This summer, there is a new kind of bus rolling down the road in Howell. This is not an ordinary bus; instead, it is a custom mobile library that will be used by Howell Public Schools to build excitement for and promote summer reading. Named The Highlander Reading Express, the bus will travel a set route to various locations around the district each week. It will also be at various special events all summer long. Each week, teachers, principals, and staff members will be on The Highlander Reading Express to help students select and check out books.
“Our goal for the Highlander Reading Express is to get students excited about summer reading. We also know that some students lack access to reading materials over the summer months, which we hope to combat by bringing the books to the students,” said Erin MacGregor, Howell Public Schools superintendent. “Research shows that students who read just six books over the summer months will experience less of the ‘summer slide,’ so we are hopeful that we will see fewer students experiencing the loss of academic skills over the summer months thanks to the increased access to reading materials created by The Highlander Reading Express.”
The cost of transforming a decommissioned school bus into a mobile library was covered by the generous support of local businesses and organizations. Additionally, several Howell High School students were involved in the process of transforming the bus. From the school’s manufacturing program Trevor Provenzano, Max Greenwood and Jacob Oginsky undertook the task of removing all of the seats and other interior items from the school bus. Brooklyn Schultz, a student in the school’s CAD Design course, created detailed blueprints of the interior of the bus. Interior Design students Taylor Beaudin and Abigail Husic helped develop the interior layout and design elements. Adam Griffith, a member of Boy Scout Troop 362, led the effort to build and install all of the shelving in the bus as his Eagle Scout Service Project. Elementary students in the district were invited to submit names for the bus, with students voting on their favorite submission. The name The Highlander Reading Express was submitted by Payton Fitzpatrick, a student at Challenger Elementary.
“The community support of this initiative has been incredible. From the financial support of local business and organizations to our students and Boy Scout Troop 362 volunteering their time to help, this truly has been a community effort,” said MacGregor. “The Howell Carnegie District Library has been a strong supporter of The Highlander Reading Express and of promoting summer reading to our students.”
To learn more about The Highlander Reading Express or to view its weekly route, please visit HowellSchools.com/BookBus.