New Lit Limo reading bus set to go back into service soon in Richmond

Richmond Public Schools' Lit Limo should be back out on the streets in the next two weeks.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2022 at 1:02 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - First it was a fire and then a major mechanical breakdown, but after a summer of woes, Richmond Public School’s new Lit Limo is ready to get out into communities and help get children reading.

“It’s so important for children to read from zero, all the way up. The vocabulary, learning, getting that language development, getting fluency and also getting that love of reading is so important,” said Judy Deichman, RPS instructional specialist for Library Services.

The bus is equipped with plenty of reading material for the youngest of readers to young adults. There are bilingual books too.

Deichman started the program in June 2020 to help deal with learning loss due to the pandemic. When in service, the bus rolls into communities all around the city, five days a week. Kids can come on the bus, pick out a book, and keep it.

“During school days and other days, they’re told what to read, when to read. With the Lit Limo and us traveling five days a week throughout the whole city, the kids get to come on and choose,” said Deichman.

RPS maintenance crews were able to retrofit a school bus the division already had. A team of three worked to pull out the seats, put in new flooring, paint and address electrical work.

In June, a fire at the bus depot off Chamberlayne Avenue torched the incoming Lit Limo. Then the original one broke down in July.

“It was sad because Judy has always been passionate about her library and her books, and for it to go up in flames we had to come together and make it happen for her so she can continue doing that. Richmond needs it. These kids need this,” said Bernie Booker, RPS Fleet maintenance manager.

Although an official date has not yet been set, RPS’s Lit Limo should be back out on the streets of Richmond in the next two weeks.