September 27, 2005
It's an idea based around a cartoon, and it's been providing a way for some local teachers to connect with their students after hours.
It looks like an ordinary school bus, but Agnor Hurt's "Do Drop in Bus" is anything but ordinary.
"I think any school system in the United States would be lucky to have this bus," said 5th Grade Teacher Becky Anderson.
Anderson came up with the idea for the Do Drop in Bus when she noticed kids who most needed extra help, were absent during the after-school homework program, so she decided to bring homework help to them.
The mobile classroom parks in students' neighborhoods every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3-5 p.m., something Anderson and others believe makes a difference.
"When this big, old bus drives up and there are at least 15 to 20 kids standing and jumping up and down. I think the response is pretty good," said Anderson.
Agnor Hurt Assistant Principal Jim Kyner agrees. "A lot of times they're here before the bus gets here, and they just really want to do the work. They want to achieve, they want to do well. Their parents want them to do well, and so that's why it's here," he explained.
About 60 students visit the bus each week.
"It provides a great opportunity for those kids to get extra help if they need it," said Kyner. "It gives them a sense of pride in that they accomplishing something, that they are achieving, and that they're going to do well in school."
The students aren't the only ones benefiting from the program.
"It's been a very rewarding and enriching experience for me to be able to come and read to the kids and work with them, and listen to them read. [They are] kids that I don't see all the time at school. It's fun," said 5th Grade Teacher Jane Shawn. "It's good to see them working so hard."
The program was established in 2000 and has been funded by State Farm Insurance, which has contributed a total of $130,000 over the six-year period.