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Orchard Fun Bus doubles attendance in second year

from Orchard Drive Elementary School traveled around the school’s attendance
area in Jackson on Aug. 1 to meet with students and get them excited for the
upcoming school year.

Orchard, we strive to make it a family environment,” Orchard Principal Shanna
Wilson said. “We want the kids to feel loved and feel safe at school, so
meeting them on their territory is just part of building that connection and
that relationship before school begins.”

soon as the bus pulled into its first stop at the intersection of Strawberry
and Nell Green, students and their families walked out to the bus and met with
the teachers. Students were able to explore the bus and pick out snacks and a
book to take home.

bus ran from 5:15 to 8 p.m., stopping at Mulberry Acres and the Jackson Dollar
General parking lot.

Fun Bus was started last year at Orchard, with both Orchard and East Elementary
doing the event this summer. At Orchard, the event grew in its second year by
adding books at various K-4 reading levels as an additional giveaway.

Fun Bus at Orchard also had a set schedule of its stops, which Wilson said they
didn’t have last year. The stops were e-mailed to parents and put on social
media, making it as easy as possible for families to visit the bus this year.

Around 50 students attended last year’s event, with more
than 100 visiting with the teachers this year. The school ran out of books and
snacks but plans to bring more to the event next year.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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