CommunityEngagementBus

Henrico, Va. July 23, 2021 — Public education is a partnership between a school division and its families. In Henrico County, a rolling resource center is one way that relationship is strengthened. Henrico County Public Schools’ Family and Community Engagement Department will be stopping in Henrico County neighborhoods this summer on board a repurposed bus, to build connections and share resources. (While the school division’s brightly colored blue and green “Big Blue” bus is temporarily under the weather, activities and neighborhood resources are continuing with a substitute vehicle.)

The community engagement bus is usually on the road Monday through Thursday, with stops throughout Henrico — usually two per day. At a recent stop at 11 North at White Oak Apartments, a parade of children on bikes stopped to check out the bus and its shelves of reading material, and residents streamed out of their apartments to talk with division staff members.

While the bus offers plenty of great reads for students and adults to browse, it’s more than a bookmobile. It’s designed for community engagement, bringing together families, staff members, volunteers and community partners. The bus visits neighborhoods and events around Henrico County, building community and providing resources. Programming includes fun and engaging activities for students, as well as helpful information for parents and guardians, including:

  • Helpful parenting information.
  • Family engagement packets. 
  • Mini-workshops.
  • Interactive activities.
  • Books and other literacy material.

“While we regularly provide amazing and enriching books for bus visitors, our overarching goal is transformative community engagement at each stop,” said Adrienne Cole Johnson, HCPS’ director of family and community engagement. “It’s important that our efforts are inclusive, individualized, integrated and impactful. The mobile resource center enables us to put that into action and embodies the things that are core to our outreach: access, opportunities and information.”

Community engagement bus stops during the next two weeks:

July 27

  • 10 a.m.: Hilliard Road Apartments
  • Noon: Richfield Place Apartments

July 28

  • 10 a.m.: Glen Lea ES Camp Roar
  • 11:30 a.m.: Park West End Apartments

July 29

  • Noon: Oakland Village Apartments
  • 2 p.m.: Stoneyridge Apartments

Aug. 2

  • 10 a.m.: Glen Lea ES Camp Roar
  • Noon: Ratcliffe ES Ram Camp

Aug. 3 (National Night Out)

  • 10 a.m.: Colonial Apartments, Treehouse Apartments
  • Noon: St. Luke Apartments
  • 4-5 p.m.: 11 North at White Oak Apartments
  • 6-7 p.m.: Robinson Park (Henrico Recreation and Parks)

Aug. 4

  • Noon: Coventry Garden Apartments

Aug. 5

  • 10 a.m.: Forest Meadow
  • Noon: Henrico Arms Apartments

Residents can see a schedule of upcoming bus stops by going to the Department of Family and Community Engagement webpage at www.henricoschools.us/face/ and scrolling to the “Big Blue” section. They can also use a button to request an appearance by the community engagement bus.