CHILDREN were in high spirits as they unveiled a new bus filled with books that will help inspire them to read.
Rowner Junior School, in Gosport, opened its doors to its new reading bus yesterday after months of looking at how to extend its space.
The school, in Titchborne Way, used a £9,500 grant from the Ministry of Defence to purchase a double-decker bus from Stagecoach, which converted it.
Not only will the space offer youngsters a vibrant environment where they can get lost in books for hours, but it will also be fitted with tablets so they can communicate with services parents when they are deployed away from home.
At the opening of the bus, children and teachers watched as Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Lynn Hook, cut the ribbon.
Kerry Payne, headteacher at the school, said they have been looking to improve outcomes for readings for a while.
We want to make reading the centre of everything we do at the schoolKerry Payne
She said every child would spend time on the bus the day it opened and they would host reading groups on board from next week.
Miss Payne said: ‘All the children have been excited to come on board since it arrived on Wednesday, but we have managed to convince them they don’t want to come on board until today.
‘We want to make reading the centre of everything we do at the school.
‘We already have a library and reading corners, but this is something a bit wacky and off the wall.
‘This is something that is unique to our school and is all about enjoyment and engagement.
‘It is cosy and comfortable and makes you feel like you are reading at home.
‘For the community that we are in, we need to do the above and beyond, and this is exactly it.’
Ms Dinenage said: ‘I was honoured to open Rowner Junior School’s brand new reading bus.
‘This fantastic and innovative project, funded graciously by the MoD ,will further help the kids at Rowner improve their reading skills, a vital life skill.’