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School Bus Driver Honored for creating a “Library on Wheels”

PHOTO: Bus driver Ric Clark at the wheel.
PHOTO: Bus driver Ric Clark at the wheel.
September 25, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. - Books on board - Learning in progress! That's the mantra of one Prince William County school bus driver who turned the bus into a "library on wheels." Ric Clark was voted the "Education Support Professional of the Year by the Virginia Education Association for his efforts in creating a learning and interactive experience for kids.

The idea came to Clark a few years ago when he realized kids had a lot of energy on the way home from school, and no place to direct it, until he decided to bring a box of books on the bus.

"Coloring books for the kindergartners, and I brought some basic, simple elementary-aged picture books as well as simple reading books and few chapter books for the older kids."

Clark says the books help to create an environment of sharing, especially with the coloring books, and it also helps create an atmosphere of calm - which translates to a safer ride.

In addition to providing books for the kids, Clark decided to create a book for the kids, by the kids.

"If they would draw me pictures about riding the bus and do a little illustration or a little poem or what they like about the bus or what they don't like about the bus, they could write any of that down and I could collect those and make them into a book."

Clark produced the book - titled "Riding Bus 319" - using his home equipment, and distributed it to all the children on the bus.

When asked about receiving the "Education Support Person of the Year" award, Clark says while he is honored, there are plenty of school bus drivers that go above and beyond when it comes to the kids.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA