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Chapter Two: February News from Madison Reading Project

What a month! We had a lot to celebrate in February! Black History Month was at the forefront of our work, and we were excited to work with local schools for Read Your Heart Out. We gave thousands of books to kids in the past weeks, and hundreds of copies of Change Sings by Amanda Gorman to local educators, too. Don’t forget to check out our blog and resources below.

Did you catch our newsletter on Friday? We are thrilled to announce that we are fundraising for Big Red Reading Bus number two. This bus will be larger, ADA-accessible, and have an upgraded HVAC system to handle year-round visits with three times the books.

We also announced this year’s READ(y) to Wear. This year’s theme is Paper Masquerade. This event is one of Madison’s most unique fundraisers, where teams sign up for the design challenge, ending with the finale party on the catwalk at the Sylvee. Save the Date and put June 14th as your must-go-to party this summer. We are seeking teams and sponsors now!

We celebrated our first anniversary of running Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. Enrollment hit 9000 children; if you know of children under five who live in Dane County, they can be signed up for a monthly book delivered via the mail to your home. We are hoping to continue to grow this program with your help.

Our Year-to-Date Impact

  • Books given: 9,558

  • Kids impacted: 8,897

  • Community partners served: 90

Our Impact Since 2014

  • Books given: 386,910

  • Kids impacted: 228,872

Madison Reading Project is excited to celebrate Library Lovers Month this February. Libraries are filled with books and provide tremendous resources to people of all ages in our communities.

We love working with our local libraries, especially Madison Public Library, which has been a fantastic collaborator over the past three years!

This month, Madison Public Library provided our organization with 6000 new books to give to children through our Free Book Fair Program, allowing us to serve an additional 20 schools and after-school programs this school year!

Our staff also visited a number of community sites and provided programming and free books. We were thrilled to participate in Frank Allis School's Read Your Heart Out event as well as several book fairs at schools in Dane County. We enjoyed visiting several community centers and providing free programming - reading and creating with kids is one of our favorite things to do!

READ(Y) to Wear

June 14, 2023

Join us on June 14th, 2023, at The Sylvee for 6th Annual READ(y) to Wear paper fashion show and fundraiser, bringing together lovers of reading and fashion to benefit literacy. It's a fashion show and a fundraiser, but with a twist! What makes this event so unique is a group of design teams are given the task of creating outfits out of 90% paper materials! Similar to a reality TV design competition show, our attendees and a panel of celebrity judges get to see the creativity and fine artistry on the catwalk then vote for their favorites.

Want to join the fun? We’re signing up sponsors and design teams NOW! Check out our READ(y) to Wear website for all the details! Team registration is FREE. Also, sponsorship comes with a design team.

Let’s Roll!

Bus 2.0 Coming in 2024!

Our Big Red Reading Bus is getting a friend! We are so excited to share that in 2024 we will be adding a bigger, more accessible bus to our fleet of mobile book-giving services. Our current bus has helped shape our programming in ways we didn’t imagine. We’ve learned much and are ready to expand our capacity, reach, and impact. To learn more about our plans and how to get involved with our new bus, check out our website.


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