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Chapter Six: June News from the Madison Reading Project

June was such a special month for us! We had our biggest fundraiser of the year, and kicked off our summer programming. We're so excited to be back on the road sharing that new book feeling with kids all across Dane County!

What a month; We celebrated with our school year partners the last weeks of the year, launched our summer programs, and had an amazing experience at our READ(y) to Wear fashion show and fundraiser that helped us raise over $85,000 for our programs. We took a moment to reflect on our school year with our team and are fulfilled and grateful that we were able to work directly with kids and teachers again. We helped build over 1000 diverse classroom libraries through our Books for Educators program, provided literacy enrichment programming with 12 different afterschool program partners, and hosted Free Book Fairs at an additional 12 local elementary and middle schools that provided each student with one book to keep forever. We also attended so many school and center family and literacy-centered events. Thank you for supporting MRP so we can make this all happen.


Our Year-to-Date Impact

  • Books given: 49,700

  • Kids impacted: 34,869

  • Community partners served: 137

Our Impact Since 2014

  • Books given: 427,052

  • Kids impacted: 254,844

Books on the Move!


We’re so excited to be back out in the community seeing all of our friends at our regular stops and meeting new friends at community events. Check out our public bus calendar to see where we’ll be this summer. Getting ready for summer has us thinking about our new vehicle that will be here next year. We’ve been able to make a huge impact with one bus and can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to do with a second, larger vehicle! Learn more about the second bus here.


READ(y) To Wear 2023!


One week has passed since our amazing event, and we are in awe of our community's support for our literacy work. Gratitude to the 450 attendees who helped us celebrate reading, books, paper fashion, and community. A record-breaking 21 community design teams competed for Best in Show on the catwalk.

With sponsorships, attendee ticket sales, and a silent and live auction, we raised over $85,000 at our Paper-Masquerade fashion show and fundraiser in disguise. The funds will go right to work, helping us provide another 100,000 free books for kids, and MRP will continue giving the joy of reading and book experiences all year.


A fashionable and loud applause for all of our sponsors and attendees. Major kudos; The design teams blew us away with their creativity, artistry, and modeling, the stylists ensured everyone was runway ready, and our dedicated RTW committee, volunteers, and staff ensured everything ran smoothly. Snaps to everyone who donated items to our silent auction and Geoffrey from Celebrations Entertainment for leading the live auction. We thank our Emcees and guest speakers who joined Rowan onstage, Jason Ilstrup, Bianca Lynn Breeze, and Amy Selenske, for their amazing skills and MRP love, and lastly, we appreciate all the help of the venue staff at The Sylvee. Check out our first set of professional portraits via the link. We are excited to add to these as we receive them! Photo credit: Crimson Sun Studios


Educator and Caregiver Resources


If you plan on spending the summer reading any professional development books, we’ve got you covered. Check out our most up to date list below.


July is Disability Pride Month. Incorporating more books with disabled people is so important for all kids. Here’s a list of 20 of our favorite books to read for Disability Pride Month and beyond.


Looking for fun ways to enjoy the summer? Check out this list of 36 Things to do This Summer in Madison!


Do you teach middle school? The official 2023 Summer Reading Guide for Middle School is out from our friend, Afoma, at Reading Middle Grade. Don’t miss it!


My Rainbow is a wonderful book that’s written by a mother and her transgender daughter. Trinity wants long hair like her dolls, but when she cannot find a wig that feels right to her, her supportive mom and family create the perfect one for her. Watch the author read the story here.


July Book List Recommendations:


Do you need a specific book recommendation? Use this link to ask MRP for a book recommendation! (Note: this list is for book recommendations only, not book requests)


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