335 volunteers join Next Door for Community Read with Me

One of the most heartwarming experiences we enjoy at Next Door is seeing volunteers reading to our children in the library. On April 30, 2019, we took this experience a huge step further with a Community Read with Me event featuring more than 300 volunteers reading to children in every Next Door classroom.

Next Door hosted this first-ever event as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration in 2019 and to promote the importance of building childhood literacy in the first five years of life.

“Exposing children to books and reading is so critical in the early years because their brains are developing so rapidly at this time,” said Next Door President Dr. Tracey Sparrow. “Through early exposure to literacy, the children begin to build an understanding of what a book is, how it works and how much joy reading can bring to their life!”

In total, Next Door welcomed 335 volunteers for the Community Read with Me event. They spent the morning in classrooms across all three Next Door locations and read stories one-on-one or in small groups to more than 800 children.   

As part of the event, all Next Door center-based students received a free book to help build their home library. Children enrolled in Next Door’s home visitation program and the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership sites will receive their books in the coming weeks.

To see photos from the event, click HERE for Next Door’s Facebook album.

Click HERE for media coverage from WISN 12.

Click HERE for media coverage from TODAY’S TMJ4.

Below is a list of our supporters who made this event so special!

Corporate groups included:

  • Brew City Marketing
  • CG Schmidt
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
  • Colectivo Coffee
  • CoreLogic
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Gruber Law Offices
  • Harley-Davidson Motor Company
  • Kohl’s
  • Manpower
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • PNC Bank
  • We Energies

School groups included:

  • Greendale Middle School
  • Holy Family Parish School
  • Marquette University Volunteer Corps
  • Messmer Saint Mary
  • St. John Vianney Catholic School

Other supporters included:

  • EWI of Milwaukee
  • Rise Youth and Family Services
  • Wisconsin Black Media Association
  • Next Door board members, donors and regular volunteers (many of these individuals brought friends)