United Way of Kenosha County Celebrates Read Across Kenosha: A Community Literacy Event

In partnership with Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD), Read Across Kenosha engages community members with local classrooms

January 31, 2022 (Kenosha, WI) — United Way of Kenosha County (UWKC), mobilizing the caring power of our community, will celebrate Read Across Kenosha: A Community Literacy Event on Thursday, March 2, 2023 in conjunction with National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day. This year’s event is returning to the exciting in-person event community volunteers might recognize as Readers Are Leaders Day. Here is what Read Across Kenosha looks like.

Tanya Ruder, chief communications officer at KUSD, reads with a classroom full of smiles during the 2020 Read Across Kenosha event. (Photos courtesy of Kenosha Unified School District).

The event looks to engage more than 100 volunteers with classes across Kenosha. Volunteers will gather at a kickoff event in the community room at Kenosha Human Development Services (3536 52nd Street) at 8 a.m. on March 2 to pick up materials, including books and other items to donate to their assigned classroom and an event t-shirt. From there, volunteers will be mobilized to their assigned classrooms to share their love of literacy with Kenosha’s students.

Each participating K-3 classroom will receive a grade-appropriate, featured book, such as Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein or Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss, for students to enjoy long after the one-day event.

“It is so exciting to finally be able to celebrate one of United Way of Kenosha County’s staple events in-person again,” says Marisa Markowski, resource development manager at UWKC. “I first experienced Read Across Kenosha as a volunteer in 2020, so it’s moving to be able to experience the event from a different perspective. It’s even more moving to see how much excitement our community still holds for this event as well as our other literacy initiatives, like Readers Are Leaders.”

In Kenosha County, Building Our Future reports that just one in four third graders can read proficiently at grade level. This is a crisis for our community, and United Way of Kenosha County is dedicated to being a part of the solution.

“It is important for communities to tackle their challenges in unison,” says Carolynn Friesch, chief executive officer at UWKC. “If we can work together to improve literacy rates across Kenosha, then we can all help ensure that our young leaders can reach their fullest potential. With an outpouring of dedication from our community, we are hopeful that there is time and resources available to help us make a positive impact. Thank you for reading with us!”

Last year, Read Across Kenosha turned virtual, engaging local leaders, such as City of Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, Yolanda Adams, KUSD school board president, Debbie Ford, chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and more, with over 300 classrooms via pre-recorded and live virtual readings. Community members can participate in Read Across Kenosha from their own homes by tuning in to these videos, which are available on United Way of Kenosha County’s YouTube Channel.

Get involved by registering a classroom, volunteering, or sponsoring the event. Visit: https://www.kenoshaunitedway.org/read-across-kenosha-event or for more information, contact Marisa Markowski at (262) 671-2208.

To view this press release as a PDF, please click here.