Office on Children and Youth Grant Announcement

Grant Announcement


The office on Children and Youth is pleased to announce two 21st Century grants totaling $279,848.00 a year for the next three years to continue its Reading Road Show/Gus Bus program at Spotswood Elementary and Stone Spring Elementary Schools. The Gus Bus promotes literacy through a mobile program providing a story time, activities, and book checkout to children and their families in Harrisonburg neighborhoods. The goal of the program is to strengthen communities with regular visits to underserved neighborhoods, connect families to local resources, and distribute food through a collaboration with the Blue Ridge Area food bank.

In addition to neighborhood stops, the program will introduce after school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) enrichment classes twice a week for k-2 graders and 3-4 graders. Trained volunteers from JMU also will provide in school tutoring to students on the opposite days of the after school enrichment classes. Students will therefore have the opportunity to receive four days of classes/tutoring to further their learning.  In home tutoring will also be available to those who request it. In a collaboration with JMU’s Career Development Academy, vouchers will be offered for student’s families to attend adult literacy classes. Throughout the year Family Nights will be held to promote family reading. Through this approach and these collaborations it is the goal of the Reading Road Show to encourage individual growth in families and to eliminate education gaps associated with disadvantaged populations.        

Are you interested in becoming more involved in the lives of young children in Harrisonburg and learning more about our diverse community?  Consider being a volunteer with the Reading Road Show-Gus Bus at JMU’s Institute for Innovation in Health & Human Services!

Become a Tutor: The Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services at JMU is home to the Reading Road Show-Gus Bus. Our program is seeking volunteers to serve as tutors for elementary aged students.  Volunteers go to the child’s home for 1 – 2 hours per week to work with the child.  You would need to use your own car to drive to the child’s school or home. This is a commitment for the remainder of the school year, beginning in October 2015 and continuing through May 2016. 

Hop on the Bus: The Gus Bus serves high need neighborhoods in Harrisonburg through two mobile literacy vehicles.  Literacy specialists provide story time, activities, and book checkout for children.  Want to learn more about our volunteering program?  Watch the video at

Afterschool Programming: The Gus Bus also provides literacy enrichment activities in afterschool programs at Stone Spring and Spotswood Elementary schools.  Volunteers will help implement lesson plans, read with children, and assist with homework.  This will be a semester long commitment requiring one day per week.

Preparing Food Bags: The Gus Bus partners with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to provide food bags for participants at neighborhood stops. Volunteers may visit Blue Ridge Hall on campus between the hours of 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to help assemble food bags.

For more details about our programming please email Becky Lantz at for further details and training dates.

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Last Updated: Friday, July 7, 2017

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