Fundraising effort aimed at helping summer reading programs extended

Group hopes to meet goal by April 1
Fundraising effort aimed at helping summer reading programs extended

An effort to raise donations aimed at helping Madison students maintain their reading skills during the summer break has been extended to April 8.

This is the second year for the Read Up campaign to prevent declines in reading levels that typically happen for children in kindergarten through fifth grade who don’t read during the summer months. WISC-TV News 3 and the Wisconsin State Journal have teamed up again to lead an awareness and fundraising effort. The two companies previously partnered in the Schools of Hope project more than 20 years ago. They’re each making $5,000 contributions to Read Up to get the fundraising started.

“After reviewing the results from last year’s campaign and the impact it made on kids and families to stop the summer slide, Morgan Murphy Media (WISC-TV,, and Madison Magazine) decided once again to partner with our friends at the Wisconsin State Journal to build on the momentum,” said general manager Tom Keeler.

Sponsors who have already pledged support include MG&E and M3 Insurance.


“We’re excited to build on the partnership the State Journal and WISC created with the community last year on the Read Up project,” said State Journal editor John Smalley. “The response to the 2016 campaign was really inspiring, and we know those dollars were put to great use – and drove great results – over the summer months. We’re hoping for more of the same this year.”

Read Up started in the Madison Metropolitan School District in 2013 as a program to distribute materials at community events and model reading strategies for families. There were pilot sites at Orchard Ridge and Lapham elementary schools. In the first year, 262 K-5 students were served, and each received five new books.

Since then, the district has partnered with the United Way of Dane County and Madison Public Library to promote summer reading in summer school and the Madison School and Community Recreation programs.

The first Read Up fundraising campaign in 2016 generated $88,000 and resulted in 88 percent of third- through fifth-graders maintaining or increasing their score on the school district’s summer school performance assessment. All 585 students involved in the program received at least five new books. Between 300 and 500 people attended Read Up family literacy nights.

Read Up students maintained or improved their literacy results measured by summer assessments better than or similar to their peers.

Donations to Read Up can be made by visiting this site. Use the drop-down menu to select the Read Up! Madison Fund. All gifts are tax-deductible.