EDWARDSVILLE - A new volunteer committee of teachers, administrators, and community members have formed within the Edwardsville School District with a goal of increasing District 7 children’s love of reading. Each month, the committee will look for simple ways to show children how enjoyable reading can be and to model reading solely for enjoyment.

“So often, the only reading that many of our children do each day is controlled and managed by adults. At times the books children are assigned to read may be of interest to them, but quite often the books used for instruction have a specific purpose and a specific focus. The child’s school day leaves limited time for a child to pick up a book just for enjoyment,” said Cathie Wright, Director for Curriculum and Instruction.” The Book Access for All Children committee will focus on increasing each child’s awareness of how enjoyable reading can be and will work on increasing access to books for all children in hopes of growing enthusiastic readers.

The District’s first initiative, Stories on the Move, is a collaborative effort with the Edwardsville Public Library and First Student transportation.

“The Edwardsville Public Library is always looking for new ways to engage and inspire our community. Offering children books in an unexpected place is an opportunity to plant a seed for lifelong learning, and we are very excited to be involved in Stories on the Move. The possibilities are endless when you open the cover of a book,” said Jill Schardt, Director for the Edwardsville Public Library. The Edwardsville Public Library has donated books that will soon be placed on sixteen District 7 buses. Children will be offered a book as they enter the bus.

"They can choose to read it on the bus, put it back at the end of their trip, or take it home to keep to help build their home libraries. The book does not need to be returned. After the pilot, the program may be expanded to reach more children. This collaboration between community entities such as the Edwardsville Public Library and First Student Bus Transportation Company as well as the District 7 School District is just one of many ways the community works together for the good of our children."

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