In 2004, former Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle created Read On Wisconsin. The literacy program began as on online book club to encourage Wisconsin children to read and to discuss books. Each year, school classes from across the state were invited to visit the Wisconsin Governor’s Residence for book readings and author visits. For many teachers and students, this event remains a highlight of their school experience.
In 2011, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison took over administering the Read On Wisconsin program. ReadOnWisconsin Press Release (September 9, 2011)
The CCBC’s partners include the Division of Media, Educational Resources and Information Technology (MERIT) of the School of Education at the UW-Madison; the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries and Technology; and TeachingBooks.net. The Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association is a Read On Wisconsin sponsor.
From the beginning, Read On Wisconsin has been about connecting kids and teens with terrific books, and encouraging them to think and to talk about what they are reading, or what is being read to them, and that remains one of its goals, although the focus has shifted to reaching adult who work with children and teens, which is who the CCBC is funded to serve. We hope to see ROW book clubs, storytimes, and other programming throughout Wisconsin!