HARRISON, Ar. – The GOBSmobile was originally designed to expand educational resources for impoverished students. The superintendent for the Harrison School District, Dr. Stewart Pratt, says the renovated school bus will travel around the area this summer to teach kids through multiple STEM activities.
“This way we’re able to reach out and actually go to the home or go to the region, and reduce some of that, what we call, summer slide,” said Dr. Pratt.
Inside the GOBSmobile, short for Goblins, the school mascot, students can read from the small library, use several different learning stations through laptops and tablets or even develop a circuit board.
Susan Gilley, the executive director of federal programs for the school district, originally thought of an idea to have a mobile library for local kids. After partnering with other administrators, the GOBSmobile was born. Gilley says there’s no limit to what this new resource can do for the community.
“We have a 50% free and reduced lunch population so a pretty good poverty that needs help with meals, so food is always important,” said Gilley. “You know, if you say there’s going to be cookies, everybody’s coming so we do want to make sure there’s going to be meals, but we’ve also talked about doing theme units. Where we might talk about the health and well-being of teeth. Where we would hand out toothbrushes and toothpaste, and read books about dental and all that kind of stuff. So we’re pretty excited about all of the options we’ll be able to offer our students and community.”
The project was a joint effort between district personnel, the Harrison Public Schools Foundation, Kastle Graphics, and other local businesses like Mad Max Welding.
Dr. Travis Graham, the director of operations for the Harrison School District, was part of the renovation team along with other members of the school’s transportation department.
“Started welding frames and started painting bookshelves. Started laying the floor, ripping out seats and this is the product of months of work and months of just imagination.”Dr. Travis Graham, the director of operations for the Harrison School District