On December 9, more than 3,400 MPS students will get free books to start their own home libraries and build their reading skills thanks to My Very Own Library (MVOL), a literacy initiative dedicated to putting books into the hands of children in need. Milwaukee is one of six communities selected to take part in the MVOL program, which is supported by the Feeley Family Foundation, Scholastic Book Fairs, Milwaukee Public Schools and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. United Way and MPS have partnered to match the $250,000 grant award, dollar for dollar.
Ten MPS schools selected to take part in the program include: Richard Kluge Elementary School; Auer Avenue School; Brown Street Academy; Hopkins Lloyd Community School; Gwen T. Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School; Kagel School; Lancaster School; James Whitcomb Riley School; Townsend Street School; and Clement J. Zablocki School.Throughout this school year, the My Very Own Library program will distribute 34,200 books to students in 10 MPS schools. Participating students in the chosen schools will have the opportunity to select ten new children’s books over the course of three book fairs to create their own home library.
“My Very Own Library is an incredible gift for our students and families,” said MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver. “We are grateful to Scholastic Book Fairs and our good friends at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County for providing the support needed to help our young people grow a lifelong love of reading which improves their opportunities for success.”
“Books matter. United Way is proud to be a partner in this great initiative to get books into the hands of children who need them the most.” said Nicole Angresano, vice president of community impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “United Way is committed to promoting year-round literacy through its Readers United initiative.”
“At Scholastic, we know how critically important it is for all children to be able to choose the books they want to read and to have access to a broad selection of the very best children’s books in order to encourage more independent reading,” said Alan Boyko, President of Scholastic Book Fairs. “By working with literacy programs like My Very Own Library and organizations like United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Scholastic is able to ensure that more children are given the chance to become book owners, build their own home libraries and discover the power and joy of reading.”
About My Very Own Library: The My Very Own Library program is unlike any other book distribution program because it incorporates the critical component of choice, parental engagement and school partnerships. It was founded in 2011 by the late Anne Feeley. It was first implemented in Newark, NJ where the program has provided more than 500,000 books to students. By the summer of 2016, My Very Own Library will have provided nearly one million books to students across all six program locations – Milwaukee; Newark; Richmond, CA; Chicago; Wilmington, DE; and the Dominican Republic.
For more information on My Very Own Library, or for details on making a donation, please visit www.myveryownlibrary.org.