By Alyssa Sperrazza
A library on wheels will be rolling into Yukon this summer, encouraging students to read throughout the summer so they’ll be more prepared come next fall.
One class at Myers Elementary in Yukon got to watch as Smicklas Chevrolet gifted a $7,500 check to Yukon Public Schools to kick off their book mobile project.
“[The money] is going to be helping the book mobile here in the school district that will drive around supplying children books in the summer… We just wanted to give back to the people closest to us,” said Kara Hudson, general manager at Smicklas Chevrolet in Yukon.
The donation will go towards filling the bus, which has already been donated to the district. Yukon Superintendent Jason Simeroth said Smicklas Chevrolet reaching out asking to help came at the right time.
“They sought us out because of the good things our school does for kids and the community that we live in,” Simeroth said. “They said, ‘Hey, we want to be a participant,’ but they didn’t know with what until they asked how they could help. We told them we have a great idea: How about we give this money to kick start our supplying books for our bookmobile?”
Simeroth said this project has been a long time coming.
“A couple of years ago, Yukon Schools started a conversation about what we could do to help promote reading with our kids… our younger kids mostly,” Simeroth said, “and so we came up with an idea of a book mobile. We’ve been toying with it and trying to figure out a way to implement it and this year, we really got serious about it. We looked at needing to buy a bus, retrofitting the bus, painting it, and all those things.”
Simeroth said Yukon Public Schools transportation director, Christy Clemons took the initiative and reached out to the bus distributor and requested the company donate a bus. Much to Clemons and Simeroth’s delight, a used bus was donated and now the district is working to renovate it in time for next summer.
[The bus is] in really good shape so we’re gonna have it painted and retrofit the inside to store books,” Simeroth said. “And we’re also gonna use that to pull our food trailer because we use that for our summer reading program. So, we can kill two birds with one stone so to speak. We can go and give them nourishment for their bodies and we can also give them nourishment for their minds over the summer so they come back to school more prepared.”
The food trailer provides meals to anyone under 18, and will accompany the book mobile on its route. They’ll also have set locations which Simeroth said will be announced on the school website.
“We usually have one here, at the high school, and a few other spots around town,” Simeroth explained. “So beginning the first of June, we’ll put it on our website, send it out on our school messenger, and other places.”