In its first week running, the Book & Snack Mobile checked out 208 books and provided 60 meals to children in Sapulpa.
The Book & Snack Mobile — a Sapulpa Public Schools bus that’s been revamped to accommodate the onboard library of 1,800 books — runs Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. Each day it visits four sites, but those sites vary day to day.
Julie Enlow, a Sapulpa Public Schools instructional coach, helped to organize the project, which is a collaboration between Sapulpa Public Schools and Caring Community Friends, the largest food pantry in Creek County.
“The first month of school, any teacher will tell you they’re kind of going back and reteaching and making up for that summer time lost,” Enlow said. “If we can keep our kids throughout the summer engaged in some sort of learning, through just reading a good book, that’s gonna help alleviate some of that.”
After securing a $37,000 grant from United Way in 2017 to redesign the bus, Sapulpa Public Schools and Caring Community Friends staff members got to work on making their dreams a reality.
American Heritage Bank donated $5,000 worth of books to the project, and Caring Community Friends partnered with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma to make the bus an official summer feeding site with the Summer Food Service Program, said Camille Teale, the executive director of Caring Community Friends.
Sapulpa High School teacher Jeremy Lusk will be on the bus for most of the summer, helping families find what they’re looking for and checking out books. On his first day, the first thing he noticed was the kids’ excitement as they ran up to the bus “almost like it was an ice cream truck,” he said.
“I heard that they were doing this, and being a reading teacher, I said I’d help in any way I can just because I love the idea,” Lusk said.
The Book & Snack Mobile’s schedule is available at facebook.com/CaringCommunityFriends.