The GISD Book Bus is a collaboration of the Galveston Independent School District (GISD) and the Galveston ISD Educational Foundation (GEF). GISD is committed to an initiative entitled “Ready, Set, Read Above” for all elementary school students in the district. The goal of this initiative is to ensure all students are reading on or above grade level by the end of third grade. One of the barriers currently inhibiting the district’s success at reaching this goal is the progress that is lost over the summer when students, particularly economically disadvantaged students, do not have access to their classroom and campus libraries. The Book Bus is a mobile library that offers the solution of bringing the library to students where they are: their neighborhoods. The Book Bus will operate in the same capacity as a school library. However, it will serve all students in our community, Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade, regardless of where they are enrolled in school.

The “Ready, Set, Read Above” initiative is aligned with a balanced literacy framework including independent reading as an essential cornerstone. The Book Bus will be stocked with a myriad of titles that will appeal to children with various interests at all reading levels. GISD’s curriculum and instruction team felt passionate that the titles should reflect fun summer reading that will engage and excite students to read on their own during their break. Educators and highly trained support staff will assist children with selecting books right for them, lead summer reading programs and activities designed to engage both students and parents, and create a magical reading environment just as they would in a campus or classroom library. Furthermore, through a federally funding summer eating program, GISD’s child nutrition department will have the ability to serve lunch to students visiting the Book Bus.

Once the Book Bus has mastered a route schedule and developed a normalcy for operation, GISD’s curriculum and instruction team plans to deploy additional Book Bus projects and collaborations to bring valuable programming to families in their neighborhoods throughout the school year. The road is long and the opportunities limitless with the Book Bus!

This project is a major asset for our community, and we are so incredibly proud to make the rubber hit the road…literally! The Book Bus is “for students, by students” as the transformation of this retired school bus into a mobile library was completed by the hands of our very talented kids. You can find the route schedule for summer 2019 on the GISD website: www.gisd.org/bookbus

GISD and GEF would like to extend a huge thank you to the many partners that made this project a reality!