An old school bus decorated as a cow made a stop at the Ponoka Jubilee Library Tuesday, July 21 and had many people turning their heads for a closer look.
Inside the bus, however, was a hive of activity of young children and their parents delving into children’s books and activities. Dubbed the COW (Classroom on Wheels) Bus, facilitators with the Centre for Family Literacy travel around Alberta in the bus year round promoting reading and learning in young children, explained co-ordinator Megan Petasky.
“It’s really fun for the kids to come on,” she said.
The bus is filled with books and activity areas for parents and their children and is meant to promote literacy. Petasky said the goal is to inspire and reinforce learning in young children. She added there are many times children learn with their parents but the bus helps highlight those moments.
Giving younger kids access to the books also helps them get used to the motions of opening and closing a book and looking through the pages. Petasky suggests these early stages of learning are important in a child’s development.
The Alberta Prairie Classroom on Wheels has been in operation since 2003 with a mandate to visit 100 communities a year. Families with newborns to children aged six are invited to visit the bus and its many activities.
Petasky said they focus on learning for that age group as it is an ideal time to learn from their parents and through books.
The centre also donated 50 children’s books to the library for patrons.