A new chapter for the Charlottesville Free Book Bus | Local News

When a child gets on the old yellow school bus that is Charlottesville’s Free Book Bus, they are greeted not by rows of seats, but by shelves of hundreds of colorful books featuring various characters from multiple languages. , races and origins.

After three years of service in the greater Charlottesville and Albemarle area, as well as some surrounding counties, the Free Book Bus has provided more than 20,000 books to community members. Sharon Stone, founder of the Free Book Bus, takes her bus to schools, apartment complexes, pantries and other community centers, where children and even adults can browse the shelves installed on the bus and choose a ticket. or two to take home. It’s completely free without plug. Stone, an ESL or ESL teacher, is simply passionate about making literacy more accessible.

“Our first mission is to go to places where children have less access to books or can afford them less, such as a Title I school or a social housing project, or where people could perhaps afford books, but maybe the car is in the store or their parents don’t have a car, that sort of thing, ”Stone said. “The second mission is to read encouragement for everyone and we go to public events. ”

While the bus was founded in 2018, the 501 (c) (3) nonprofit recently took important steps to become more inclusive by purchasing a new bus with a wheelchair lift. The new upgraded bus debuted at the Nelson County Food Pantry on November 20. Stone said it became apparent the bus needed to be more accessible after the bus toured the Yellow Door Foundation, which provides a home for patients at UVa Children’s Hospital.