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Buckets of Books

New program encourages kids to read

Submitted photos A new program, Buckets of Books, will provide reading materials to students on their bus rides to and from school. Participants, above, work to load books onto a Randolph County school bus.

ELKINS — A new program has been started by the Elkins-Randolph County Public Library, in partnership with the Randolph County Board of Education, to make sure that books are in the hands of Randolph County students. Starting this school year, Buckets of Books will be available on every Randolph County school bus for children to borrow from while riding.

The 49 buckets of books, each containing materials for grades Pre-K through 12, will be located by the bus driver’s seat so that kids can choose from them while on their bus ride.

“We know that many kids in our county are on the buses for quite some time. What better way to encourage them to read during their down time than to provide a sampling of different genres to choose from?” said library director Stephanie Murphy. “Our biggest hope is that a child will discover a book or an author that they might not have otherwise chosen, and discover they want to read more.”

The books are labeled on the inside covers with information about how to sign up for library cards, the website url and a reminder to follow the library on Facebook. While the intention is to provide entertainment and inspiration on the bus rides, if a child discovers they want to finish reading a book there is no hard and fast rule that says they cannot take the book home with them. The point is, after all, to encourage them to read.

The project was made possible by the citizens of Randolph County, who graciously donated approximately 2,000 books to kick off the program and fill 49 buckets. The library will continue to take donations for Buckets Of Books in an effort to update the bus supplies throughout the year. Children are also welcome to donate their own books by dropping them in the bucket when they are done reading them.

The Buckets of Books program has been started by the Elkins-Randolph County Public Library, in partnership with the Randolph County Board of Education, to make sure that books are in the hands of Randolph County students. Those taking part in getting the program started included Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Debra Schmidlen, Transportation Director Randy Long and Elkins-Randolph County Public Library Director Stephanie Murphy.

“We hope the kids will also pay it forward, creating a new way to share stories with others by putting them on the buses,” said Murphy. “And of course, we hope once a student discovers a great book that they will come to the library and demand more!”

For more information about the Buckets of Books Program or to donate, contact the Elkins-Randolph County Public Library at 304-637-0287.

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