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Grant number like: ZH-258379-18

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James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA 22807-0001)
Kimberlee Hartzler-Weakley (Project Director: May 2017 to January 2018)
Michael A. Maurice (Project Director: January 2018 to August 2018)
Jolynne Bartley (Project Director: August 2018 to present)

Humanities Access Grants
Challenge Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Totals (matching):
$100,000 (approved)
$100,000 (offered)
$81,215 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 6/30/2021

Reading Road Show – Gus Bus N.E.E.D. Initiative

The expansion of an existing literacy program to accommodate an additional 100 elementary school children in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The Gus Bus N.E.E.D initiative will target children and families living in Harrisonburg, VA by providing neighborhood-based literacy programming that eliminates transportation and socioeconomic barriers to accessing humanities education. The Gus Bus currently serves twelve neighborhood sites, visiting each unique site twice per week, with a roster of over 200 children. With the Access Grant, the Gus Bus will expand into six new neighborhood locations not currently served by the program, reaching 100 additional children. Through year-round (summer months included) literacy programming, elementary-aged children that otherwise do not have access to high-quality literature are acquainted with the humanities. On the Gus Bus, enrichment lessons transition group reading into hands-on content-based learning. In so doing, students have the opportunity to explore the wonders of art, culture, and history while simultaneously learning that reading has a purpose and structure.