August 29, 2012 - Every Wednesday afternoon students excitedly surrounded the North Sashabaw Elementary bookmobile to return their borrowed books and pick out a new one.
Slade Anderson, right, shares his journal entry from Who Loves Arthur? with Sandy Chenet. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
Even though last Wednesday was the last day, students were still smiling as they turned in their books.
"It was great," said mom, Kim Kopka. "Tyler was behind in reading, and this made him excited to read. He looked forward to seeing the bookmobile every week. It made him more enthused than just reading with mom."
Students kept a journal while they read their book. They used it to track what they read, make predictions, write what they liked about the book and connect ideas.
They even drew pictures and Tyler excitedly showed the drawings he did for just a few of the books he enjoyed - he read over 50 during the summer.
"I like reading," he smiled. "I liked picking out the books."
The students earned coins doing their journal entries. They counted up their coins on the last day and picked out treasures out of baskets for a reward.
North Sashabaw Elementary partnered with the Clarkston Optimists Club and Al Deeby Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to make the bookmobile possible.
The optimists donated a $5,000 grant.
"We purchased books and bins," said Sandy Chenet, noting they had 13 bins for books from preschool students up to fifth grade."We also give them a snack, and the grant paid for it. The students will be recognized for all the work they have done when school is back in session. The Optimists club has been wonderful."
Al Deeby provided a van the North Sashabaw staff could use every week.
"Al Deeby was wonderful," said Chenet. "I picked up the van every Wednesday at 8 a.m. and they were right there with smiling faces."
They had 125 students sign up but picked up more during the summer.
"We will definitely have to do the bookmobile next year," Kim said. "It was wonderful."
"I liked the teacher encouragement," said mom, Krista Anderson. "It was a positive experience. It made a difference."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.