Bus converted into mobile library for Tarlac public school students

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A bus company has converted one of its old vehicles into a mobile library that’s now being used by elementary public school students in Tarlac province.

Five Star Bus Company, in cooperation with its charity Hulma Foundation, launched a mobile library called Lakbay Aklatan (“Traveling Library”) on Monday in the town of Laoang.

The bus contains books that were bought by Five Star as well as those donated by individuals. It’s staffed by three tutors who teach reading to kids.

Alex Hernandez, the project’s corporate social responsibility manager, explained the project to Coconuts Manila in a phone interview.

“When this bus was retired, we wondered how it can continue to be of service [to the community]? So we thought of repurposing the bus [into a library],” she said

Lakbay Aklatan visits four schools in Tarlac: Laoang Elementary School, San Juan de Valdez Elementary School, Mapalad Elementary School, and Carangian Elementary School. Each school has chosen at least 40 students, between 6 and 7 years old, to be taught by the tutors inside the bus. Most of those chosen are kids who can barely read, Hernandez said.

Starting this month, the bus will spend a week parked in each school until March.

“We’re focusing on teaching reading because it’s the foundation of everything. How can you study math or Philippine history if you can’t read a book or understand instructions? Our measurement of success is when the children’s skills have improved,” Hernandez said.

She said it was wonderful to witness the kids’ reactions upon entering the bus during its launch this week. “They were so happy to see a lot of colorful books inside the library,” she said. “Our tutors were very careful in choosing the materials that are being used.”

Hernandez said that Five Star is open to the idea of taking the bus on the road to other schools, but for now, they’ll concentrate on working with the schools that it has partnered with in Tarlac.

Would you like to see the bus visit your school? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

Read more Coconuts Manila articles here. 

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