Several area school districts are emphasizing that learning doesn't take a break during the summer.  It's why Dalton Public Schools are bringing books to children this summer on a big red bus.

Research shows that students make the most progress with books they can read and want to read. "Big Red Reads" is made up of volunteers who spend two days each week reaching kids where they live.

Alice Ensley. District Literacy Coordinator said, "We try to find neighborhoods close to elementary schools, parks, and make sure children have access to books over the summer."

Dalton is a diverse community, and the reading program aims to engage parents too. Many of the books are bi-lingual. The program teaches parents how to encourage the love of reading, and help their children with literacy.

Holly Williams. Roan School literacy coach said, "We really want to get parents involved, and make sure their children are ready to start school."

The goal is ensure that Dalton students return to class refreshed and ready to learn, not showing the effects of three months of down time. 

Fifth grader Yoselyne Silva said, "I get bored all the time, in the summer there is nothing to do, so every book is interesting that I read. I really look forward to the free books."

Judging from the reactions of the kids, the program is meeting its goal, of building a community of leaders, one book at a time. The books and supplies are donated by generous Dalton citizens, businesses and others.  

Ensley said, "We get a lot of support from clubs, like the Rotary Club and the Dalton Education Foundation, among others.  That's how we fund this program."

There are two more stops for the Big Red Reads bus before school starts: Monday at Blue Ridge School, and Wednesday at Lakeshore Park.