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Bookmobile project made summer sweet for students

Bookmobile project made summer sweet for students

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As hundreds of local students learned this summer, it takes more than a pandemic to keep Goochland’s school librarians down.

Concerned that the forced closure of schools in March would deprive local students of reading material, three Goochland elementary school librarians quickly came together to devise a plan: If students could no longer visit the school libraries, they asked, why not bring the library to them?

Using a school division van as well as their own vehicles, Zoe Parrish (Byrd Elementary), Sarah Smith (Goochland Elementary), and Susan Vaughan (Randolph Elementary) began making stops at six predetermined locations across the county in June. With them they brought hundreds of books, some from their own stockpiles but many others that had been generously donated by the community.

Safety was a priority, of course, so hand sanitizer and social distancing were part of the plan as well. But those precautions certainly didn’t appear to keep many local kids from taking part in the project.

In that first month, the trio served over 300 students, each of whom received a complimentary Popsicle along with three books of their choice.

“We know that the research clearly shows better literacy outcomes when students have access to printed reading materials,” said Parrish. “So this was our solution to getting books into the hands of our students.”

The plan, it seems, worked like a charm: By the end of the summer, the bookmobile project had connected over 700 students with over 2,000 books.

Simply put, “they are another example of excellence in our school division,” said Goochland County School superintendent Dr. Jeremy Raley. “I applaud them for what they did, and I think they are true role models for all of us.”

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