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Madison Reading Project working with local partners to get books to kids at home

Madison Reading Project working with local partners to get books to kids at home

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Madison Reading Project covid-19 response

Volunteers pick out the books for kids to choose from at a number of locations around the area. 

The Madison Reading Project is continuing its mission to provide free books to children during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by partnering with local organizations to make books accessible to families in safe ways.

Rowan Childs, the nonprofit’s executive director, said working with local food pantries, schools and others during the pandemic has helped the group continue its work. Since mid-March, the Madison Reading Project has helped give out 3,300 books to 2,053 young readers in ways that follow public health guidelines.

“Books right now can comfort children in this time of family stress and provide literacy journeys that invigorate young imaginations,” Childs said.

The books are selected for different reading levels by volunteers, who wear masks and gloves, and are packaged individually, Childs said. The books are then taken to various locations, such as area food pantries and meal pick-up sites, where they can be picked up by families.

Some books will also be available for pickup at all three Boys & Girls Club of Dane County locations. More local partners can be found on the Madison Reading Project’s website.

Childs said the nonprofit has also been using its Big Red Reading Bus to deliver books directly to some families’ doorsteps.

The Madison Reading Project, which normally takes book donations, has stopped doing so and is relying only on purchased books. A fund has been set up to help the nonprofit buy more books with a goal of buying 10,000 books to meet demand.

The books are selected for different reading levels by volunteers, who wear masks and gloves, and are packaged individually.

The books are selected for different reading levels by volunteers.

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