Saturday, November 25, 2017
Education

Hernando bringing books to youngsters with new project

RECOMMENDED READING


BROOKSVILLE — Every summer, educators face the same problem.

With schools on break, many students lose access to their primary source of books. They might not have any at home. Some can't find transportation to a library.

It means students can lose months of learning in what's commonly known as the "summer slide."

Hernando County officials have come up with a new way to address the issue: the book van.

Beginning Monday, a book-laden Hernando County Public Library van will begin driving into the community, giving youngsters easy access to grade-appropriate titles.

"We're hoping if we get the reading materials out to them, then that gives them another avenue to continue reading," said Sheryl Fell, the library experience coordinator at the county's public library.

The van will be out once a week on Mondays, following around the Cruisin' Cafe, a converted Hernando school bus that brings nutritious meals to kids and teenagers during summer break.

The book van will try to capitalize on the Cruisin' Cafe's crowds. In its first year of operation, the bus provided nearly 2,300 meals.

The book van and Cruisin' Cafe will make two stops, including one at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill and another at the Elks Lodge on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Brooksville.

Youngsters will be able to check out books and get library cards. Those who are unable to get a library card — for example, if they can't get a parent's or guardian's signature — will have access to free books.

"We're going to do anything we can to get books in their hands," said Fell.

The book van is the brainchild of Mary Dysart, a media specialist at Nature Coast Technical High School.

She said she was reading an article about how many teenagers slide over the summer, failing to read or eat healthy meals. The idea of adding a book element to the Cruisin' Cafe hit her.

"It's food for the tummy and food for the mind," she said.

Dysart said the project is about promoting literacy in general.

"There's something magical when a person can read a book they really love," she said. "School in general becomes more meaningful."

The county library system, which already owns the van, will shoulder the costs for the project, providing the staff, gas and books for checkout. Both the school district and library will donate books that can be given to people who are unable to get a library card.

Library and school officials say the program will start off small, with a selection of books for elementary, middle and high school students.

They hope to see it grow.

"I think it's going to be very successful," said Dysart. "I think this is just the first step."

Danny Valentine can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Comments
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Published: 11/23/17
Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

Pasco students score big at Junior Thespian Festival

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco schools brought home 20 top honors from the District 11 Junior Thespian Festival, which included 22 schools from Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties and took place at the new River Ridge FAME Academy on Nov. 17 and ...
Published: 11/22/17
A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

A year after impasse, Pasco school contract talks run more smoothly

LAND O’LAKES — Representatives from the Pasco County school district and the United School Employees of Pasco sat together several times in the weeks leading to Thanksgiving break, trading contract proposals amid (mostly) amicable conversation.They c...
Published: 11/22/17
Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

Epilogue: Music professor Rita Osborn insisted that her students experience the arts live

The thousands of students who signed up for Rita Osborn’s music and humanities classes at St. Petersburg Junior College knew what they had to do to pass.They could study and memorize material for tests, but they wouldn’t earn more than a C if they di...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

When school is out, a Pinellas camp for autistic kids offers a much-needed service

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Wiseman’s cellphone rings at least once a week, usually after 9 p.m., with a call from a desperate parent. The voice on the line is tired, defeated. Once again, their child was excluded from an after-school program or summer cam...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/23/17
USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

USF professors honored as AAAS Fellows

Six University of South Florida professors whose research efforts span biology, engineering, chemistry and business have been selected as Fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the organization announced Nov. 20.Election ...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

University of Central Florida suspends sorority for hazing

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A University of Central Florida sorority has been suspended after its members were accused of hazing, underage drinking and providing false information to law enforcement.The university placed Alpha Xi Delta on an interim suspens...
Published: 11/21/17
10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

10 African-Americans named Rhodes scholars, most ever

Associated PressThe latest group of U.S. Rhodes scholars includes 10 African-Americans — the most ever in a single Rhodes class — as well as a transgender man and four students from colleges that had never had received the honor before. The Rhodes Tr...
Published: 11/19/17

Class notes

School Calendar• Nov. 27: School resumes after Thanksgiving break• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middl...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/22/17
Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

Pasco’s 2018 Outstanding Senior hails from River Ridge High

River Ridge High School senior Connor Beckman has been named Pasco County’s 2018 Outstanding Senior.Commander of the school’s Air Force JROTC program, Beckman is also an Eagle Scout mentor, National Honor Society president and swim team captain.Beckm...
Published: 11/22/17