Bookmobile ready for revival in NLR
The bookmobile concept is being revived in the North Little Rock School District.
The district -- with help from community partners -- is repurposing one of its buses to be a literacy bus that will travel throughout the city Monday through Thursday during the summer months, Heather Rhodes-Newburn, the district's school health coordinator, said last week.
The bus will give young people in pre-kindergarten through 12th grades access not only to books but also to read-aloud story time by community guests, and activities in music, art, science, math and engineering. Health and physical activities are in the plans for the literacy bus, as is a book section for adults.
The bus will stop at locations where there are summer meal programs in place.
During the school year, plans call for the bus to be available at school and community events.
Community partners will help with donations of books, money and volunteers. The community volunteers so far include the North Little Rock PTA Council, NAACP North Little Rock unit, North Little Rock city departments, churches and restaurants.
School Board plans vote over NLR land
A proposed land swap between the city of North Little Rock and the North Little Rock School District is expected to be on the agenda for a School Board vote later this month after several weeks of discussion.
The city wants to acquire district properties on Poplar Street -- including the district's administration building and Arkansas Army National Guard Armory that is on land leased from the district -- as the site for a new city police and courts building.
In return, the city is offering the school district the existing police and courts buildings on Pershing and Main Streets. Those city buildings are on the north end of the block that is already home to North Little Rock High School.
The school district land borders the Interstates 30 and 40 interchange. The Arkansas Department of Transportation has said it doesn't anticipate needing any district property to alter that interchange.
Mayor Joe Smith told School Board members that should the Highway Department decide later that it does need some of that right-of-way after the planned land swap has taken place, the city would give any payment to the school district.
District leaders anticipate having to house district administration offices in the police and courts buildings until a time when the district can afford to renovate the Ole Main building at 22nd and Main for a headquarters.
Once the school district agrees to the land swap, the city must work with the Army National Guard to relocate the armory. The city has committed to pay $500,000 for that move, Smith said.
Metro on 02/04/2018