Orchard Drive Elementary teachers visited students and their families in the Fun Bus on Aug. 1. Shown is the first stop at the intersection of Strawberry and Neil Green. Photo by Jay Forness
Orchard Fun Bus doubles attendance in second year

by Jay Forness ~ Assistant Editor
Teachers 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.

“At 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.”

As 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.

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

The 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.

The 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.