A new initiative at Weslaco ISD is working to keep children reading.

The initiative called “Anytime, Anywhere, Reading,” allows students to read digital books on their school bus while on the way to and from school.

“Some of our students end up riding on the bus for an hour, hour and a half or longer sometimes each day, both ways to school, so we wanted to make the opportunity to read books that they’re interested in available to them anything that they’re interested in a reading,” said Rene Dyer, Librarian at Weslaco East High School.

Dyer said the process to read one of the digital books is to use any mobile device that can read a QR code. The student scans the code and the book will load on their device. There are no usernames or passwords that have to be set up. Some of the titles range from sports to sharks to historical information. Dyer stated there was no cost to get the 80 titles for each bus thanks to their collaboration with the Region 1 Educational Service Center, however, there was a cost of a couple thousand dollars to have the books printed, laminated and put onto the buses.

Dyer said this is only the first phase of their plans for the initiative. Their next step will include putting the same titles in the parent waiting areas for students waiting to be picked up and then onto pediatrician offices all around Weslaco.