The Tiger Bookmobile fromTexarkana Independent School District is preparing to roar through Texarkana this summer to encourage children to read.
The unique, one-of-a-kind, mobile literacy unit is meant to get children wild about reading.
“You can’t miss the 48’ mobile trailer when it is traveling down the street,” said Tina Veal-Gooch,” TISD’s Executive Director of Public Relations. “With a brightly colored exterior featuring children and animals all enjoying reading, the unit has been outfitted with mobile satellite technology, thousands of books, reading benches and seats, flat screen television, Wii gaming, bean bag chairs and colorful rugs. The look is complete with an additional exterior seating area featuring a canopy, bean bag chairs and more fun rugs,” she said.
The Bookmobile’s primary focus is to help prevent summer learning loss by allowing students the opportunity to continue their education during the summer months. The mobile unit becomes a welcome change to a child’s summer routine and allows for creativity and entertainment, thereby reducing the negative perception about summer learning.
Research estimates that 50-67 percent of the achievement gap for children living in poverty is the result of summer learning loss. Fortunately, research has also shown that having elementary-aged children read just four to five books during the summer can prevent this loss and help close the achievement gap.
Summer reading loss is cumulative. Children who are not encouraged to read during the summer don’t catch up in the fall because children who read during the summer move ahead with their skills. By the time school begins again, a child not encouraged to read has fallen behind. Additional research has shown that by the end of the sixth grade, those students who lose reading skills over the summers of their first through sixth grade years, are up to two years behind their classmates in reading ability and comprehension.
The bookmobile is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will travel throughout the community to various partner sites from now through August 15. A story hour will be featured at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. Tour dates and locations are:
- June 17, July 1, July 15, July 29, August 12: Highland Park Baptist Church – 2401 Hazel St.
- June 18, June 25, July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13: Pecan Ridge at Rosehill – 2210 West 15th St.
- June 19, June 26, July 3, July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14: Nash Elementary School – 100 Burton
- June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25, August 1, August 8, August 15: Splash Pad at Spring Lake Park – 4303 North Park Road
- June 23, June 30, July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11: The Oaks at Rosehill – 2100 West 12th St.
- June 24, July 8, July 22, August 5: Rosehill Ridge – 1201 Stuckey St.
Funding for the bookmobile is in part through the Texarkana Public Schools Foundation and the Tiger Family of TISD employees during its annual “All-In-One” campaign. Additional donors and in-kind providers are: Texas Pioneer Foundation; Mr. Jack Bruner, Capital One Bank, Altech, Inc.; SHW Group; AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company; Arkansas Community Foundation and the Texarkana Area Community Foundation; Mrs. Donna Chatman; The Bobbie A. Atkinson Foundation; FastSigns; Mayo Manufacturing Corp; Mr. & Mrs. Kelly Tidwell; The Washington Post Company; Mr. & Mrs. Joe A. Norwood, Jr.; THS Class of 1949; and, THS Class of 1999.
For more information on the Tiger Bookmobile and its summer tour visit www.txkisd.net.