She said her teacher told her about the program before school ended and she’s encouraged her friends to also take advantage of the opportunity.
“I can’t wait until next week when we get to choose a book to keep,” she added.
After choosing a few titles to tide them over, they ventured to the food truck for lunch.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank partner One 2 One provides meals and snacks to Book Mobile patrons — children and parents.
Gwinnett schools had approached the food bank for help providing snacks for the Book Mobile visitors but the resources were available to provide meals as well.
"We are excited to be able to provide not only snacks, but summer meals through this partnership," said Michele Chivore, director of the Child Nutrition Program at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. "Research shows children who don't have to worry about food perform better in the classroom, but for those facing food insecurity, the summer months pose an additional challenge. Our hope is that by offering nutritious meals, we can ensure many children aren't starting the school year at a disadvantage."
Mary Barbee, director of media services for Gwinnett schools, had approached the board of education a few years ago with the concept. When she got the green light, the program began last year. This is the first year that meals are also incorporated.
“We’re stocked with 4,000 books,” she said. “And we try to make sure we have something for everyone.”
Most education experts stress the need for children to read at grade level by third grade. Although statistics vary, many estimate that students especially in lower grades can lose as much as 30 percent of learning over the summer break.
In a survey of participants, 90 percent said they read more because of the Book Mobile.
Gwinnett County Public Schools Book Mobile
by the numbers
2 book mobiles
19,700 book checkouts
200 meals served daily