Book bus introduced for White County schools


During the Christmas Parade, the White County School District unveiled a new project called “Books on Board” or BOB, the book bus. According to Farrah Griffith, Supervisor of Support Learning, the idea sparked from the 21 Century Community Learning Center after-school program.

 “Valarie Butcher (Secondary Curriculum Supervisor) heard about the book bus idea through the 21 CCLC program,” Griffith said. “Other districts in the state have bookmobiles that are partnerships between after-school programs and other community partners. We presented the idea to Mr D [Kurt Dronebarger], and he was immediately on board.  At that point, we were looking for grants and partners for the endeavor.”

The school system was able to secure the Governor’s Early Literacy Fund Grant (GELF). The GELF Grant is designed to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee. Funding from the grant helped turn the bus into what is now known as BOB, the book bus.

 “This is a competitive grant, and after being denied the first time, they encouraged us to try again because they liked our vision in the application,” Butcher said. “We were thrilled  when we received notice of acceptance.”

The Book Bus will be primarily housed and managed by the school system. It will travel to afterschool programs this spring. This summer, the White County Public Library will utilize the bus for six weeks. The bus will be stocked with books from the WCPL for checkout. Griffith said they are also hopeful for donations to offer books for giveaways as well.

Jackson Kayak was the first official community partner with BOB at the Christmas Parade. Employees from Jackson Kayak walked the parade equipped with 850 copies of “The Night Before Christmas” Golden Book to hand out to parade attendees.

“We are hoping to find other opportunities to have BOB at community events if we have the opportunity and volunteers,” Griffith said. “We are excited for this fun opportunity to support increased literacy skills in our county.”   


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