Bookmobile program gets in gear to bring summer reading to youth

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staff, Gazette
Thursday, July 5, 2012

— There’s a spot this summer where children call the shots. From 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, children can visit the Bookmobile at Lincoln Elementary School.

Once they arrive, children can pore over a collection of books for something new to read. Beginning readers can pick up Dr. Seuss books or selections from the Berenstain Bears series. More advanced readers might favor Harry Potter novels or collections of Calvin and Hobbes comics.

Children can hone their skills by reading to volunteers on-site, have volunteers read to them, or simply leave with the books they’ve chosen. Bookmobile volunteers do not take the children’s names, and children are encouraged, rather than required, to return the books.

“If they (the books) don’t come back, that’s fine. They’re donated,” said Bob Dowds, who was volunteering at the Bookmobile on Tuesday morning. “What’s important is that the books have a good home.”

Dowds is a retired teacher from the Janesville School District He spent 15 years of his career teaching at Adams Elementary.

“In terms of the research that’s been done on this, if kids utilize school skills during the summer, they regress much less,” he said. “Some do summer school, and some go to the library. We’re providing a community resource for anybody in the community that doesn’t do either of those but still wants to read.”

Members of Asbury United Methodist Church on Kellogg Avenue volunteer to staff the Bookmobile at Lincoln.

The congregation also has donated books that add to the collection, which was provided by Jackson Elementary.

“We are very close to Lincoln, and we wanted to reach out to the community,” said Wendee Nitz, pastor at Asbury United Methodist. “If we see a need for a place where children can come pick up a book to read over the summer, then that’s what we provide.”

The Bookmobile continues through Aug. 23 at Lincoln, 1821 Conde Street, Janesville.

Last updated: 5:01 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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