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Students get free books to build home libraries

MVOL at LongfellowThis week, more than 5,000 MPS students received free books to help build their own home libraries and develop their reading skills through the My Very Own Library (MVOL) literacy initiative. The program was founded by New Jersey school volunteer Anne Feeley, who was dedicated to putting books into the hands of children in need. This is the third year of the initiative in the city of Milwaukee.

A special event for the MVOL program was held at Longfellow Elementary. During a student assembly, students heard from the Love of Reading panel, which included students and Scholastic author Allan Woodrow. Children were able to hear how reading impacted the lives of the students and author on the panel, and also had the chance to ask questions about their favorite books. Authors Varian Johnson and Tommy Greenwald also visited schools along with book distributions.

Milwaukee is one of only seven communities selected to take part in the MVOL program, which is supported by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, the family and friends of the late MVOL founder Anne Feeley, Milwaukee Public Schools, and Scholastic Book Fairs. Inaugural partners United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and Milwaukee Public Schools continue to support MVOL at MPS schools. A contribution from the Zilber Foundation allowed the program to add additional schools.

During the last school year, the My Very Own Library program distributed 34,200 books to MPS students. This year, 14 schools will receive books: Auer Avenue School; Brown Street Academy; Doerfler School; Hopkins Lloyd Community School; Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School; Kagel School; Kluge School; Lancaster School;

Longfellow School; Milwaukee College Prep Lloyd; Milwaukee College Prep North; James Whitcomb Riley School; Townsend Street School; and Clement J. Zablocki School.

Opportunities to promote literacy are part of the MPS Eight Big Ideas: Educate the Whole Child strategy to promote student achievement.

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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2017 earned $62+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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