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Siefert Elementary read-a-thon gives students a glimpse of their futures

Siefert Readathon

The ability to visualize success is a key element in reaching a goal – so Siefert Elementary found a way to blend that vision with a fun day of reading. Recently, 60 community leaders and neighbors filled classrooms with personal stories and career insights, then read books to children and engaged them in thought-provoking discussion. The goal was to open children’s minds to the joys of reading and to their unlimited potential through the event’s theme, Comprehension and Conversations.

Volunteer reader-mentors spent as long as an hour with students and talked about their professions, education, special training, and goals, then read books and led discussions with eager children. Mentors included former Alderman Willie Wade, Milwaukee Bucks Vice President John Steinmiller, OnMilwaukee contributor Bobby Tanzilo, MPS district staff members, and Milwaukee police, fire fighters, and business leaders. Refreshments were sponsored by the Cream City Chapter of the national service organization The Links, Inc.

Principal Wanda Varela-Katz was enthusiastic about the impact on students. “Our goal was to expose our young students to role models in their community who can motivate them to stay in school, go to college, and engage in productive careers to better our communities. Meeting successful neighbors sends a message to students that they can be successful, too.”


Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager
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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:

  • Ninety-four percent of 2022-23 budget dollars go to support schools;
  • The MPS Class of 2023 earned $121 million in scholarships and grants; and
  • MPS is home to five of the state's top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report.

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