Smiling faces waiting on front lawns and at neighborhood parking lots; are they expecting the ice cream truck? In Middletown those excited children are on the lookout for the Middletown Schools Bookmobile! This summer we distributed close to 2000 books to families throughout our community while visiting neighborhoods, Park and Recreation, YMCA and other camps. The bookmobile volunteers comprised of school staff, administrators, parents and other community partners have distributed close to 10,000 books over the past 4 years.

Our children know their books! Students ask for particular books and series such as Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games, The Giver, Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House and Percy Jackson. Students know their reading levels; they use the "five finger rule test" to select books. Follow this link to learn more: Some children just sit down on the grass and start reading; others help their friends and siblings pick out a great read.

Staff enjoys driving the bookmobile and meeting families and our camp partners around the community. We also have the opportunity to distribute community resources and talk about the services available in the schools and the community. This summer Russell Library often followed the route and met with families and children to story tell, do crafts and of course spread the love of reading!

Bookmobile work happens year-round with collection events, partnership development, lots of cleaning and sorting and of course the distribution of books. We also visit preschools and attend school and community events upon request.

The bookmobile is a grassroots effort started 4 years ago by a parent who is also a Parent Leadership graduate, Stephanie Alderman. Other initial partners were the Middletown Schools Association and the school principals. Their mission was to address the "summer slide" and to engage with families where they live. Over the years so many other partners emerged and deserve our thanks: Russell Library, Read to Grow, the Partnership and Parent Leadership office, Family Resource Centers, Family School Connection, Youth Services, our Teaching and Learning Center, PTA/O's, Altrusa, Soroptimist, Civitan, Book Bower, United Way, Middlesex Hospital, the Hospital of Special Care, Rushford, Reading Well for Kids, Millard Group, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, YMCA , Park and Recreation, Central Connecticut State College, … and many individuals and staff members who love children and love to read and spread the joy of a great book!

To learn more about the bookmobile contact our office at 860 638-1463, email at [email protected] or visit the website and go to "summer reading." Thank you partners and volunteers.

ILearn more about the Summer Reading Program