Sagebrush Reading Council’s book mobile brings out the summer readers | CraigDailyPress.com

Sagebrush Reading Council’s book mobile brings out the summer readers

Book mobile travels through area every Wednesday

Michael Neary

Kaden Voegtle, 4, examines a book from the Sagebrush Reading Council’s book mobile at Woodbury Park as his mother, Kalee Voegtle, looks on.





Kaden Voegtle, 4, examines a book from the Sagebrush Reading Council's book mobile at Woodbury Park as his mother, Kalee Voegtle, looks on.
Michael Neary

— Haley Duran likes adventure books, and the whole act of reading transports her to other worlds.

"It's just like I'm there in the book," said Haley, 7, stopping to chat at Woodbury Sports Complex. "I really like it."

Wednesday Book Mobile Schedule

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Skate Park

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: McDonald's parking lot

12 to 12:30 p.m.: Woodbury Sports Complex

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12:45 to 1:15 p.m.: Craig City Pool Complex

As Haley travels imaginatively through her reading, the Sagebrush Reading Council’s book mobile is moving literally through town each Wednesday this summer.

Haley was among a number of children and adults who frequented the book mobile this past Wednesday. The traveling book station makes its way through Skate Park, the McDonald's parking lot, Woodbury Sports Complex and Craig City Pool Complex on Wednesdays. It’s also slated to go to the Boys & Girls Club of Craig twice during the remainder of the summer.

Children can bring books and trade for an equal number at the book mobile — and if they don't have books to trade, they can pick up a free book.

"I think the kids who are avid readers will seek this out in the summer when they don't have that much access (to books)," said Shannon Samuelson, a teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School volunteering at the book mobile. And for children who may not be as predisposed to reading, she said the presence of a free book could create some allure.

"It's like a prize," she said.

Samuelson was minding the book mobile Wednesday with her Ridgeview teaching colleagues Crystal Miller, Lauren Padon and Megan Charchalis. Teachers throughout the district volunteer to work in the book mobile during the summer.

Staving off summer slide

Amy Jones, co-president of the Sagebrush Reading Council, stresses the way reading transcends classroom boundaries. Jones is a kindergarten teacher at Sunset Elementary School, and the Sagebrush Reading Council is a group of school district members who have come together for years to promote reading and literacy among students and adults.

"We're trying to promote how important it is for parents to read out loud to their children, even after children have begun to read on their own," said Jones, a kindergarten teacher at Sunset Elementary School. "Teachers can teach kids how to read, but parents can instill a love of reading."

She said research has shown that if children read 10 books of choice in the summer, they'll avoid summer reading loss.

Kristin Allen, instructional coach for East Elementary School, noted that staff members often observe some “summer drop-off” in reading when children return to school in the fall. Allen is also co-president of the Sagebrush Reading Council.

“We’re trying to mitigate that drop-off,” she said.

Like Jones, Allen characterized summer as a time when children can, with their families, cultivate a love of reading that can propel proficiency at reading.

“If we can get kids to love reading, then they’ll read more, and by default they’ll get better,” Allen said.

Genesis of the book mobile

Allen said the book mobile got started two years ago when Tiffany Trevenen and Sarah Hepworth began it as a project at East Elementary School. Trevenen is the literacy coordinator at East, and Hepworth is the principal.

“We wanted to reach out to kids who couldn't go to the library — or who didn't necessarily get to the library,” Trevenen said.

Trevenen recalled the way the image of a book mobile took shape in her mind several years ago. She said a book truck used to come to her schools when she was a child — and then one day she was visiting her mother.

“I heard the ice cream truck go by at my mother's, and I thought, ‘Wouldn't that be cool if a book mobile came by?'” she explained.

So, she and Hepworth and other staff members started the book mobile project at East Elementary School. Then last summer, the Sagebrush Reading Council began running the book mobile district-wide, with locations close to a different school each week. The shifting locations, though, may have impeded turnout, Jones noted.

"We didn't feel like we had a great turnout from the families," Jones said.

This summer, the council has created a cluster of spots that the book mobile visits each week, creating a week-to-week reliability that organizers hope will boost turnout.

Community support

The book mobile has a number of organizations behind it. It’s received grants to buy books from the Colorado Chapter of the International Reading Association — a chapter to which the Sagebrush Reading Council belongs. The book mobile also receives support from Friends of Moffat County Education, Moffat County Booster Club, Moffat County School District and trucking company Peroulis Brothers.

Allen noted a goal of tapping more funding sources to expand the book mobile’s reach, and Jones said the community can support the book mobile by dropping off "gently used books" at any elementary school during the school year.

As the book mobile becomes more and more visible, it’s bringing into public view the power of reading — a power that dwells quietly in a number of homes already. Kalee Voegtle, who was at the book mobile Wednesday with her 4-year-old son Kaden, said reading is a prevalent force in their household.

"We read every night before bedtime," she said.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Wednesday Book Mobile Schedule

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Skate Park

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: McDonald’s parking lot

12 to 12:30 p.m.: Woodbury Sports Complex

12:45 to 1:15 p.m.: Craig City Pool Complex