New Bus Highlights 45 Years of West Ottawa Bookmobile

The West Ottawa Education Association has been operating a summer Bookmobile – a library on wheels to bring reading to kids. This year, the program got a new bus, thanks to fundraising, community sponsors, and school district support.

Members of the local union gave 1,000 hours of labor to sand, paint, and install bookshelves, enough to hold 4,500 books. A grant from NEA purchased books for social-emotional learning.

Retired WOEA member Cherie Versendaal has staffed the program for 43 years.

This year new rules require masks and limit the number of non-related individuals who can browse at any time. High contact areas get wiped down after each stop, and staff wear masks and gloves at all times.

WOEA Secretary and first-grade teacher Kelsey Smoker recently visited the bookmobile with her son, Crew. “Yay! New books!” Smoker said. “He was getting tired of reading the same old ones we have at home.”

When the bookmobile returns to their neighborhoods, children can return their books for new ones.

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Urge State Senate to pass K-12 budget this week

Last week, the State House passed HB 4411, the K-12 school budget for 2021-22.  At $16.74 billion, it represents the largest ever investment in K-12 public schools in Michigan history. More importantly, it finally closes the gap in the per-pupil foundation allowance that has existed since Proposal A passed in 1994, bringing all districts to […]