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EDUCATIONSUPPORTPROFESSIONALSMeetingtheNeedsoftheWholeStudent27www.nea.orgespProflesinSUPPORTEDEachstudenthasaccesstopersonalizedlearningandissupportedbyqualifedcaringadults.LauraMontgomeryHomeSchoolConsultantThePulaskiCountySpecialSchoolDistrictLittleRockArkansasTedChaudoirSchoolBusDriverandPlaygroundSupervisorSouthernDoorElementarySchoolBrusselsWisconsinAfewyearsbackIhadaverysquirmyfour-year-oldkindergarteneronmybus.Itrieddifferentseatingarrangementstotrytokeephimseatedbutnothingworked.OnedayIsaidAJcouldyoujustpleasetakeabookoutofyourbackpackandlookthroughitwhileyoureonthebusHesaidIdonthavebooksinmybackpack.WellIcheckedandsureenoughtheydidnthavebookstotakehome.ThatrealizationstayedwithmebecauseacouplemonthslaterwhenmywifeDeewantedmetotakeouradultdaughterAlishaschildrensbookstoGoodwillIhadanotheridea.IthoughtIdbringthemonthebusandseeifmystudentsmightwantthem.AnddidtheyeverItoldthemthattheycouldkeepitiftheylikedthebook.WithinacoupleweeksIhadfoundhomesforallofAlishasbooks.Wellaweekortwolatersomekidsstartedaskingformorebooks.MywifeDeeisalsoaschoolbusdriverandweagreedthatweneededtogetthemmorebooksHowcouldweturnadeafeartokidsaskingforbooksAstheESPpresidentofmylocalAssociationIattendtheschoolboardmeetingsanditsohappenedthatatthenextboardmeetingtheschoolsreadingspecialistwasgivingareporttotheboard.Iapproachedherafterthemeetingandtoldherwhatweweredoingonthebusandaskedifshecouldfindussomebooks.YoudhavetoknowMissyBousleytoappreciateherresponse.Sheisthismile-a-minutewalkerandtalkerandpassionateaboutencouragingkidstoread.Tryingtotalktohercanbeliketalkingtothewind.ShesbusyButmyrequeststoppedherinhertracksandshesaidYouredoingwhatAfterItoldherhowandwhywewereofferingthekidsbooksandhowthefour-toeight-year-oldswereeatingitupshealmostspontaneouslycombustedrightinfrontofme.Getyoubooksohwecangetyoubooks.CanyougetallthebusdriverstodothisIsaidIdontknowbutDeeandIsurecouldusesomebooksnow.ShesaidIsupposeyouneedpicturebooksforyourfour-toeight-year-oldkidsIsaidWellIhavesomemiddleschoolandhighschoolkidsreadingtosomeofthelittleonessowecouldusesomechapterbookstoo.MissysaysYouhaveolderkidsreadingtotheyoungerkidsPeermentoringpeermentoringyouhavepeermentorsonthebusIsaidNoIgotolderkidsreadingtothosethatcantread.Icouldseethewheelsturninginherhead.WithinaweekortwoshehadthreedifferentnewsoutletsfromSouthernDoorCountyinterviewingmewhereIwasabletoaskforchildrensbooks.Wegotbooksallrightbutwealsogotanewoutlookconcerningthislittleprojectwehadstartedonthebus.ThepassionateresponsewegotfromthepublicaboutthisideainspiredDeeandItotrytocreateabetterworkingmodelfortheotherbusdriverstotry.Theboxofbooksatthefrontofthebuswaseasyforstudentstoaccesswhilegettingonthebusbutduringtheroutewhenthekidswantadifferentbookwelltheyreoutofluckasyouhavetobeseatedwhilethosewheelsarerolling.WetriedTupperwaretubsandbackpacksbuttheyprovedtobejusttoocumbersomeforlittlekidstohandle.Iknewwhatwouldworkthough.Weneededbookpocketsbuiltintothebacksoftheseatsbuttheywereexpensiveandwedidnthavethefunds.UnbeknownsttomethisprojectthatwestartedcallingBooksontheBuswasnominatedforanawardfromtheWisconsinStateReadingAssociationanditwonWellitwasnttwomonthslaterthatourveryownWisconsinEducationAssociationCouncilTrustBenefitsawardedBooksontheBusoneofthetwo2500ForwardTogetherawards.WenowhadthemoneyforourseatpocketsBooksontheBusrequiressomeonewithapassionforkidsbecauseitwillprobablyalwaysbeanunbudgetedprogram.Wedonotgetcompensationfordoingthis.ItisESPsgoingaboveandbeyondtheirjob-descriptiontobenefitstudents.Itwasthecollaborationofouruniontostartfundingthisprojectthatwaskeytogettingitoperatinglikeitis.Nowwehavekidsdonatingtheirownbookstotheprogram.OnemorningmystudentAbbieagefivebroughtmeabagofbooksandsaidIdontneedtheseanymore.IsaidGreatIllputtheminthebookbox.ThatafternoonontheroutehomeIhappenedtonoticeherinmymirror.ShewasawarethatkidswerelookingthroughsomeofherbooksandIcouldactuallyseethepridespreadingacrossherface.Icouldhearhertellingotherkidsthatthosewereherbooks.AsshegotoffthebusatherhousesheleanedovertomeandwithabigsmileshewhisperedIthinktheyreallylikedmybooksWanttolearnmoreaboutBooksontheBusordonatebookstothisprogramClickhere.Itwasthecollaborationoouruniontostartundingthisprojectthatwaskeytogettingitoperatinglikeitis.