West Central Elementary School is working to keep students and their parents reading during the summer months, and it’s getting some help, thanks to funding from the Pulaski County Public Library. The corporation’s Summer Bookmobile program is returning this year.
West Central Elementary Title I Director Jodie Schlatter says it’s a van run by two of the corporation’s teachers, Kevin and Natalie Wenzel, that delivers books throughout the West Central School District, “For four weeks during the month of June, we go four days stopping at various houses and allowing the children from our school to come and look and pick out a free book, and everyone in their family is allowed to choose books, and we even have some magazines.”
Schlatter says the program aims to visit the homes of students in the greatest need of reading help and adds that programs like the Bookmobile are more important than ever in local communities, “It’s been a concern because the Medaryville Branch of the library has closed, but yet the Pulaski County Library wants to help make sure that students in that community have access to books, so they contacted us and said they would like to donate funds to help buy books. And so they have purchased some books and are stamping them, and I’m hoping – and I believe this is true – that they will fund books every summer that we have our Bookmobile.” In addition to the library’s donation, the Bookmobile also gets funding from the school’s Title I grant.
Schlatter says the goal is to stop at 100 homes this summer, but the great distance between the homes in the district means their abilities are limited by fuel costs and time constraints. However, she says efforts are being taken to make sure that Medaryville residents still have opportunities to get books. “We are also hoping to have at least one day out of the four weeks in June to stop at the Medaryville Community Center, which used to be the Medaryville Library Branch,” she says. “So we hope to stop there for about 15 minutes, allowing anyone in the community to access books, to get on the van and pick out a book.”
For families who do have the Bookmobile stop in front of their home, Schlatter hopes parents take advantage of the opportunity. They’re encouraged to help their children choose books that they can read on their own or can be ready by the parent to the child.
For more information on the Summer Bookmobile program, contact Schlatter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 219-567-9741 ext. 1042.