Some walk. Some bike. Every Wednesday during the summer, Fair Oaks Elementary students know where to go to pick up their next literary adventure—the Fair Oaks Book Mobile.
The Fair Oaks staff know that students who read for at least 20 minutes every day will avoid the “summer academic slide” and maintain or even make academic gains.
That’s why Fair Oaks academic coach, Kelli Wood, started the school-run book mobile to make sure the Cobb students had access to reading materials over the summer. She turned her dream for a rolling library into a reality by taking an enclosed trailer and transforming it into a book mobile.
“They worked so hard over the school year, and we wanted them to be able to keep practicing over the summer,” the Fair Oaks educator explained. “It improves their reading. It improves them as a person and contributes to their success. Reading is central to everything.”
The Fair Oaks staff roll out a book mobile to the school’s heaviest populated student areas to provide students with books to read each week.
The students can keep the books or return them after they finish reading. All books returned are wiped clean. During the second week alone, the school gave out 80 books to students at four stops. The next week, the students also picked up lunch and enjoyed popsicles as their school counselor Valerie Wagley sat down to read “Can I Be Your Dog?”
Each week, a guest reader will treat the children to storytime.
According to Fair Oaks Principal Dean Yoder, the book mobile shows the students that their school is still there for them, even during the summer. It also helps the students maintain their relationship with their teachers.
“We want to contribute to their love of reading and their passion for reading that will carry on for the rest of their lives,” Principal Yoder said. “Reading is going to take them anywhere they want to go in the world.”
The school has sent out text blasts to Fair Oaks families to let them know where to meet the book mobile. Some of the students are so determined not to miss the book mobile, that some ride their bikes to pick up books at one of the four locations.
“It is amazing! It shows their level of commitment,” praised Ms. Wood.