Bus to Us

“I appreciated the variety of activities and the hands-on experiences for the students. As always, the library staff was very pleasant and well able to relate to the students of varied learning abilities.”

“It was great to have a local trip. Many of my students shared later how they ‘begged’ their parents to take them back to the library later.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why would I want to bring my class on a field trip to visit the Waukegan Public Library?

A: Field trips are a way to expose your students to new experiences that cannot be recreated in the classroom. Bringing students to the public library connects them to a free resource that can support and enrich their education while providing learning opportunities for their families. If they have never visited the library before, they will discover everything it habus-to-us-3_0s to offer; if they are regulars, they may hear about a program or service they weren’t aware of. The excitement generated by these learning experiences will follow them back to your classroom, where you can build on the topics and/or skills introduced. In 2013, Bus to Us was awarded the Upstart Innovation Award (sponsored by Upstart, a Highsmith Company, and the Public Library Association), which recognizes a public library’s innovation and creative service program to the community. Learn more about the award at right.

Q: Is there a cost?

A: There is absolutely no cost to schools, teachers, or students.

Q: When do the trips take place?

A: The field trips are offered on Thursdays from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. If you are a WPS 60 first grade teacher, you will be assigned a field trip time by WPS 60. Please contact Carolina Fabian at cfabian@wps60.org with any questions.

bus to us 1Q: How do I sign up?

A: The Bus to Us program is delivered in partnership with Waukegan Public Schools, and WPS 60’s FACE team coordinates the field trip time slots. Not a WPS 60 teacher? Feel free to contact Patrick Toto at (847) 623-2041 x285 or patricktoto@waukeganpl.info to inquire about availability. If we are unable to coordinate a field trip for your private/parochial school, we’ll bring a field trip to you via classroom outreach.

Q: Why is the program now limited to just first grade?

A: In order to better serve students, align with curriculum and facilitate planning for teachers, we are now partnering with WPS 60 to present the Bus to Us program. WPS 60 has a goal of working with partners to provide free or low-cost field trips to all elementary school students district wide, and they are tackling this on a grade-by-grade basis. The Bus to Us program introduces first graders to the Library’s services, just as the Swim Safe program, delivered in partnership with the Waukegan Park District, teaches all second graders to swim, and the Library’s Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival now serves all third graders district-wide with a free storytelling performance.

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Q: Can Bus to Us accommodate English language learners?

A: Program materials are in English, with the exception of a bilingual letter to parents that the library sends home with every participant. While some program presenters are bilingual, the Library is not always able to schedule a bilingual presenter for each field trip. The best way to ensure that ELL students can participate fully is to ensure aides or parent volunteers who can assist with translation as needed.

Q: Can Bus to Us accommodate students with special needs?

A: The library building is ADA compliant, and with advance notice, the bus company can provide equipment. Please be sure to make any requests for accommodations when you schedule your trip.