ROCKFORD, Mich. — The sun was shining on the banks of the Rogue River. Downtown Rockford was packed with people and the joyful sounds of Kevin Kammeraad and the Cooperfly Puppet Troupe. From the driver's seat of the Rockford Book Bus, Jill Kuzma watched it all.
"We just invited a lot of our regulars that get on the Book Bus every week to come on down and just have a fun night out with kids and get more books," she said.
Kuzma, who is a school bus driver for Rockford Public Schools during the year earned the right to drive the Book Bus during the summer. She calls it "the best invention anybody ever had."
"We go to 20 stops a week to neighborhoods and developments. We go to daycare centers, and the places in Rockford. Kids come aboard the Book Bus. We used the honor system. They get three books," she said.
"We ask that they read them, and if they can't get them back to us, they pass them on for other kids to read. A very good percentage of books come back. Like 80% come back, and then they return them and get new ones."
Kuzma says the Book Bus serves about 600 children per week during the summer. She says the last appearance of the summer for the Book Bus will be Saturday when it will roll into the Rockford Farmers Market. It's something Kuzma is looking forward to.
"I love my job. I drive for Rockford all year round and to just be surrounded by kids that are willing to read and learn, it's the best job ever," she said.
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