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IONIA — What started out as a dream for Ionia Public Schools educators became a reality Thursday with the arrival of the Words on Wheels Mobile Library.
IPS introduced its mobile library during the First Thursday on the Bricks July 1 in downtown Ionia.
The Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce, Ionia Downtown Development Authority and community members were present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the mobile library.
The blue bus will travel to different locations in the Ionia area providing free books and activities to the community three days per week. It will be at the following locations:
- 9:15-10:30 a.m. — Trailhead Park
- 10:45-11:45 a.m. — Jefferson Elementary School
- Noon to 1 p.m. — K-2 Summer School – Ionia High School
- 1:30-2:45 p.m. — Hale Park
- 9:15-10:30 a.m. — 3-5 Summer School – Iona High School
- 10:45 a.m. to Noon — Twin Rivers Elementary School
- 12:20-1:20 p.m. — Downtown Lyons Library
- 1:45-2:45 p.m. — Harper Park
- 9:15-10:30 a.m. — Boyce Elementary School Nature Trail
- 10:45-11:45 a.m. — Robinson Park
- Noon-1 p.m. — Perry Park
- 1:30-2:45 p.m. — Fun Forest
“We hope everybody comes out from babies to adults,” said Christina Frost, a fifth-grade teacher at Rather Elementary School. “We really have enjoyed meeting everybody. All of our books are brand new. You never know what you’re going to find.”
Jennifer Burns, IPS associate superintendent of Instructional Services, secured the bus and drew up the plan for the mobile library.
Extra Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was used, Frost said.
“This was a dream of several of ours for many years,” Frost said.
There will be various activities for the community to participate in, Frost said. IPS is giving away book bucks when people visit the bus and they can be collected and later distributed for prizes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put kids back about six months in reading, Frost said, adding access to books just wasn’t there.
“I think it’s just what we need,” Frost said.
IPS officials worked with Matt Painter,…