According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Merced County has a stagnant 24% of adults lacking basic literacy skills. Non-profit organizers have worked diligently in collaboration with libraries all over Merced County to increase literacy rates, Zachery Ramos, the founder of the Gustine Traveling Library, has created a project that has provided over 300 books for children, elderlies, and people in need. The Traveling Library is a library on wheels that provides free books for people of all ages. Journeying through a variety of different routes such as parks, neighborhoods, and even schools in Gustine City. The has impacted the community at large and continues to touch the lives of children around Gustine City.On one separate occasion, a family of five children walked passed the Traveling Library and stopped for what the child believed was an ice-cream truck. Struck by the library, the child called over his four siblings to stop what they were doing and see what was inside the cart. Zachery opened the cart with books, and each of them pulled out a Sesame Street book, pointing and laughing with one another in awe of the books. In the midst of reading, their father called them and told them to place the books back; the children disappointedly walked back but were told by Zachery they could keep the books. “I have Elmo now,” the little girl shrieked to her mom in joy.
Stories like these are what push Ramos, to expand his project globally by teaching others how to create similar Traveling Libraries. If you would like to become part of the solution and create your own traveling library message them on their Facebook page Traveling Library. Zachery wants to help inspire other teenagers to follow their dreams and create something that can be used to help better their communities. He is even mentoring youth in how to develop better people skills and, also teaching other teens how to use tools to build their own creations.