A PROJECT to get school children in east Leeds reading is gathering speed.
Youngsters at Ebor Gardens Primary School in Leeds will soon be able to hop aboard the renovated bus to read their favourite books.
The library bus, which is currently parked at the school in Burmantofts, was bought online for £3,000 in a bid to provide a much-needed library facility for the youngsters.
And the double-decker is set to mark a new chapter in the school’s history to help encourage more youngsters to get reading.
Volunteers from construction company Laing O’Rourke and Seagulls Reuse recently rolled up their sleeves to help transform the vehicle and give it a new lease of life.
Teacher and libraries co-ordinator Stephen McCaul said: “It is a bit of creative thinking and this is something that has been ongoing for over a year now.
“We bought the bus on eBay and since then we have been fundraising to help transform it into a library.
“Now all we need is a new carpet which is being laid this week and a few little extra finishing touches before we can officially open it.
“The children at the school love it and they are really looking forward to the bus being opened.”
The school, which has taken on double the number of pupils in recent times, had a new building nearly two years ago.
But with the increased pupil capacity the school’s old library had to be taken over as classroom space.
Mr McCaul then came up with the quirky idea of creating a library bus for pupils after reading about a similar project in London.
Children’s author and football writer Tom Palmer recently visited the school to talk about his books and he also visited the double decker bus during its conversion.
And the school’s bus library project has even received the thumbs up from the creator of children’s favourite The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson.
Youngsters are hoping the new library bus will be officially opened in September following the start of the new school term.
And it is hoped that members of the community, including parents, will also be able to take advantage of the new facility during term time.
Mr McCaul added: “The school has doubled in numbers in the last few years and even with a new building we lost our school library.
“It has been a whole school project.
“Having a school library is not statutory but really for a school of our size with over 250 children it is a necessity.
“We need a central library.
“The model we have used is from a similar scheme in London and I have not heard of one of these in Leeds before.”
A grant of £5,000 from supermarket giant Tesco helped pay for the bus and pupils and staff at the school have also raised hundreds of pounds themselves through clothes sales and raffles.