The Arlington Public Schools Traveling Trolley was recognized as a first place winner in the 2014 Magna Awards program for school districts with enrollment over 20,000. The award is presented by the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) American School Board Journal
and sponsored by Sodexho. APS launched the Traveling Trolley – a fun way to bring parents and students from their local school bus stops to the nearest public library for a fun summer reading opportunity.
The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. The award recognizes district leadership, creativity, and commitment to student achievement. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected the winners from nearly 250 submissions. The 2015 winners will be formally recognized on Sat, Mar. 21, at the Best Practices for School Leaders Luncheon, which is part of NSBA’s 75th Annual Conference in Nashville.
For several years, School Board members and APS staff had been concerned about the decades of research which clearly illustrates that summer vacation increases the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their middle class peers. Researchers refer to this performance gap as “the summer slide.” To a large extent, the “summer slide” has been explained by the difference in children’s access to printed materials during the months when school is not in session.
The Traveling Trolley provided an effective way for low income families to gain access to printed text by providing free transportation to their neighborhood branch of the Arlington Public Library where they were engaged in educational activities and read-aloud programs. Data collected indicated that many of trolley riders received a library card for the first time, and a record number of families attended the library’s weekly summer read aloud program because they were able to ride the trolley directly to the event.
In addition to the Magna Award, the APS Traveling Trolley program has also been announced as an honoree for the Districts of Distinction Award
, and is featured in the March issue of District Administration
magazine. For more information, visit the Traveling Trolley page
of the APS website.