Library bus gets $25,000 boost.

February 1, 2018

Library bus gets $25,000 boost.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — The summer library bus at Hart Public Schools recently received a $25,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Education, and the funds will be used to increase trips to outlying areas in the district; buy more books; and offset operational costs such as fuel expenses, said Hart Public Schools Superintendent Mark Platt.

“A lot of kids don’t have great access to libraries in the summer,” said Platt. Children, especially those who live in remote areas, have travel barriers that prevent them from procuring books.

The Hart Area Public Library is once again partnering with the school district for the unique project that serves K-12 Hart students.

Hart educators, such Platt himself and Spitler Elementary School Principal Amy Taranko, and volunteers will ride the bus to help distribute books to the kids.

The bookmobile was on the roads last summer, distributing books, the superintendent said. The additional grant funds “allow improvement” for the project.

The library bus already has some books available, and the grant funds will allow the district to order additional reading material from vendors and through

The superintendent said most of the library visitors are in the K-8 age range.

The literacy program will work with Michelle Mattson, the district’s summer migrant director, homeless liaison and Title III coordinator, to get books in the hands of kids who need them the most. The bus will visit migrant camps to distribute books to the children.

Books in the Spanish language will be available.

With the recent building project, the high school and the elementary school no longer have libraries, so promoting year-round reading is key.

The library bus is a standard yellow school bus that has been decommissioned from the district’s fleet, he said. Plans are to make it “more identifiable” as the bookmobile by adding awnings, etc. “Business connections might help us convert,” he said.

Those who would like to volunteer on the library bus should contact the superintendent’s office at 231-873-6214. Volunteers must pass a criminal background check.

“(The library bus) allows us to do something creative with childhood literacy and facilitate the joy of reading.”

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