Meet Rene Bridgewater from Maysville Elementary in Maysville, Georgia
by Matthew
February 28, 2022

Meet Rene Bridgewater, an 18-year veteran Media Specialist at Maysville Elementary.

She’ll be our host when we swing through Georgia in late February 2023. Rene kindly told us a bit about herself and Eagles of Maysville.

WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
My students are the reason I do what I do. They are our future and deserve to have as many adults as possible pour their love, time, and energy into helping them realize their dreams.

WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL’S GREATEST CHALLENGE?
Meeting the needs of our students and their families beyond the walls of our building. Our students can be very transient, which creates gaps in learning and special services when they move to another school.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES IF YOUR SCHOOL HAD MORE FUNDING?
There are too many to name them all, but my first choice would current, high-interest books for students to have in their homes. They frequently borrow books, but there is nothing like owning your very own. I would also like to see every family have access to affordable internet in their homes, and it would be beneficial to provide more outreach programs providing tips on supporting learning at home, internet safety, and digital citizenship to keep children safe.

WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE BETTER UNDERSTDOOD ABOUT TITLE I SCHOOLS?
Many think the Federal Title I funding we receive means we have everything we need. While the funding is greatly appreciated, utilized in highly effective ways, and does help us address some of the socio-economic inequities that exist in our buildings, it cannot compensate for the basic needs some of our students have. It cannot combat the worries and empty stomachs our students carry with them each day. Regardless of one’s feelings or opinions regarding today’s society, the children who walk through our doors each day are not to blame for choices adults make. They do, however, have to deal with the consequences, and it is our responsibility to help those children overcome and rise above those consequences.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL MAKES YOU PROUDEST?
Our students walk in the door each day looking forward to the day ahead; it’s rare to hear a student say, “I don’t like school.” They’re constantly setting new goals. The Staff works tremendously hard and pours so much love into our students and their families. We too walk in the door with a smile knowing something good will happen that day.

WHAT IS SOMETHING FUN ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL?
We call ourselves “Amazing Maysville,” because despite being one a Title I school with one of the largest socio-economic hardships in our district, we often rank at or near the top for student growth when testing is done. Our staff and students work hard to meet their goals. They are all pretty Amazing.

We cannot wait for the Bus Tour to sail through Amazing Maysville, so we can meet and speak with Rene, her colleagues, and her students!

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The Busload of Books Tour is a year-long project to promote literacy and raise awareness of the challenges facing our nation’s public schools.

Author/illustrator duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (that’s us) and our four kids will spend the 2022-2023 school year traveling the country in a school bus/tiny home, visiting Title I schools in all 50 states (plus DC), and giving away 25,000 hardcover books to students and teachers from underserved communities.

As we travel, we will be blogging, vlogging and posting frequently to social media. All of our content will be appropriate for bringing families and students along on our ultimate road trip.

The latest on Instagram:

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In which the thriving Metropolis of Middletown, Delaware has Taylor buckets to spare.
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Whoever you are, take your seat on the bus!

Our adventure is your adventure. Our country is your country, too. Follow along with us!