Our Beginnings

Reading Bus Cropped

The Amazing Reading Bus started on its route in 1998, each year taking books and the love for reading out on the road to more than 600 children in the Allendale area.

The Amazing Reading Bus is the brainstorm of Mary Zeerip, a reading specialist for Allendale Public Schools, who wanted to keep children reading through the summer, targeting early readers and at-risk children. With a lot of help from involved parents, a dedicated bus driver and aide, Connie Merrill, and aides, Deb Oros, and Heather Merrill, Mary was able to carry on the Success with CAP (Children and Parents) program during the summer. Under the supervision of the district's reading specialists, the continuity between the classroom and the bus continues.

This program is also made successful by tremendous support from Allendale Public Schools, Allendale Township, and many area businesses.

Please support the businesses that sponsor our program and let them know you read about them on The Amazing Reading Bus web page.

The Amazing Reading Bus would like to salute the late Mary Zeerip, retired educator from Allendale Public Schools, for it's beginning. Mary possessed creativity, drive, and ambition for many goals. She has always believed in the need for consistent reading practice and putting books in the hands of children. She made it her goal several years ago to outfit a bus with leveled books and take it throughout the community providing reading materials for all children/young people. Mary retired from Allendale Public Schools in June 2001, but worked part time overseeing the bus and teaching at-risk kindergartners for an additional half day a week. Mary was also extremely involved in several mission opportunities through Central Wesleyan Church and sang in their choir. We wish to thank Mary for the gift of her dream, the Amazing Reading Bus! Many smiles will shine throughout the miles! The daily operation of the bus is a tribute to Mary's legacy.

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Candice Cooper-Greinke
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