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Graining Ground Literacy visits ‘book deserts’ in new bus

TULSA, Okla. — Inside Gaining Ground Literacy’s brand new bus, story after story, can be found for young minds to escape to.

After driving a 1991 school bus for nearly six years, it was time for an upgrade. It was also a critical move to keep up with the literacy group’s mission.

“It has served us well, but it’s gotten to the point that we’ve had to cancel routes a couple of times this summer,” said Assistant Director Kirby Mackenzie. “We don’t like to cancel. We want our kids to know that if we say we’re coming on Wednesday, we will be there on Wednesday at the time we say. We want to make sure that we’re a reliable part of their week.”

A new vehicle brings more reliability to the group and the community.

Gaining Ground is a non-profit focused on making sure all kids in the Tulsa area have access to books, especially in the summer. To do so, they bring the books to the kids.

WATCH: Jenks also has a mobile library called ‘Trojans Read the Way’

Trojans Read the Way Summer Program

With about seven partner schools between Tulsa Public Schools and Union, the book bus has to reach a lot of kids.

Mackenzie and the Gaining Ground crew go into ‘book deserts,’ so no child goes without a book simply because of access.

“We do about three routes per week in the summer, and we see 100-150 kids at each route,” said Kirby Mackenzie, Assistant Director of Gaining Ground. “We are looking at, a lot of weeks, at over 500 kids in the Tulsa community. Each kid is encouraged to take at least two books, which means were seeing about 1000 books into the hands of east and north Tulsa kids every single week.”

Gaining Ground functions off of donations to bring stories and literacy to the community.

To donate, the group has a Venmo at the handle @ggliteracy so they can buy popular books kids are reading.

There are also volunteer opportunitiesfor those interested in helping with Gaining Ground events.


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