Today, a Valley Metro bus delivered more than 2,000 books to three schools in Tempe through the agency’s Driving for Books initiative. Employees of Valley Metro and bus service provider, First Transit, donated the books to support education and local students.
“The students are just ecstatic about receiving a gift as simple as a book,” said Jermaine Bethea, the operator who delivered the bus full of books. “It’s rewarding for me to know that you can create a spark in a child that can go with them for the rest of their life and who knows what they will do with that inspiration.”
Each of Curry Elementary School’s 600 students received a book to take home for summer reading.
“Today is fantastic!” exclaimed Halema Alzahri, 3rd Grade Student at Curry Elementary. “I can’t wait to go home and read my new books with my family.”
Before getting behind the wheel of a Valley Metro bus, Bethea drove a school bus for Tempe Elementary School District. As a way to give back to students, Bethea started collecting books with the intention of donating them to kids in need. During the past four years, the Tempe resident has collected more than 4,000 books for youth in the District.
“Valley Metro’s generous donation today will make a difference in the lives of our children by providing them books to enhance their love for learning,” said Ken White, Curry Elementary Principal. “There is nothing more heart-warming and fulfilling than to observe students opening their books and watching their eyes light up as they read and share their books.”
An additional 1,500 books were delivered to the libraries at Hudson Elementary and Gililland Middle School. Photos, video and reaction from today’s Driving for Books event are available on Valley Metro’s Flickr album.
Photo attached: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith, Curry Elementary School Principal Ken White, Valley Metro Bus Operator Jermaine Bethea and Curry Elementary kindergarteners along with representatives from Valley Metro, First Transit, Curry Elementary and Tempe Elementary School District celebrate the Driving for Books donation drive.
About Tempe Elementary School District: The Tempe Elementary School District is composed of 22 elementary, middle, K-8, and specialty schools in Tempe, Arizona. There are many programs available to meet the diverse needs of Tempe Elementary School District children and their families. Currently serving approximately 12,000 students, the Tempe Elementary School District is composed of 16 Title I schools offering support programs to families such as free and reduced lunch; outstanding preschool opportunities; a specialty Montessori school for children aged 3-5, opening August 2017; exceptional K-5 experiences in excelling schools; a plethora of learning environments for middle school students such as Fees College Preparatory Middle School, a STEM school focusing on individualized learning for all students; Connolly Middle School, a National AVID Demonstration school also housing ASPIRE Academy, home of our most academically gifted middle school students; Ward Traditional K-8 Academy; Laird K-8 neighborhood school also focusing on AVID; Gililland Middle School, offering one-to-one computing for all students; and Tempe Academy of International Studies, an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme World School. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visitingwww.tempeschools.org.
About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 26 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2016, total ridership for the system was 67 million passengers. Seven high capacity extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.