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Chapter Five: May News from the Madison Reading Project

We love the warmer weather and all of the fun end of school year activities that we’ve been invited to this month. Our new Free Book Fair program and the Big Red Reading Bus have given our staff the opportunity to connect with tons of local kids and educators to spread the joy of reading.

Our Books for Educators program wrapped up for the school year with a grand finale book giveaway over Teacher Appreciation Week. We invited an extra 50 teacher’s in to select MORE free books to build diverse classroom libraries! This school year we have provided 1,027 educators from 190 local schools with 33,205 books and our books have made their way to every single district in Dane County!

We’re getting super excited for our READ(y) to Wear fundraiser. We have 25 teams participating in this year’s event which is our largest design class to date! Don’t miss this year’s show on June 14th at The Sylvee! Tickets are on sale here.

In the Community

Our favorite events are ones where we get to spend time in our community. This month, we had tons of great events that took us all over the city!

If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen that our very own Natalie threw the first pitch at a recent UW softball game! We were lucky enough to partner with UW athletes for the Book It With Bucky Program and give lots of books out.

We also worked with several business students from Edgewood College who chose to partner with us as part of their capstone project. They helped us create updated materials for our new bus campaign. You can find out more about bus 2.0 here.

We also enjoyed hosting another free book fair, this time at Cherokee Heights Middle School. You can find more pictures online of kids showcasing that #newbookfeeling.

Early Literacy Support in Dane County

April and May were eventful months for our Early Literacy team! We had our bi-annual book and activity pack giveaway to local partners totaling 6,450 books for 1,290 kids. We now have over 9,200 children enrolled in our Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. In addition, we’ve started partnerships with UnityPoint Meriter and St. Mary’s Hospital birthing centers to provide book and resource packs to every baby born at those hospitals.

For Educators

May is Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month! We collaborated with our friend Maya, from MaiStoryBook, on a collection of resources.

You can view her blog posts here and here, and find incredible book resources here. Check out her 20 current favorite API reads - it includes 5 board books, 5 picture books, 5 middle grade and 5 graphic novel books.

Did you know that May is also Jewish Heritage Month?

Whether you’re with students or not this year for Juneteenth, the resources below are valuable for framing our thoughts and behaviors all year long.

June is Pride Month! View our blog post for information on its history, and book recommendations and resources for little learners to teens.

In addition to Pride Month, June is also Rainbow Book Month! The 2023 Rainbow Book List is here and it features more than 190 books for young readers from birth to age 18.

  • This invaluable resource is so important, especially because we are seeing a record number of book ban attempts targeted towards LGBTQIA+ youth and their families.

  • If you'd like to purchase books from our Rainbow Book Wish List, check out our registry!

Looking for other book recommendations for this time of year? Check out these blog posts:


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