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Madison Reading Project Launches Wisconsin’s First All-Accessible Free Book Bus

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Madison Reading Project’s newest book bus – the only all-accessible free book bus in Wisconsin – launches May 18 to begin a year-round mission of bringing free literacy programs to children.

Madison Reading Project invites the community to attend the official launch, Saturday May 18, 10:30 a.m. at the Kohl Center concourse at the UW Campus, welcomed by host Wisconsin Athletics.

Tours of both Madison Reading Project buses and other mobile partners, including Madison School and Community Recreation, local libraries, and Bucky Badger, will be featured. Plus, free books for all children attending!

“Our new book bus is ADA-compliant with wide aisles and a wheelchair lift, is fully accessible to all children, caregivers– and virtually all are welcome to climb aboard and pick books to take home,” says Rowan Childs, founder and executive director. “This vehicle joins our current one which has been on the road for more than five years.

“This model of providing books to kids at no cost and meeting them where they are at works with our partners to help raise literacy rates of youth and build home libraries while removing barriers to access,” Childs adds.

Madison Reading Project is thrilled to have the funding campaign nearly completed, with the help of corporate donors, local foundations, and individuals sponsoring the newly expanded bus program.

Junior League of Madison has generously donated to the campaign and is offering a $50K matching grant now through the end of May to help reach the goal. To make a matching donation, CLICK HERE.

“A gift in any amount will help our staff and volunteers reach thousands of children with free books and literacy engagement across the greater Dane County area,” says Emily Wills, Madison Reading Project development director. “The new Reading Bus holds three times as many books as the current bus, allowing us to break last year’s record of 124,000 books given to 100,000 kids.”

“We’re already making plans with schools, social services organizations, and our community partners to bring the new bus to schools, neighborhood centers, and community events all over Dane County,” adds Deirdre Steinmetz, programs and operations director. “We’re so grateful for the support we’ve received this far and are excited to get the bus on the road and reach more kids.”

Madison Junior League is thrilled to partner in literacy improvement efforts. “By supporting Madison Reading Project, our members are helping to inspire children to become better readers,” says Sarah Barnes, Junior League president. “We are proud to help!”

Chartered in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Madison Reading Project has given more than 500,000 books to children living in nine (9) South Central Wisconsin counties. Much of the giving is targeted to under-resourced families and children needing literacy support.

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