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May 2017 Entry

Madison Reading Project

Rowan Childs
Mount Horeb · WI
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

Two-thirds of children in poverty do not own any books. We are here to change that. We partner with local social workers, schools, shelters, community centers and more to reach as many vulnterable kids and families as possible. This year we gave 10,000 books! Twice our original goal which means there is a huge need for books and literacy. In 2017 we hope to give out 25,000 books. How does that make the world kinder? Reading and learning about others is vital to children and adults alike. The more the read, the more you know. In addition, our nonprofit has been boosted by all of the volunteers who have helped make this happen. Acts of kindness, a helping hand, a donated book, a financial donation all help.

How will you use the $10k?

We are looking to purchase brand new books that are specifically diverse both in culture and language. With the funds, we would be able to purchase the books right away, schedule our literacy events and continue giving to our existing partners. We have new schools, social workers and community center across southern Wisconsin coming about each month. We estimate the new books to cost $15,000. We plan on 10,000 books to still be donated be individuals and groups.

What impact do you hope to make?

Those that we work with are in a variety of vulnerable groups. We let each school, shelter or partner decipher that. It could mean all children on the reduced lunch program, it could mean they are homeless, at a disadvantaged reading level for their grade or in a community with high levels of unemployed adults. We know that be providing books to kids that they are excited about and get to keep three things happen. 1- they are genuinely excited to select and read the book. 2. They take it home, share it with their family and they start building a library. 3, their literacy skills increase with each book read.

Other Details

With the new year, January 1st our book meter starts over. This year we had over 13,000 books donated to us and 10,000 will go out. For January, the giving starts over and we plan and finalize the books we will need to purchase and plan on for the year. Librarians, social workers and community workers are helping us select specific groups for children that speak different languages, there are books about cultures that are varied as the children they work with.
We give books all year long but we are planning on having a couple larger giving events especially before the summer. We don't want the summer reading slide to happen so we will gear up with multiple schools to have literacy events for children before summer starts.

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