State records show that several Dublin city elementary schools aren’t meeting the target for their students’ reading levels.
But the school district is battling illiteracy by bringing the books to the students with ‘The Big Green Reading Machine.’
Dublin City Schools purchased an old church charter bus and district spokesman Jason Halcombe says they tasked teacher David Kersey with transforming the 1987 bus into a roving library.
Kersey, who is a Dublin native, says he felt it was time for him to help the city somehow.
“I want to give back to the community; it’s been good to me. Dublin is where I was born and raised,” said Kersey.
The Big Green Reading Machine will cost a total of $25,000 and is paid for by state grants and donations.
Halcombe says his school district has a literacy problem and he hopes the bus will help.
“We are going to be targeting those low-income areas where the poverty gap exists, and where those vocabulary lapses exist. We want to make sure this literacy lab is somewhere like Dublin Mall on the weekends so people can see it's there and ready for them to use,” said Halcombe.
Once Kersey is done with it, the bus will include reading spaces.
Traditional library books will be in the middle of the bus and the front will contain touchscreen computers so students can take Accelerated Reading tests for class.
Halcombe says the goal of the bus is not only to get kids reading, but to build relationships between the school and the community. Kersey believe this bus will help all kids.
"[It’s] a place to check out books and read. I mean you have your local library, but this is going to be mobile where we come to you," said Kersey.
The district is still securing funds for the bus, but they hope to have the project done by the end of the year.
If you’re interested in donating books, you can drop them off at the school board building at 207 Shamrock Dr.