The Fishers Island School and Fishers Island Library partnered this summer to ensure that our year-round and seasonal children realized the magic and enjoyment of reading outside of school. Regular reading is essential to preventing the “summer slide” that often occurs when school is not in session.
From a spring brainstorming meeting held at the Fishers Island Library with Librarian Ann Banks, Program Director Amy Harris, FI School Superintendent/Principal Karen Goodwin and FI School Library Teaching Assistant Fay Smolen, the Magic School Bus program was born. The overall goals were to generate excitement for summer reading and library use, and to promote FI School student attendance at the special summer children’s library programs by removing the transportation barrier. As many of our students’ parents work multiple jobs during the busy summer season, we wanted to ensure that all children had transportation to the July 28th Songs and Stories of Land and Sea and the August 11th Len Cabral Storytelling programs. The Magic School Bus is a series of educational children’s books authored by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, featuring fictional teacher, Ms. Frizzle.
Through the use of banners designed by Amy Harris, our school’s small school bus was transformed to the Magic School Bus. Because our students do not have regular bus transportation to school, being picked up at home by the Magic School Bus filled with friends and Ms. Frizzle herself was an exciting adventure! The bus was full for both events and students thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding library programs and ice cream treats at Toppers, as you can see from the photos of the July 28th program.
Special thanks are offered to the Fishers Island Library Trustees and the FI Board of Education for their sponsorship of the program, and to FIS teachers/bus drivers Meg Atkin and Michael George and the Ms. Frizzles portrayed by Fay Smolen, and to English teacher Jess Hall for making the Magic School Bus program a huge success.
Story and photos by Karen Goodwin, FIS Superintendent/Principal and member of the FI Library Trustees
Click any photo to see a larger image or view as a slideshow.