It was a hot, humid June day and a few kids at the Plantation House Apartments in Horse Cave gathered around in the parking lot in front of their building; a few minutes later, they were joined by a couple more children of varied ages, and then another group streamed out, plus a few parents.
It wasn’t the chime of an ice cream truck that drew them, however.
The attraction was what Caverna Elementary assistant principal Fin Burton and reading interventionist Sherri Gilpin were unloading from Gilpin’s pickup truck: milk crates and boxes filled with new and used books.
Caverna Independent reading interventionist Sherri Gilpin reads along with a family around their kitchen table during one of the program’s home visits; clockwise from lower left, Brooke Conrad, Gilpin, Addison Ramsey, Peighton Conrad, Lyric Ramsey and Presley Ramsey.
“It helps them – they love reading,” said parent Ashley Meredith, who watched as her three children – kindergartener, and third- and fifth-graders – eagerly plucked the books of their choice from the boxes.
It was an impromptu stop for Caverna Elementary’s summer “bookmobile,” which is stationed on Thursdays at Horse Cave City Park, where the free books are spread out on picnic tables for children to choose from.
“If you give students a choice, they’re going to want to read,” Burton said. With the flexibility to choose their own book, he added, “they’re more engaged, they’ve got ownership of it.”