Our View: Book bus fills essential need, helps students

Published 1:28 pm Sunday, July 8, 2018

Reading is essential for success. However, many children face barriers that might limit access to books, especially in the summer months.

Maybe their family does not have a car to get back and forth to the library. Perhaps a parent or guardian is ill and unable to take them there. And for many families, budgeting for things like groceries, utilities and rent fall higher on the list of priorities than books.

So, while many children can enjoy reading and its many benefits in the summer months, others previously could not. Thanks to a new program through Clark County Public Schools, that no longer needs to be the case.

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With a recently-completed extreme makeover, the Clark County Public Schools “Book Bus” is ready to roll, delivering free books to participating students.

The Book Bus began last year, running three times each week with totes in the back of a trailer. It has now transformed into a colorful bus with a built-in miniature library.

The bus was modeled after a similar concept implemented in the district, where a recreational vehicle was donated and transformed into a mobile summer feeding site. Employees followed that RV with a trailer full of books last year, delivering to eager students.

This story proves something many of us already knew: Clark County Public Schools and its employees can often be found going out of their way to make sure local students are cared for, mentally and physically, outside of the classroom.

The bus should be in the community this week, delivering books that offer students valuable lessons about life, taking them to different worlds, allow them to explore outer space or step into the shoes of someone unlike them. Books help students build better vocabulary and assist them in many other courses. But books also help students develop understanding, tolerance, resilience and more … all from the characters they encounter while reading.

Many of the students who will be served through the Book Bus may not have the means to purchase books, so they are also gaining access to materials they would not have before.

By helping students who might not otherwise be able to access books this summer, CCPS is making it possible for them to stay on track with their classmates, keep their minds fresh and be better prepared for school next year.