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posted: 3/14/2013 3:09 PM

Book Bus offers free reads March 16 at Highland school

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Submitted by U-46

Students will spring into reading their favorite books when the Book Bus stops at Highland Elementary School. The Book Bus is a mobile giveaway book exchange for U-46 students. It's a chance for students to get books, give books and trade books.

The first Spring Brook Bus stops at Highland Elementary School, 1221 Highland Ave. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The event is free and open to everyone. Each student will receive three books for free. Students can also trade in books; they will receive one book for each book the student donates.

"It is very important for students to have books they can call their own. Being able to read often and at home is key for success at school," said Highland Elementary School Principal, Steve Johnson.

U-46 Bus Drivers, the U-46 Transportation Department and members of the District U-46 Transportation Union are sponsoring the first Spring Brook Bus event. Last year, a group of transportation employees decided they wanted to do something positive for the district. They started asking for book donations from bus drivers, parents, students, local businesses and the community.

"The donations started coming in slowly, then in massive quantities. One driver of a small bus came back to base almost full. And before we knew it, we had approximately 2,500 books," said U-46 Bus Driver and Book Bus organizer, Paulette Walsh.

Last year's summer and fall Book Bus events proved to be successful with more than 150 visitors at each stop.

"It is our hope that this becomes a permanent fixture to our district and that we inspire our students to read," said Walsh.

One big school bus is used for the Book Bus event. To help cut down on congestion in the aisles, students will also have an opportunity to practice their emergency bus evacuation skills. They will exit the bus through the back emergency door.

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