Research has found that children’s early experience with written language (including books) provides an essential foundation for all their literacy learning. The Wisconsin Bookworms™ program provides free books, activities and “reading buddies” to thousands of kids who wouldn’t otherwise have books of their own. The project is a collaboration of the Wisconsin Association for Home and Community Education, UW-Extension Family Living Programs and Head Start.
Columbia County has 234 children enrolled in the Wisconsin Bookworms™ program for 2014-15. Thirty-five Columbia County Association for Home and Community Education (CCAHCE) members and friends of CCAHCE volunteer to read to the children in the classrooms eight times a year. The volunteers leave a copy of each book with every child in the classroom. Not only is each child receiving a high-quality children’s book, they are also benefiting by being read to by a Wisconsin Bookworms™ volunteer and are taking home activity sheets that promote use of the book by the entire family.
In 2009, Wisconsin Bookworms™ was recognized by the Chancellor’s Friend of Extension Award. In May 2010, Wisconsin Bookworms™ reached a milestone when it read its 500,000th book to young children.
Columbia County HCE appreciates the support of the following organizations who help make this program possible for children in our county:
United Fund of Columbus
Many, many donations by individuals and groups
Columbia County HCE needs your support to keep this program available for children in our county. Each set of eight books costs $23 (increasing to $25 for the 2014-15 reading year). Since the volunteers are currently reading to 234 children it means that HCE members will be working to raise over $5800 for the next year’s program. You can donate by contacting the Columbia County HCE Advisor, at 608-742-9686. You can also send your check made out to Columbia County HCE (please note on the check that the donation is for Wisconsin Bookworms™) to UW-Extension Columbia County, Administration Building, 112 E. Edgewater St., Room 212, Portage, WI 53901. Thank you for your support of this great program!