Hey Kids –There’s A New Bus In Town!
The B. Bus mobile library will be traveling throughout Barry County this summer. Converted into a library on wheels from a retired school bus the goal of this project is to motivate students throughout Barry County to spend time reading during the summer months. The bus was gutted, then shelving for books along with pillow and bean bag seating was added in addition to a station at the front of the bus for checking in and out.
Many organizations helped make the B. Bus Possible such as Darrell Barnum of D.B Design, who designed the exterior of the bus. The interior cabinets came from Cabinets Plus of Hastings.
The B. Bus will be running five days a week, from June 18 through Aug. 17, 2018. This project hopes to supplement summer reading programs at local libraries and make books more accessible to students who may have a difficult time getting to a library.
This project began as an idea, nearly three years. YMCA Community Outreach Director, Allison Hinton, has coordinated the efforts of many volunteers and donors to create the B. Bus. The initiative has been made possible through the collaborative efforts between the Barry County YMCA, Delton Kellogg, Hastings Area School System, Maple Valley and Thornapple Kellogg schools, Thornapple Credit Union and the First Presbyterian Church of Hastings.
At the ribbon cutting Jon Sporer, Barry County YMCA Director said that “generous donors made this possible." The First Presbyterian Church of Hastings was one of those generous donors, donating the money used to purchase the bus. Great Lakes Energy has also provided financial support.
Students at Hastings High School and Thornapple Kellogg High School hosting penny wars this Spring to raise funds for the B. Bus. Thier combined efforts were also generously matched by Thornapple Credit Union bringing the total amount raised to more than $5,000. Additionally, Delton Kellogg, Hastings Area School System, Maple Valley, and Thornapple Kellogg are working together to provide funds to cover the operational costs of the B. Bus.
Hastings Area School System provided, drop off locations for B. Bus book donations. Bins for book donations were located at the High School and the Middle School this spring. Thanks to a grant from the Lois Lenski Covey Foundation the B. Bus was able to purchase books written or translated into Spanish to match with English-language books, in addition to bilingual books for everyone from infants through adults. Because of all the generous donations, the B. Bus has books for everyone from toddlers to adults.
The B. Bus is open to everyone at all locations. However, registration is required. Individuals who register will get a number and for the remainder of the summer registered participants only need to provide their name or number to check out books.
Barry County students with KickStart to Career accounts established will receive a $5 deposit into their account after visiting the B. Bus five times this summer.
The tentative times and locations are listed below (and are subject to change). An up-to-date schedule can be found, on the B. Bus Facebook page. Additionally, the B. Bus will not operate during holidays or inclement weather. Locations and times are subject to change throughout the summer.
Please plan on visiting the B. Bus at the following locations: