GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County Public Schools is making sure that children have access to the enchanting world of books even during the summer break, thanks to their innovative mobile library.
The county's Book Mobile brings the magic of literature directly to students' doorsteps throughout the summer months. This initiative aims to keep young minds active and inspire a lifelong love of reading.
"There is still that love for holding a physical book," Jan Wilson said, Gwinnett County School's coordinator of media instruction, emphasizing the importance of physical books. "There are three factors that influence a child to read: choice, variety, and access."
Since 2017, the library on wheels has been traversing the county, making 35 weekly stops in various Gwinnett County neighborhoods and apartment complexes.
Wilson explained that Book Mobile helps overcome transportation barriers some families face, allowing students to access a diverse selection of books easily.
Children appear more likely to engage with a book when they choose it themselves. Maddie Tiller, a rising seventh-grader, is one who has taken advantage of the Book Mobile this summer to read books she genuinely enjoys.
"I try to read different books in the summer than I would during the school year because it's more like school books," she said. "Now I can read normal stuff."
For students like Sophia Fernandez, the mobile library allows them to read to their younger siblings. Fernandez and her siblings eagerly board the bus to check out their next captivating read.
"I think it's cool they remodeled a whole bus to be like a tiny library so kids can educate themselves during the summer," Tiller exclaimed.
The Book Mobile not only fuels young minds but also nourishes their bodies. Gwinnett County's nutrition program collaborates with the United Food Bank, ensuring that children receive both hot and cold lunches to take with them.
Wilson pointed out that areas with low literacy rates often coincide with high food insecurity rates, highlighting the significance of this dual approach to supporting the community.
The Book Mobile program will continue throughout the summer, allowing any child who boards the mobile library to check out books. Librarians on board can also create accounts for other children, allowing them to borrow books.