Jump on board new library bus at Leeds school

Ebor Gardens Primary school new bus library. Pupils Ubay Hadi, nine, and Kazewa Hassan,  10. Picture by Nigel Roddis
Ebor Gardens Primary school new bus library. Pupils Ubay Hadi, nine, and Kazewa Hassan, 10. Picture by Nigel Roddis
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Youngsters at a Leeds primary school can now jump on board a bus to read their favourite book as a unique library is finally unveiled in their playground.

Thought to be the only one of its kind in the north, an old double decker bus has been given a new lease of life as a fully-stocked library at Ebor Gardens Primary School after a two-year fundraising campaign.

The Burmantofts school bought the bus online for £3,000 to provide a much-needed library for the pupils and volunteers from construction company Laing O’Rourke and Seagulls Reuse then rolled up their sleeves to help in its renovation. Now the school has held a grand opening for the bus library, when even the children’s favourite book characters the Gruffalo and Goldilocks visited to take a peek.

Headteacher Kath Depledge said: “It was absolutely fabulous. The children were ecstatic - we had cheers and screams. The atmosphere was lovely. It’s wonderful. Instead of the children trekking to the library we’ve brought it to them and they are all so enthusiastic. They can’t wait to get on board and start reading which is what we wanted to achieve all along - a love of reading for every child.”

The refurbished bus has over £10,000 worth of books on its shelves with each level dedicated to a different genre.

Downstairs encyclopedias and dictionaries line the shelves, while upstairs children are transported into a world of fiction and fantasy.

Teacher and libraries co-ordinator Stephen McCaul said: “The school has double the number of pupils now and even with a new building we lost our school library so the children will really benefit from this. I think they are in awe of the stark contrast from when it was an empty shell to the carpeted, spacious library it is now.” A grant of £5,000 from Tesco helped pay for the bus and the school also raised hundreds of pounds through discos, bun sales and selling toast during school hours.

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