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Book Buggy helps promote literacy

The Panther Valley School District is putting a library on wheels bringing books to students of all ages in Carbon County.

LANSFORD, Pa. — The wheels in Robert Palazzo's mind were turning when he and his staff in the Panther Valley School District in Lansford came up with the idea for the Book Buggy, a mobile library unit.

"I think with the COVID closure, the Panther Valley Library was closed for a long period of time, so there wasn't a place for families to get books. They are open again, so we do encourage families to support the local library as well, but I think that this is a real opportune time," said Panther Valley Elementary Principal Robert Palazzo.

Palazzo believes the Book Buggy is a first for the county and surrounding areas, helping bring resources to those who need it.

The district says the Book Buggy was created to help promote literacy in the community.

"Research shows that a literacy-rich environment is one of the biggest indicators of success for students, so the more books kids have in a home, the more likely they are to be successful," Palazzo said.

The Book Buggy will travel throughout several areas in the district. Students will be able to choose from a variety of books and either keep them or return them.

"It was important for us to have books that are for everyone in the community from pre-K to adult," Palazzo said. "One of our goals is to expand efforts to focus on literacy for kids before they come to kindergarten and also when they leave our schools."

The Book Buggy is a collaborative effort between Panther Valley School District, the United Way, and the Bennett Automotive group that purchased the vehicle.

It's scheduled to hit the road on July 21, the same day when the district distributes student lunches.