara Droney, director of communications for the district, adding that district educators are excited about the bookmobile’s first run.
The bookmobile will make several stops throughout the district. Children — even those not yet of school age — are welcome to visit and choose a free, slightly used book.
Those climbing aboard the vehicle will be able to choose from a selection of about 200 books, appropriate for kids up to age 12. The books were either donated by teachers and staff or left over from book swaps at the school.
Principals from the district’s primary and intermediate schools will be along for the ride to help children pick out their books.
Ms. Droney said if families have extra books at home, they are welcome to bring them to the bookmobile to trade.
“Trading books will help keep the bookmobile going in future years,” she said.
The idea to start a bookmobile came to fruition in less than a month.
One main focus at the primary school is to connect with the children in the communities served by the district before they enter kindergarten to promote learning at an early age.
“As we discussed different ways to reach those children, we came up with the CV bookmobile,” Ms. Droney said.
“The primary and intermediate school principals are very excited to deliver books to children in our community,” Ms. Droney said. “Their enthusiasm for the CV bookmobile is truly what made this idea come to life.”
Julie Hopp, principal at the primary school, said the bookmobile is “an opportunity to promote literacy in our community from birth through elementary school and beyond.”
In addition to having books available for children, the bookmobile will provide information for adults, she said.
“This includes kindergarten registration packets and information about important developmental milestones for children,” Ms. Hopp said. “We will also have information about adult literacy programs as well as programs to help adults learn English.”
“The bookmobile is a great way to help provide age-appropriate resources to the children of the communities we serve,” said Marc Hubert, assistant principal at the intermediate school. “By going out into the community, we are able to provide literacy options to children who may not be able to frequent the local libraries.”
“As educators, it is key for us to ensure our reach does not end just at the walls of our schools,” Mr. Hubert said. “We are here to serve our community and help increase learning. The bookmobile is key in helping to not only promote reading fluency and comprehension but also for content specific learning on the book topics selected by the children of the Chartiers Valley community.”
“We hope the CV bookmobile becomes a great resource for the whole Chartiers Valley community,” Ms. Hopp added.
For now, Friday is the only planned run for the bookmobile, but educators hope to make it a summer tradition for the community.
“Our plan is to take the CV bookmobile out twice every year — once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of summer,” Ms. Droney said.
Here are the approximate times for the bookmobile stops on Friday:
• 12:30 p.m. — Carriage Park Apartments, 300 Chatham Park Drive, near building 100;
• 1 p.m. — Scott Township Park, 301 Lindsey Road;
• 1:30 p.m. — Glendale Volunteer Fire Department, 541 Carothers Ave.;
• 2 p.m. — Old Heidelberg School, Ellsworth Avenue at Third Street;
• 2:30 p.m. — Rennerdale Webb Field, Sunnyside Avenue at Suburban Avenue;
• 3 p.m. — Bridgeville, Bower Hill Road across from Dari Delite.
Deana Carpenter, freelance writer: email@example.com.