ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A school bus filled with books is rolling through the Bay Area giving away thousands of publications to children.
The buses are part of the Summer Book Bus, a partnership between Pinellas County Schools and the Juvenile Welfare Board. The goal is to encourage summer reading by giving away thousands of books.
"Just over half of our kids are reading on grade level by third grade, and that number really needs to change," Hintz said.
Over three weeks, the buses will visit 70 sites, servicing 5,000 kids and giving away more than 10,000 books. The sites vary from libraries and child-care centers to schools and community centers.
"If you start early enough, and we start with really little children and get them to want to be read to or to read, then it becomes part of who they are and what they are doing each day," stated Juvenile Welfare Board community collaborations manager Danielle Hintz.
The new books also help combat what teachers call "summer learning loss."
"Some don't have books in their homes, or maybe they can go to the library to borrow books, but to be able to pick out a brand-new book to take it home and start to build their own library is just wonderful," Hintz said.
LINK: Click here for more information and to see where the Summer Book Bus schedule.