14How now brown cow –“Bus”? This was the Virginia City Community Chest sponsored classroom on wheels, known as The Cow Bus (Classroom on Wheels) and driven by Cindy Boyd, who is not only the COW Manager, but also one of the originators of the program.

As the spotted brown and white, retired school bus backed into the library parking lot on Monday morning, the kids were excited to know they’d have a week of visitors bringing games and activities to Hawthorne.

To accompany this surprise came several COW teachers and Global Voice leaders from Lyon County and Storey County, along with four youth to assist in this week’s partnership. Staying at the JPO building, they found the accommodations quite comfortable, and were most thankful for the meals being brought in by local churches and groups.

Kallie Day, a case manager from the Community Chest program explained their mission this week will be to connect with area teens and kids to help the community and learn to exercise outreaching beyond their own county. At the library kids were doing artwork, given free summer crafts and playing group games.

Boyd spoke specifically about the bus program.

“We bring along the COW Bus to introduce the parents of preschoolers to this program, which is possible to create anywhere. The bus actually takes up to 20 kids, ages 3-5 as preparation for school curriculum. The bus is designed with desks, educational items, a bathroom and fun projects. One teacher accompanies the bus and the parents volunteer because they are the first teacher a child has. With the COW bus visiting different counties, it has encouraged many places to incorporate their own bus. Our personal story is that the school district had to retire their buses, so I took $5 in and got two buses, plus $3 in change. From there, each bus was developed into a classroom setting, with solar power to save and a fully stocked preschool of teaching materials. Tonopah got so excited after we visited there; they’re making it happen and developing the program for themselves, with our help. The bus also works as part of a coalition to tie in with the family needs as we come across any. Each organization can’t do it all, so that’s why a coalition working together can bring about such great things in a town.”

Tammy Sutton from Silver Springs is seeking teens from Mineral County to attend a free Leadership Out Loud camp, being held at the 4H camp in Tahoe, over Aug. 10-12. She has applications with her and there are only 60 spots left.

It is sponsored and paid for by the Healthy Safe Schools grant, and even the transportation is free, but one will need to meet in Yerington for the commute. This camp will be learning advocacy, drug awareness, relationship/team building skills, and the “stand tall and don’t fall” message.

Applications can also be obtained by email – tsutton@lyoncsd.org. Look for the COW Bus and the Global Voice groups this week, and you are encouraged to meet them at the June 19, Fri. evening meet and greet dinner being held at the Lion’s Park.