The Betsy Book Bus wouldn’t be complete without a team of talented, energetic teachers aboard and generous community sponsors making the project possible. Elizabethton City Schools proudly announces Carla Whiles will serve as director with teachers Tammy Markland and Brandie Maness.
“This program has taken many hours of planning and fundraising, and it’s awesome to now see it all coming together,” said Bekah Price, ECS public relations coordinator. “We want to thank everyone that stepped up to fund this project and to the teachers and volunteers that will really make it special this summer. We hope this will build excitement around reading and will better prepare students for success in school and in life.”
The first year of the program is estimated to cost $17,012, and donations received have just exceeded this goal. Sponsors include Academy Sports + Outdoors, Appalachian Regional Commission, Northeast Community Credit Union, Niswonger Foundation, Anonymous Donor, and Carter County Bank. Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation initiated the program in Elizabethton, Carter County and Unicoi County this year and has played an essential role in communication, fundraising, and materials. Additionally, First Tennessee Development District has coordinated resources between various counties, and ensured the success and sustainability of these programs.
The goal for the book drive was about 5,000 books, and students exceeded that goal by donating nearly 15,000 books. There will be plenty of high quality reading material for all ages, with a focus on students in grades K-12. Those receiving books will be able to keep books and add them to their home libraries.
The bus is scheduled to make eight stops weekly at various neighborhoods and summer programs in June and July. Schedules will be distributed close to the end of the school year and posted on the Betsy Book Bus web page of www.ecschools.net.