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"Readers are Leaders!"

Barnaby Bear helps collect books for city buses

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

jacob schroeder and barnaby bear
Kid Reporter Jacob Schroeder sits with Barnaby Bear on the Albuquerque Transit System Bus. (Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Schroeder)

A city bus pulled up at the Albuquerque Zoo in New Mexico and stopped to pick up a bear! This bear was on his way to help encourage children to read. The big loveable teddy bear, called Barnaby Bear, is part of the HCS Creative Endeavors Children’s program.

The HCS Creative Endeavors program offers story times and community events for children. Barnaby Bear is a special character that encourages kids to read and spreads the message that “reading is fun.”

Barnaby Bear hosted a story-time bus ride to help the Albuquerque Transit System’s Discover-A-Book Program. The program has collected more than 50,000 books for children to read on city buses. The books will be placed on some of the 150 buses in the Albuquerque Transit fleet, each now equipped with a bookrack.

“There are a lot of kids in our city who don’t have books, so we want to make sure that all kids have a chance to read and learn!” said Desiree Cawley, the founder of the Albuquerque Transit System’s Discover-A- Book Program.

kids going on bus
Barnaby Bear and kids get ready to board the bus.  (Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Schroeder)


Barnaby Bear invited children to bring book donations for the city buses for a story-time bus ride. Kids boarded at Tiquez Park with their moms and teachers. They learned about city transportation as they rode the bus to the zoo, where they picked up Barnaby. Barnaby brought his favorite book—Wheels on the Bus. He read to the children and taught them to “move your hands the way that you read.” Kids on the bus sang and danced with the bear.

Barnaby Bear will continue his efforts to help with collecting books for buses throughout the year. He is currently planning Barnaby Bear’s Star Gazer Party, at which more books will be collected for the city buses. Kids will also get to read and learn about the night sky. The organization hopes their efforts will encourage kids to be readers and future leaders!

  • Subjects:
    Social Studies, Early Learning, Literacy
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