Pop-up businesses are in vogue. Thanks to The Tualatin Rotary Club, Books on Wheels is on trend this summer.
The summer reading delivery project has been popping up at parks, schools and apartments. Each delivery brings free books to anyone who loves to read.
Books on Wheels began twelve years ago as a summer outreach at Deer Creek Elementary School in Tigard. Teachers from Deer Creek continue reaching out to an apartment in Tualatin and Tigard. From one location, Books on Wheels has expanded to all schools in Tualatin.
Books are collected all year from school book drives and generous donations from members of the community. They are stored at Tualatin High School under the direction of Andrew Bonica. Through an Eagle Scout project, the books now have their own private storage shed. In many ways, the entire community helps to make reading a fun and vibrant part of summer vacation.
The Rotary Club provides funds to purchase exciting new titles and bilingual books. Many children that frequent the delivery spots are not able to access the local library. Some kids live too far away and do not have transportation. Others have lost books and have been assessed fines so their parents are leery about checking out additional titles.
The Books on Wheels project is worry-free. The books the children select are free and never need to be returned. Mr. Bonica and his volunteers firmly believe in the power of home libraries. Students who have books at home do better in school. Children who have books read to them have a higher success rate in school. Literature has been delighting humankind for centuries. Families in the Tualatin community have the opportunity to celebrate reading and learning together.
Armed with a blanket, baskets of books and a banner, each delivery volunteer heads out to set up a mini-library. Parents and children select the stories that they wish to read. Volunteers serve as book promoters and introduce readers to books they may enjoy. At one recent delivery site, a middle school boy was looking for a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. He found three titles in the basket and asked if he needed to select one. When he was told that he could have all three he said, “This could be the best thing that happens to me all summer.” The Rotary Club believes in service above self and this opportunity to give to another is a perfect example.
Look for the Rotary Book Banner this month at Atfalati Park, Community Park and at summer lunch sites around town. In addition to books, some of the deliveries will include school supplies.
Providing opportunity is a goal for The Tualatin Rotary Club. Books on Wheels accomplishes this each time a delivery is made.
For more information contact www.tualatinrotary.org.