As I have mentioned before, our school is a high poverty building. We are weirdly located in relation to town libraries and used bookstores. Not all of our parents have transportation (reliable or otherwise) or consider an afternoon at the library time well spent.
Inching closer to summer, I am just EXHAUSTED looking into kids' faces and asking when they will pick up the next book in their series. I physically do not want to see the look of confusion that takes over. The LIBRARY, the LIBRARY is what I really want to shout.
Each year when the summer reading numbers come back from the public library we are at the very bottom. I am talking less than 10-20 families using the summer reading resources our town offers (which are really vast, www.lovelandpubliclibrary.org)
Have I been clear? Have I complained enough? Yes, even for me.
This is what we are doing: I called the Risk Management Department of our District (never thought I would call them from the library, that is for sure!) To my complete shock, they approved us taking a group of kids on the CITY BUS to the Public Library!!!!! I simply could not afford nor justify paying for school buses to go 12 blocks. Unfortunately, our path crosses major highway type roads so walking is not an option.
So I grabbed 10 of my "readers"....kids who really love reading and go through 2-3 books a week. These are the kids that WILL read during the summer but do not have that resource. I know they do not go to the public library.
Our school secretary pulled the bus schedule and we mapped our route (SO many thanks, Tammy!) She and I asked our principal to join us, and it became official:
We will accompany about 10 of our kids to the public library next week using the city bus. We will have layover, snacks, walking and another layover included.
I have been contacting parents this week to have them do the footwork and get the kids library cards before our trip. I am optimistic about the response but nervous about follow through.
The response from the kids has been AAAA-mazing! our list has grown and the excitement is building for sure. I can't wait to report how it goes. My biggest hope for this time is that the kids will SEE and REALIZE that the resources in our town are for them and that we can find a way to access that.