According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Merced County has a stagnant 24% of adults lacking basic literacy skills. Non-profit organizers have worked diligently in collaboration with libraries all over Merced County to increase literacy rates, Zachery Ramos, founder of the Gustine Traveling Library, has created a project that has provided over 300 books for children, elderlies, and people in need. The Traveling Library is a library on wheels that provides free books for people of all ages. Journeying through a variety of different routes such as parks, neighborhoods, and even schools in Gustine City. The has impacted the community at large and continues to touch the lives of children around Gustine City.
On one separate occasion, a family of five children walked passed the Traveling Library and stopped for what the child believed was an ice-cream truck. Struck by library, the child called over his four siblings to stop what they were doing and see what was inside cart. Zachery opened the cart with books, and each of them pulled out a Sesame Street book, pointing and laughing with one another in awe of the books. In the midst of reading, their father called them and told them to place the books back; the children disappointedly walked back but were told by Zachery they could keep the books. “I have Elmo now,” the little girl shrieked to her mom in joy.
Stories like these are what push Ramos, to expand his project globally by teaching others how to create similar Traveling Libraries. If you would like to become part of the solution, and create your own traveling library message them on their Facebook page. Or if you would like to donate books for the traveling Library, you may send supplies to the Gustine Library (205 Sixth Street, Gustine, California 95322-1112 United States).
Special Thanks To: Kerry Whitfield, who has been a supportive player in the creation of The Gustine Traveling Library, Zachery Ramos’ grandparents and uncle, for helping build the cart that is used for the traveling library, Zachery Ramos’ parents, for the support in all projects that benefit the city of Gustine, Pickers Paradise, for supplying the cart, friends of The Gustine Library, for supplying books for people of all ages, Wyman, Sanchez, and Baffuno, for teaching AG, and finally Melody Noceti, for the support in all projects similar to the Traveling Library.
Photo Credit: OPENIDEO (cover) Zachery Ramos (other)