Words on Wheels BookWagon makes reading fun for kids


“It’s sort of an introduction to all the magic that happens in the library,” said Meridith Wulff, regional youth specialist for the First Regional Library.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Reading is fundamental, and Words on Wheels BookWagon in northern Mississippi wants to make sure it’s fun for the kids too.

“It’s sort of an introduction to all the magic that happens in the library,” said Meridith Wulff, regional youth specialist for the First Regional Library.

The BookWagon is a free resource serving DeSoto, Tate, Tunica, Panola, and Lafayette counties.

“The BookWagon aims to bring the library to where the kids are in our most rural communities,” Wulff said. “It’s literally a library on a bus, and it’s full of wonderful things that support early learning.”

The children are excited when they see the 1996 Bluebird bus full of books.

“They see all the books and they’re so excited. They love to read,” said Brenda Wright, owner of Celestial Hearts Learning Center.

The wagon focuses on literacy for young children, ages birth to five, and serves 15 to 18 child care centers each school year. He visits each daycare he serves approximately once a month and is on the road 3-4 days a week.

“The BookWagon is a partner of the 14 branches of the First Regional Library. To ensure that all of the children in our community, all of our youngest children, receive free, high-quality early literacy library services,” Wulff said.

They give a bag of resources to the teachers of each CPE for the coming month. They have books, puppets, story time kits, musical instruments and resources for teachers and caregivers.

Not only are there resources for teachers. Students can also borrow books, which stay in the daycares until the bus returns and the books are returned.

“They choose books. They consult them as in a library. So they get, in some cases, their very first or maybe their only library experience,” Wulff said. “There’s a lot going on in this little space and I think when the kids and their caregivers get on board they feel it and it’s part of the energy that comes through during story time.”

“She makes it fun for all the kids. Because she does different things. She does the songs, and she does the reading. And then they like looking at the books and checking the books,” Wright said. “We want to make sure that we are building the foundations. And that’s our motto, build a solid foundation for the future. And it all starts with reading.

“It’s not just about what happens in the book car. This is to encourage them in this way to visit their local branch. And really familiarize yourself with all the resources available for free with a library card,” Wulff said. “We are truly fortunate to be able to do the work we do on the BookWagon thanks to generous funding from the Community Foundation of North Mississippi as well as the communities we serve, the communities of DeSoto Panola County, Tate, Tunica and La County. Fayette. Therefore, this work would not be possible without this financial support.

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