Local students who took advantage of a summer library bus are showing the positive results in Howell Public Schools.

This past summer the Highlander Reading Express took to the streets for eight weeks, bringing books to children around the district. In all, more than 1,000 books were checked out by over 160 students. The Highlander Reading Express is a decommissioned school bus that was transformed into a literacy bus. The goal was to build excitement for reading while also combating the loss of literacy skills that can happen over summer vacation.

After studying the results, the Howell Public Schools district is declaring it a success. The district compared data from spring and summer of this year, when the bus was active, to data from spring and summer of 2017, when there was no bus. 52% of students who checked out materials maintained or increased their reading levels this year, which is 4% more than 2017. While that percentage may seem small, the district is pleased that the literacy bus had positive effect on decreasing the “summer slide” in reading levels that many students go through. Superintendent Erin MacGregor called it a great first summer and said they are looking at ways to further improve it going forward.(MK)