Books on Bikes is a summer literacy program for families in Fort Atkinson, WI run by elementary and middle school librarians that recently launched in June 2018. The librarians and other guest riders volunteer their time for weekly bicycle rides on several routes in Fort Atkinson. The bikes pull trailers loaded with books to give to students and their families at designated stops along the route.
This program gives students and their families books to read at home during the summer months to help foster a love of reading and maintain the reading skills attained the previous school year. Because it is a district and city-wide program, they are hoping to reach a broad range of students and their families.
Fort Atkinson school district serves 2,900 students, with almost 35% of students receiving free and reduced lunch. The student population is continually growing in socioeconomic, cultural, and academic diversity. As a district, it is their mission to provide quality opportunities for all students to achieve their academic and personal potential. Many of our students encounter what is referred to as the “summer slide”, when students, especially those from low-income families, regress in their reading skills during the summer months. A lot of these students are unable to participate in summer school and/or the library’s summer reading program and do not have access to books from the public library or other resources.
With help from the Shopko Foundation, Books on Bikes was able to cover startup costs, which included books, bicycles, helmets, trailers, and promotional materials to build awareness of the program and publicize the dates, times and locations so families can participate in the program.
The hope is to continue this program indefinitely and will rely on fundraising and donations to replenish their book supply and maintain the equipment and supplies utilized each summer.
To learn more about Books on Bikes, please visit https://www.fortschools.org/Page/8368
Books can be donated to Rockwell Elementary School in Fort Atkinson, WI.