Add Rhea County to the list of mobile library buses within the state with the launch of The Book Bus!

The Book Bus is a new take on an old concept from the days when books were brought around to the rural areas on horseback and later modified trucks.

“It’s been a work in progress for over two years and we are thrilled to finally be able to get on the road and out into the community!” says Jamie Ridley, volunteer for The Book Bus.

“Our group was able to work together with other book bus groups, local RV and graphic specialists, local flooring and carpentry businesses and we couldn’t be happier with the end result.”

Rhea County will have one of twenty buses in the state to offer people of all ages an opportunity to step inside and take home a few free – forever books to call their very own!

The Book Bus is another step in Rhea County to promote early literacy and early workforce readiness. Information and resources for all ages will be readily available.

The Book Bus is a joint project between the Rhea County and the Dayton City School systems. It will travel around the county to all schools, neighborhoods, libraries, and parks beginning this summer.

In the fall, the schedule hopes to expand to other locations, such as children & adult care facilities, festivals, and sporting events The Book Bus is currently sponsored locally by La-Z-Boy, Market Street Hair, Suburban-AirExcel, The Herald News, The United Way of Rhea County, The Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, Rhea County Schools, Dayton City School, and the City of Dayton as well as numerous private donors with whom, this project has been made possible.

The Book Bus features a vinyl wrap the represents the Walden’s Ridge mountain range that cradles Rhea County along the western border and the blue band along the bottom represents the Tennessee River which define the outline of the Eastern border.

The interior has been retro-fitted to with two bookcases and bench seating, a work station with table, as well as flexible seating. Overhead lighting, heating and air systems, and electrical outlets have also been added to create a comfortable space.

Later this summer, an electrical awning will be installed, so as to provide shade to an outdoor classroom setting where a teacher might read to a group or books can be brought off the book and displayed for individuals that might be unable to go in to the bus.

Ridley says, “When you see The Book Bus out, give a wave or honk your horn and know that we, here in Rhea County, by working together, have brought another great opportunity to our area!”

Please check the Facebook page; The Book Bus for scheduled stops and upcoming special events.

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