Princeton schools to improve literacy through bookmobile

Plan is a finalist for Scripps literacy grant
Posted at 6:02 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 19:48:27-04

SHARONVILLE, Ohio -- When they can't get to the books, the books will come to them.

That's the idea behind the second of three finalists for the Scripps Family Literacy Grant. WCPO's parent company will announce Wednesday night which local school district will get $100,000.

Some Princeton City Schools staff have packed their personal cars full of books during the summer and visited their neighborhoods.

Sharonville Elementary media paraprofessional Tricia Roddy compared the experience to selling ice cream.

"When the kids saw us there, they would run door-to-door, knocking on the doors, telling everyone that we were in town," Roddy said.

Like ice cream, fifth-grader Mamadou said it helped him chill.

"When I first saw them, I thought it was awesome, because I knew then I'll be able to read any books that I wanted that would be fun and adventurous," he said.

The teachers are tasting sweet success. Two years ago, they said 53 percent of kindergarteners who got the summer traveling teacher book visits were on target for first grade. Last year, they expanded and the number jumped to 93 percent.

That success has inspired the new year-round bookmobile. Associated Superintendent Tom Burton said he can't wait to fill the bookmobile.

"We're going to have book cases filled with books," Burton said. "We're going to have a mobile and very active Chrome card, and we're going to have 30 Chromebooks in there and we're going to have virtual reality readers. We're going to have so many different opportunities for kids, because what we want to do is close the opportunity gap."

Principal Kasi Jordan said she's proud the passion of her traveling teachers has inspired good kids to get on board with reading.

"They deserve the opportunity to feel proud of themselves in the classroom," Jordan said. "And so this mobile experience has given the children the confidence that they need to be in the classroom and to have a voice, because they feel very confident now their skillsets are higher through this summer reading experience."