Early Learning Express Bookmobile

Climb Aboard the Early Learning Express!

Children delight when they see the green and purple bookmobile pull up. They climb the stairs and enter into a magical world where the walls are filled with books. They love to hear Sueño read them stories, lead them in finger plays, and explore hands-on activities together. Children and providers then get to pick out books to borrow until the next time!

The Early Learning Express (ELE) serves young children and early childhood professionals at family child care homes and center based programs year round. During the summer months we partner with Hunger Free Vermont to offer our services to children and their families at free summer meal sites. Visits include:

  • Story time program – Each group of children who board the bus are entertained by one of our librarian’s story times which often include finger puppets, shadow puppets, crankie boxes, felt board stories, guitar and ukulele songs, as well as the reading of at least two books.
  • After story time, all children get the opportunity to check out a book for their classroom.
  • Our bookmobile has resources for child care providers to use including professional journals and books, teaching materials, and curriculum resource kits.
  • During the summer months we partner with the local library to bring the summer reading challenge to the youth on our route. These children also check out books for home reading.

Our bookmobile often makes appearances at annual community events as well, including Touch a Truck, Strolling of the Heifers, and The River Valley Kids’ Fair.

Current Activities: June 2017

By the sounds of it, the end of May brought farm animals onto to the Early Learning Express! No, not real animals, though there were plenty of animal noises coming from inside! Sueño began each session with either “Cock-a-Doodle-Moo” or “The Cow That Went Oink” by Bernard Most. These silly books depict animals who do not adhere to the predictable barnyard banter we are accustomed to, prompting peals of laughter from listeners.

Children got a chance to choose their own animal and sound when Sueño brought out here ukulele to lead “The Cat Went Fiddle-I-Fee.” This old tune adds a new animal and sound each round, which gets quite tricky with the larger groups! One version from the ELE’s visits ended up sounding like this:

“I spied me a wolf, the wolf pleased me,
I fed that wolf under yonder tree,
And the wolf went ‘awoooh!’
And the chicken went ‘cock-a-doodle-doo!’
And the bear went ‘roar!’
And the cow went ‘moo!’
And the other cow went ‘oink!’
And the kitten went ‘meow’
And the bunny went ‘sniff, sniff’
And the dog went ‘ruff, ruff’
And the duck went ‘quack;
And the pig went ‘moo’
And the cat went ‘fiddle-i-fee!’”

Whew! That’s hard to remember in real time, but working together, we could do it!

Storytime ended with a reading of David Shannon’s “Duck on a Bike.” As the title suggests, a farm duck gets this wild idea to try riding a bike! Duck says, “Hello,” to the other farm animals as he pedals past, and each responds with the appropriate animal sound (moo, baa, meow, etc.) but is secretly thinking something different about Duck’s antics. When a pack of children show up at the farm on bikes and run inside leaving their bikes in the barnyard…

Well, you’ll have to read the book to see what happens next!

Our final ELE visits of the school year take a look at some of summer’s most beloved childhood past times. A crankie show of Charles Green Shaw’s book “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” celebrates the tried and true activity of just kicking back and watching the clouds drift by. “Sometimes it looked like a bird. But it wasn’t a bird… Sometimes it looked like an angel. But it wasn’t an angel…”

And what summer isn’t improved by a little ice cream?! In one of Mo Willems’ fabulous Elephant and Piggie books, “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” Gerald the Elephant is confronted with a moral dilemma: to share or not to share an ice cream cone with his beloved friend Piggie. The thing is, is Gerald already has said ice cream cone in hand! Will he find Piggie and share it? Does she even like this flavor? Will Gerald eat it all alone? The emotional suspense in the pages of this book are just so much fun!

Finally, we close with a beautifully illustrated book by Ruth Brown called “The Picnic.” It tells the story of how a picnic in a meadow is perceived by the animals who live there. Curious children, nosy dogs, and afternoon rain showers keep everyone on their toes!

The Early Learning Express takes a little vacation from June 19th through July 7th.

We look forward to heading out on our summer route in the second week of July! Until then, enjoy the weather!

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