Reading is Fun for Everyone! Milwaukee's Summer Reading Programs For All Ages!

Dear Friends,

As the weather gets warmer and the sun’s shining, our work toward equity for all kids in Milwaukee is in full force! We want to create and support opportunities for children to stay active throughout the summer months, bring people together and enjoy all that our city has to offer wherever they live. The third annual Hot Summer Milwaukee initiative has kicked off, aiming to increase awareness about programming available during the summer months! In partnership with the Department of Public Instruction and many community leaders, as well as support from Mayor Tom Barrett, the Hot Summer MKE list is packed with fun activities for the whole family and best yet, most of these activities are free!

The kids in our city show so much potential to learn and lead, which is why the summertime gives us a unique opportunity to extend learning past the classroom. We are proud to see many of our partners present summer reading programs to our students, and want to give them a shout out for the work they do for our kids. If you haven’t already, check out our Top 6 list of summer reading programs available to young people in Milwaukee! More than anything, please spread the word and take a few kids to these programs throughout the City:

  1. United Way aims to keep children’s minds going and avoid the 3 potential months lost if they aren’t actively reading throughout summer. Learn more about their partnerships throughout Milwaukee!
  2. Our partners at UW-Milwaukee are offering Summer Reading Programs for both Children and Adults all summer long! From 4-year-olds to college students and parents, instructors from the Institute of Reading Development will make sure you’re on track to hit your reading goals!
  3. Milwaukee Public Library holds their annual Summer Reading Program which gives kids the opportunity to track their reading throughout summer and win some cool prizes! Join the Super Reader Squad today and learn more information here!
  4. SHARP Literacy’s Summer Learning Gain Initiative is underway, where community partner sites host students in third through fifth grade on 6-8 week workshops that explore literacy in social studies and science! In addition to engaging in arts-integrated literacy workshops with certified classroom teachers, all students receive a SHARP We Love to Learn book to take home at the end of summer, participate in an educational tour related to the curriculum and collaborate to create a culminating art project that stays on site. SHARP is also partnering with Milwaukee Christian Center to engage in the intergenerational Read to Me program with Ovation Chai Point. Furthermore, SHARP will be working each day with MPS Summer Academy, starting July 2. Fourth-grade students will experience the arts-integrated urban agriculture curriculum that they designed to align with MPS science summer curriculum. For more information on these awesome reading programs through SHARP Literacy, please visit their website or contact Marisa Riepenhoff.
  5. Our Network partner Next Door Milwaukee just kicked off its summer session of a volunteer literacy program called “Read with Me.” This program invites community members to come to Next Door and spend time reading to preschool children in the library either one-on-one or in small groups. Each session runs for two hours with different classes rotating in and out, allowing volunteers a chance to read to multiple students during their visit.
  6. Many local businesses have reading programs for the summer months as well! Half Priced Books offers a Feed Your Brain summer program that provides a downloadable reading tracker and incentives for reaching your reading goals. Read 300+ minutes of reading over the summer and earn Bookworm Bucks to purchase some new reading materials. Your local Barnes & Noble also has wonderful summer reading program that not only logs your child’s reading but also encourages them to log about the book they read in order to get free books. Now this program has expanded to include teens and adults! Every Barnes & Noble in the country offers this program, and it’s an amazing way to keep the whole family reading this summer!

Keep reading on your priority list over the summer and take advantage of all that Milwaukee has to offer!

See you soon,


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