WOW van drives books to readers

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WOW CREW – From left, Brandy Milner, Lynn Cole, Karen Hudson, Pam Pettyjohn, Kristie Wilson, Betty Jordan, and Mark Florence celebrate the implementation of the “Words on Wheels” or WOW van that can take books to students at all Benton County Schools.
BOOKS FOR KIDS – From left, Kristie Wilson, Pam Pettyjohn, and Karen Wilson show off some of the books that students will have the chance to enjoy this fall.

By Bobby Flash Melton

Benton County Schools have started the 2022-23 school year with a brand-new way to bring literacy experiences to school age children. It’s through a brightly colored van named “WOW” that will deliver books from time to time to students in Big Sandy, Camden, and Holladay. 

Naturally, WOW stands for “Words on Wheels,” which is exactly what the van will provide.  

School officials unveiled the WOW Van on Aug. 1 at the office of Betty Jordan, who serves as Literacy Grant Coordinator for Benton County Schools. Jordan said, “We were able to purchase the van through the innovative approaches to literacy federal grant that our school system received.” The schools also refer to this grant as the “BOLLD” grant, which means “Building Opportunities for Literacy and Life Development.”

“We’re very excited to have the WOW van and for the learning opportunities it will bring throughout the county,” said Jordan. “We want to offer STEM and literacy activities and to work with parents on strategies as they help their children with reading skills. Often the parents are not able to come to us, so we want to use this resource to go to them and let them know that we as educators care about both their families and their children’s literacy.”           

Jordan went on to state that plans call for the WOW van also to make appearances at various community events from time to time such as the Benton County Fair, Camden Christmas Parade, Holladay Fiddlers’ Jamboree, and Big Sandy Spring Festival.

“It’s all about giving books away and helping our students develop a love for reading at an early age,” Jordan concluded. 

We hope all young Benton County students will get a big WOW from this special literacy initiative!    

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