The Bright Red Book Bus — a partnership project between the Kamloops-Thompson school district, BGC Kamloops (formerly known as Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops) and Literacy in Kamloops — has wrapped up its summer reading season.
Now in its ninth year, there were a record 4,320 visits to the book bus at various locations this summer. The previous visits record was 3,470 in 2015, the program’s sophomore season.
Last year, 3,441 visits were tallied.
This summer’s 4,320 visits were from2,422 children, many of whom visited the book bus on multiple occasions.
“What I love about the Bright Red Book Bus is that it gets children excited about reading,” said Fiona Clare, outreach co-ordinator for Literacy in Kamloops.
“It hits all the markers that are important for building early reading success by providing easy access to great books, increasing book ownership and making reading fun.”
For the program’s first three weeks this summer, it also provided books to students in the school district’s summer reading program.
This year, the ECOSmart Team from the City of Kamloops joined the book bus on a few days, giving children the chance to learn about sustainability.
PLAYKamloops also joined the book bus on a few days and offered fun physical games and activities.
Funding for the Bright Red Book Bus comes from the school district, the Raise a Reader event in September and CML Properties sponsorship.
The two staff positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program, with the book bus visiting schools and parks during July and into August, offering drop-in access to free books.
The purpose of the program is to make books easily accessible to children over the summer and to promote lifelong reading.
Children are encouraged to choose their own books, while staff encourage readers to choose a book that’s just right for them so they will be able to understand what they are reading.
The program has kept its shelves well stocked, but demand continues for graphic novels, which remain popular, but expensive.
People can donate books at any Bright Red Bookshelf location in the city, at BGC Kamloops, 150 Wood St. in North Kamloops or by contacting Clare at 250-319-9653 to make arrangements.
For more information, go online to facebook.com/BrightRedBookBus.