Reading Programs
Fostering a love of reading
Smiles from students, like Zatayveu, often fill the room during one-on-one story time in our Books for Kids Library.

Reading Programs in Milwaukee

Books for Kids

Research shows the number of books available to your child may surpass all other variables in predicting their first grade reading achievement and long-term success in school. Next Door’s Books for Kids program offers children a chance to build their home libraries and enjoy story time with their families. Every year, Books for Kids distributes thousands of new or “gently used” free books to both Next Door students and children across the community. The books we collect are all donations from Books for Kids supporters.

Next Door students receive an opportunity twice a month to select a free book to take home. The children do this following visits to our Books for Kids library for Read with Me sessions. During these special sessions, the children spend time reading one-on-one with community volunteers.

In addition, Books for Kids hosts a Community Library program once a week where we invite members of the public to come and select free books for children. That occurs every Thursday afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at our 29th Street campus.

One more component of this program is the Books for Kids Mobile Library, funded through a generous donation from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. Throughout the year, our staff drives the mobile library to our nine early learning partnership organizations as well as community events. We invite children and parents to climb aboard the shuttle-size van and select free books to take home.

In 2015, Next Door celebrated the 25th anniversary of Books for Kids. Watch this tribute video to the program’s founder, Mary Kellner, and long-time Books for Kids supporter, Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

If you’re interested in supporting Books for Kids, click here for learn about book drive opportunities.

We also have an Amazon Wish List  set up to purchase books for this program.

To volunteer for Books for Kids, click here to learn about our Read with Me and book cleaning programs.

For more information, contact Jackie Shanti at (414) 562-2929, ext. 2509.