PIKE COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Book connoisseur’s Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson are on a mission to give away thousands of books to Title 1 elementary schools.
The couple, along with their kids and dog, are spending the 2022-2023 year traveling the country in a small, brightly-painted bus where they made their recent stop in Pike County.
Last week, the family rolled into North Pike Elementary. The project is part of their national “Busload of Books” tour.
“This is my humble home, or the shared humble home,” said Alden, one of the couple’s daughters. The goal is to give away 150,000 books to schools that serve a high percentage of low-income students.
For the children’s book author and illustrator wife pair, it’s about connecting with these students through storytelling and showing the importance of reading.
“Books bring joy… we have young children who just want an iPad and video games. We need to get them hooked on reading early,” said Beckie Nieman, the children’s teacher librarian at North Pike Elementary.
The “Busload of Books” tour partnered with national nonprofits ‘First Book’ and ‘Build a Bear Foundation.’
While living in their brightly painted and decked out bus for a year, the duo’s four children will be homeschooled.