By Erin Hannon
Roanoke College is partnering with the Roanoke Public Library to support the Books on Buses project. Books on Buses is a program that provides free books to underprivileged children.
The program works by putting boxes filled with children’s books on Roanoke’s local Valley Metro buses. Children who ride the buses can read the books and then bring them home. Reading is a very important skill that develops during childhood, and it only gets better through practice. The children who receive these books often do not have many books at home. This means that they have fewer opportunities to read compared to some of their more well-off classmates. Books on Buses works to try and solve that problem and encourage childhood literacy in order to help these children be better prepared for school.
This weekend, Roanoke College students got together to start the first part of this inspirational project. On the evening of September 27, students met in Pickle to begin decorating the donation boxes and posters. The boxes will be placed in several businesses around Salem, and people will be able to learn more about the project and drop off books for donation.
Roanoke’s artistic students helped by supplying drawings of characters from classic children’s books, such as The Cat in the Hat, Winnie the Pooh, and Where the Wild Things Are. Those who were less artistically inclined were also able to help by making posters, covering the boxes, and coloring in the drawings. The end result was amazing; in a span of just two hours, the boxes were transformed from boring and brown to cheery and colorful.
However, this project is far from done. There are still several boxes that need to be decorated, so another box decoration session will be held the evening of October 4. It will be in the Honors Lounge on the first floor of New Hall from 6:30-8:00 pm. There will also be opportunities later on in the semester to help collect the boxes and sort the donated books.
Roanoke College’s involvement in this project is being organized by two of our very own sophomores, Catherine Chestnutt and Tabitha Tutwiler. If you have any questions or if you are interested in helping, please contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.