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Bus riders benefit from Rolling Readers program

Reading has never been so fun!

In partnership with SAISD, Bexar County's digital library, known as BiblioTech, is debuting a program to get kids excited about reading. It's called Rolling Readers.

The program will start with seven SAISD school buses which are outfitted with Wi-Fi, designed to increase student interest in reading by providing digital library access.

Bus routes will rotate periodically, so that every SAISD school has an opportunity for a route at some point during the 2017-18 school year.

“Our bus drivers will play an integral role in furthering the education of our students beyond the normal school day,” said Nathan Graf, Senior Executive Director of Transportation and Vehicle Maintenance for the District. “By introducing students to the BiblioTech library, and motivating them to read, bus drivers can positively influence a child’s education. The Transportation department takes great pride in its commitment to getting our students on the road to education.”

Along with Wi-Fi access to the digital library, bus drivers will serve as Reading Captains. These bus drivers will be responsible for distribution of monthly reading prizes and motivating student participation. They also will be equipped with Kindle Fire reading devices to play audio book trailers and service announcements.

“A key tenet of BiblioTech's mission is to promote reading as recreation. Rolling Readers is an ideal way for BiblioTech to live its mission,” BiblioTech Administrator Laura Cole said. “The bus ride is the first experience of the school day - we want kids to have a positive, fun experience so that when they arrive, they are in good state of mind, ready to learn.”

Through BiblioTech’s cloudLibrary app, students will have access to more than 40,000 e-books and audio books. BiblioTech will add a Rolling Readers “book shelf” to the cloudLibrary, which will feature selected books that tie into monthly themes. Reading Captions may occasionally choose to dress up to match the monthly theme in order to engage readers further. Themes include such topics as sports, superheroes, Manga, science fiction, pets and music.

As needed, digital devices also are available for students to check out from BiblioTech’s three physical locations, so that all students may participate when their bus route is scheduled to be part of the program.

The pilot will run the entire 2017-18 school year, from August through May.