Meet K.D. Jones of Radley Elementary in East Helena, Montana.
by Matthew
March 23, 2022

K.D. Jones has been a school library media specialist for 17 years now, and will host our visit to Radley Elementary in May of 2023!

She kindly took a few minutes to answer a few questions about her work, her colleagues, and the students of Radley Elementary.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
My parents were both dedicated educators, so from birth I was surrounded by the love that educators share with the world. I couldn’t wait for my turn to share love through education!

WHAT ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL MAKES YOU PROUDEST?
The community of folks who rally together to create rad moments for our 465 students and ensure a safe, caring learning environment that encourages each student’s success!

WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE BETTER UNDERSTOOD ABOUT TITLE I SCHOOLS?
Empathy is a superpower! Once people better understand the challenges, they may be more willing to be part of the solution.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL TRADITIONS?
We are an Olweus Anti-bullying school. Each year we have a theme, complete with matching t-shirts. This year our theme is ‘Effort: Don’t Stop Until You’re Proud’. We’d love to know Matthew and Robbi’s t-shirt sizes so we can include them in our order for next year! 🙂

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE TOUR WILL BRING TO RADLEY?
Our students, like so many around the world, have ridden the wave of unknowns like champs over the past two years! Meeting an illustrator/author duo and being gifted a book will be the highlight of their year, without a doubt… a treat! The energy that Matthew and Robbi (and their tiny home companions) bring will foster a flame of excitement in our students and staff too! Who knows?! Maybe next school year’s theme will center around a message from one of Matthew and Robbi’s books!

We can’t wait to share our story and our books with K.D. and the rest of the Radley Tigers — in all our matching t-shirt glory!

 

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Recently:

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:

The Daily Minute: 12.9.22
In which, having just arrived in Texas, we plan to spend the night in Jasper County.

#busloadofbooks
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Robbi got this text from Erica Bridwell (known to friends and colleagues as “B”), the first-grade teacher who hosted Jasper during Tuesday’s visit to North Pike Elementary School in Summit, Mississippi. We signed a copy of Everywhere, Wonder for B, and Robbi had written in the dedication to “keep fighting the good fight.”
 
It’s a difficult time to be a teacher, especially at a school with limited resources and especially when serving kids who bring additional challenges to school. Educators need a boost every bit as much as their students do.
 
We’re sharing this to show that the tour is also for them, and maybe even more so. 
 
“We miss y’all! It felt like a part of us left when y’all did. Y’all have NO IDEA the impact you’re making not only on kids, but adults too! I haven’t had the easiest school year so far. I have felt defeated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. My connection with my students has felt faint and really nonexistent… I’ve struggled to find ways to motivate them, encourage them more… then y’all come along and somehow it has put fire back into me. Your words have made me reflect since I read them… “keep fighting the good fight…” it was powerful. I had that “full moon feeling” that feeling of how much I love what I do. I thought of what it means to me and what those kids mean to me. I remembered why God chose me to do this. Your kind words lifted me up. So thank you. Thank y’all. What y’all are doing is amazing! Safe travels! I’ll be following!”
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The Daily Minute: 12.8.22
In which we bask in the sweet Louisiana night and brace ourselves for the enormity of Texas.

#busloadofbooks
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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!