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Oklahoma City program gets books into kids’ hands and homes

Oklahoma City Public School's On the Go mobile book bus program provides books that children can keep.

“Can I really keep this book?”

That was a common response as the ReadOKC On the Go mobile book bus visited school sites for the first time the recent weeks. Unlike many bookmobiles, ReadOKC On the Go uses the model of allowing kids to keep the book they select for their own home library.

This is an important piece of ReadOKC’s goal to provide access for students, and allowing kids to build a home library is a valuable component of encouraging more reading at home.

The ADA-compliant bus, provided by Oklahoma City Public Schools to ReadOKC and The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools, was transformed into a book bus by removing seats and adding book shelves that can house more than 3,000 books. The district retains ownership of the bus and provides district bus drivers.

The bus is wrapped with artwork that is modern and whimsical, depicting the places readers can go when they lose themselves in reading. The book shelves are bright and colorful and organized by genre so volunteers can guide visitors to their areas of interest.

Mary Melon

Every student leaves with a book of their own choosing, complete with a book mark, coloring page (good for all ages) and a stamp inside for their name.

The bus launched during the last two weeks of the Oklahoma City district’s July summer school sessions and visited six school sites. Nearly 400 books were given away to students from kindergarten through high school age.

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