Sharing the gift of reading on St. Joseph’s Bookmobile

My name is Odis, and I am a houseparent for fourth to sixth grade

Odis, St. Joseph's Houseparent
Odis, St. Joseph’s Houseparent

boys at St Joseph’s Indian School. This summer I am working on St. Joseph’s bookmobile for the third time. We have spent two weeks traveling to Indian reservations around South Dakota delivering books in our bookmobile for children and adults. This year I am working with a Seth, a volunteer from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.

Sometimes working the bookmobile you have time to set up your table before the kids get to the van and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, kids are lined up waiting for us!

You need all kinds of skills on the bookmobile, including bike mechanics!
In Parmelee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Seth did some impromptu bike repair for a boy.

And it’s not as simple as just letting kids choose a book. You have to have all kinds of skills, like working on the children’s bikes while they are looking for a Captain Underpants book. This happened to us in Parmelee when Seth had to do some impromptu bike repair for a boy. I was happy Seth was good at that kind of thing.

He was also good at making peace with the local dogs in the

communities we visited. We brought along some dog treats, which just lasted a couple stops as the kids started passing them out to the dogs as well.

Each summer, St. Joseph’s bookmobile travels to reservation communities in South Dakota.
St. Joseph’s bookmobile visits communities on South Dakota reservations.

The most popular author with the men who come looking for something to read is Louis L’Amour. They really enjoy any western. We were grateful to have grandmothers pick up books for grandkids. We could really tell by the amount of time a parent or guardian looked for that “perfect book” how well they knew their child’s reading habits.

Thank you to all the donors who send books each year! I want you to know we treat your gently used books with care. There are many people on the reservations here in

 Lakota (Sioux) children choose books to take home.
Thank you for sharing your gently used books!

South Dakota who love your books and do not have access to a bookstore or library, so the books you so generously send are much appreciated. Thank you!

God bless,


Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 90 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

4 thoughts on “Sharing the gift of reading on St. Joseph’s Bookmobile”

  1. I love that you guys bring the books to the kids. I hope people know that it used to be if you were just mailing books you could send them at the “Book Rate”, It was MUCH cheaper than regular rates, though it took much longer to get there, they still got there! Worth checking into if you love sharing books.

  2. It’s hard to imagine a world without books. Because you care; the children that you visit and bring the books to will be inspired by your kindness
    Books can be fun and teach children that reading a book can lift their imagination and spirit.

    Odis and Seth, thank you for caring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *