Photo: West Orange-Cove officials Alicia Sigee, Jenny Morgan and Burnadine Edwards manned the Read & Roll Bus Tuesday at Orange Church of God. The “Mustang” bus was filled with books and hot meals for Orange school children. The Read & Roll program combines summer reading and meal programs. RECORD PHOTO: Dave Rogers

 Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

The logo-wrapped blue “Mustang Bus” is on the roll this summer.

West Orange-Cove school officials are sending it on the road Mondays through Thursdays to deliver both books and hot meals to Orange students.

They call it the Read and Roll Book Bus program.

“This is our first week,” Alicia Sigee, the district’s director of student services, said. “We want kids to read in the summer, and they all love the ‘Mustang Bus.’

“If we bring the ‘Mustang Bus’ to their neighborhoods, can we get the kids to come out? We believed we could, and we partnered our reading program with our feeding program.

“The response has been exciting. Our goal was 25 and Monday we had 32 students show up at Navy Park. And besides the kids, we had 17 parents get out and read to kids.”

WO-C is still running its free summer feeding program Mondays through Thursdays through Aug. 8 at both West Orange-Stark Elementary and West Orange-Stark High Schools, with breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to noon.

Charlesanae Verdine and Lorrine Woodson show off their book selections Tuesday at the Orange Church of God, where they met the West Orange-Cove Read and Roll Bus for a hot meal and a chance to pick up some summer reading material. RECORD PHOTO: Dave Rogers

The Orange Church of God is also a feeding station for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursdays through Aug. 8.

The Read and Roll Bus will be at different sites from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Thursday until Aug. 1.

Mondays will be at Navy Park, 415 Morrell. Tuesdays will be at Church of God, 1911 N. 16th S.; Wednesdays will be at Sabine Park, 111 Pine Ave.; Thursdays will be Ridgemont Park, 3505 Ridgemont.

The district will not run the programs the week of July 1-4.

The feeding program is under the direction of the WOCCISD Child Nutrition Services with meals prepared by local vendors and paid for by the federal government.

As for the reading program, “the district is providing the books,” Sigee said. “People are free to donate books, too.”

Tuesday’s students at Church of God included some teenagers who accompanied younger siblings. They found books to read, too.

WOSE principal Troy Bethley and Jenny Morgan, the assistant principal, read books to the younger children.

“We’re not asking what school they’re from,” Sigee said. “As long as they’re from Orange, they can come. And this gives us a chance to get out there and touch our babies.”