Bookmobile stops at Rotary

Published 5:50 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Jungle Bus Bookmobile is taking off on reading adventures for children in LaGrange. Rotary Club President of LaGrange, Patty Youngblood, said the idea for the bus, funded by the LaGrange High School Service Club and the local rotary club, was created almost six months ago with Gale Gordon and Nicole Kennedy.

“We all went to a conference and we rode together and started talking about wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a book mobile like we used to have,” Youngblood said. “So, within six months, thanks to these two ladies, it’s a reality, and things just don’t happen like that.”

The club was given one of the largest grants from Rotary District 6900 this year, Youngblood said.

“This year, we made a grant to wrap the jungle bus and decorate the inside. We just got the bus all fixed up, and we’re here to show Rotary,” she said.

Youngblood said the club already has a reading program where members go to pre-k classes and distribute books to young students with a grant from the local foundation. This time, members were able to pick up bundles of books from the bus for certain schools.

The bus will be driven and run by Kennedy and Gordon. Kennedy said that Gordon is the reading ranger, and that as a driver, she is known to children as Jungle Jama, cousin of local public reading figure Mama Jama.

“Everybody in town knows [Mama Jama] and knows that she’s an icon for reading and for books,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said they plan on driving the bookmobile not only to schools and community events.

“[We’ll visit] different neighborhoods, apartment complexes, the housing authorities, early learning centers and community events,” she said. “We’re going to visit the elementary schools focusing on evening events when families are there. We’re on the agenda for a chili cook-off later this month.”

Kennedy said children will be able to check out three books at a time from the bus.