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Robbi and Matthew Celebrated with Garnet Elementary Sendoff!

By Avery Castellani

On Tuesday, August 30th, students, teachers, administrators and more flooded the street outside of H.H. Garnet Elementary School to catch a glimpse of the Busload of Books house-bus before Robbi, Matthew, and their family set off on the first drive of their national tour. The pair briefly parked in front of the school to take pictures and thank everyone for their support.

Our team was represented by me, Dr. Bunten, Dr. Garcia, Professor Counihan, and Professor Johnson. We joined the throngs of students out front on the sidewalk, many of whom had made signs in school to celebrate the event. Considering Robbi and Matthew had previously given a trial run of the two presentations surrounding their books, Everywhere, Wonder and Ben Yokoyama and the Cookie of Doom at Garnet earlier in the year, the excitement was palpable.

This sendoff helped highlight a special aspect of the project: it was conceived in Chestertown with a large amount of help from the local community. From Garnet to Kent County Public Library, to our own research team at Washington College, the amount of support BoB has gotten just on this small scale is incredible. The college itself is even included among the multitude of sponsors displayed on the back of the bus in the form of its familiar maroon and white logo!

Before we knew it, after hands had been shaken, hugs given, and photos taken, Matthew, Robbi, and their family were ready to board the bus once more. With a few honks of their horn (all of which generated raucous applause), they were off. And even though they’re soon to be far from Chestertown, it’s safe to say that the community will be watching them every step of the way.



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