Starting March 6, passengers on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express will see a new addition to the interior of our train cars. Each car will now feature a brightly labeled pocket containing children’s books near the entrance. These books are part of Reading on the Rails, a new program being offered by the Rail Runner to provide children and families with a meaningful and educational experience while riding the train.
Reading on the Rails is geared towards children from Pre-K through 8th grade. Books from these various reading levels will be placed on each train car, and replenished weekly. Kids are encouraged to return books when they are finished reading them, but if they fall in love with a book they are welcome to take it home and keep it.
“We want to promote education and provide a resource to help children increase their literacy skills,” said Marie Morra, Marketing Specialist for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District.
To purchase books for Reading on the Rails, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District received a grant from the Albuquerque Business Education Compact (ABEC) and also received books from ABEC’s annual Read to Me Book Drive. The program, which will be ongoing, is launching in early March so that books can be available to children riding the train while on spring break.
“This will give kids something to do while riding the train,” said Morra. “I would love to see parents and children reading together, and parents listening to their kids read to them. If you can read, you can do anything.”