Books on the Bus: New initiative introduced at Phillips School District

Price County Review: It all started with reading.

For Megan Peterson, special education teacher at Phillips Elementary, it was while reading an education magazine that she happened upon a story about a Wisconsin man who introduced the idea of putting books on school buses… and changed the entire experience of bus riding. As reading tends to do, it inspired Peterson to introduce the concept into the Phillips School District.

Ted Chaudoir, a  bus driver for Southern Door County School District, invented what is now known as the Books on the Bus program. It combines extending literacy outside of school hours at the same time as decreasing disruption on buses… especially during long bus rides. In practice, the reading initiative has existed – and thrived – at the Southern Door County School District for two years.

Peterson, enthused by the success story she read, turned to fellow PES teacher Julie Zumach. Zumach was equally excited, and together the two teachers traveled to the district’s bus garage where bus garage supervisor Cindy Quelle jumped on board with the rapidly expanding idea.

“We had a lot of support right away… which was very exciting,” said Peterson. School administration was supportive of the project and so was the school board when the idea was presented to them, so Peterson moved forward on the next step of the project – getting books. She printed up fliers, letters and posters asking community members for book donations to help get the project off the ground.

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