Book Buses Travel around Pinellas County Giving Away Free Books

Alexa Herrera | WTSP 10 Tampa Bay

Jul 03, 2024

Two book buses will be traveling across Pinellas County giving away free books throughout July to combat summer learning loss and instill a love of reading in kids.

The Juvenile Welfare Board’s Summer Book Buses hit the road on Monday for the seventh year to start giving away more than 12,000 new books in underserved communities in the county, according to a news release.

The school buses were remodeled into a mobile bookfair on wheels and will be at libraries, recreation centers and other public spaces during its 80-stop tour. Kids can climb aboard and pick out two books to take home. 

Brianna Ray, a community collaborations coordinator with JWB, said they are expecting to see about 6,500 kids. 

“There are a lot of laughs. There are kids who read out loud on the bus as they look through the books so a ton of excitement when they’re on there,” she said. 

The board partners with Pinellas County Schools as a part of their Campaign for Grade-level Reading, which strives to get kids to be able to read on grade level by third grade. Ray said the buses help kids achieve these milestones and not lag behind over the summer when there’s no school. 

The book buses will be in various cities such as Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg and other places across the county Monday through Thursday for the first three weeks of July. They will not be giving away books on July 4. 

You can view the full list of stops here

Read the article and watch the news segment with interview as originally posted at