Books on the Bus Aims to Promote Reading

August 10, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education is hoping a pilot program that allows students to access electronic books while riding the school bus will help encourage reading. Books on the Bus will be launched in select rural counties this fall

“This program will address not only the issues of long bus rides for students but also will engage them in personalized learning through the use of technology,” state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple said Wednesday. “Reading well is the gateway to future success. This program is one more way we can strive to help children develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime.”

Each pilot school will receive funding to purchase some equipment and establish OverDrive digital library collections. With an iPod Touch, students then will be able to download eBooks and audio books from the digital library. Students who are not part of the bus pilot or special education may use their personal devices to download titles.

Library media specialists can assist students in book selection based on reading abilities. The pilot also will provide professional development o the library media specialists and special education teachers in each school.

Participating schools include Capon Bridge Elementary, Capon Bridge Middle School and Hampshire High in Hampshire County and Elkins High in Randolph County. Other schools may be added.

The Books on the Bus pilot is part of the West Virginia Department of Education’s Read WV campaign to encourage reading.  The department has created a resource page to help parents, teachers and others with this endeavor. The site can be accessed at

“These resources can be used to ignite a passion for reading,” Marple said. “Remember, a child who can read is a child who can learn. And a child who can learn can succeed not only in school but in life.”

For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

--The West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) are committed to ensuring all students in the state are college and career ready when they graduate from a public school. What West Virginia students are learning in school exceeds national and international standards. Through the WVDE’s 21st century learning plan called Global21: Students deserve it. The world demands it.,” West Virginia is seeing better student performance on the West Virginia Educational Standards Test 2 (WESTEST2); the SAT and the ACT college entrance exams; the job skills assessment called Work Keys given to career and technical education students; and in a high school graduation rate that exceeds the national average.

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