Read & Rise program offers free books to young students

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MILWAUKEE -- Students in some of Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods have never experienced a book fair, or even have books to call their own.  That changed at Dover Street Elementary School Tuesday, May 22nd.

Through an all-school read along, kids from K4 through fifth grade celebrated their love for reading through the Read & Rise Program.  On Tuesday, Clear Channel Media, Water Stone Bank and The UPS Store of Wisconsin came to together to provide 300 new books for kids to take home.

“There's a long break over the summer.  It's really important to me that my kids maintain the skills that they've achieved all school year and that they don't lose that,” Dover Street Principal Jeffrey Krupar said.

Through the program, each child received a voucher and got to pick a book of their choice from the Scholastic Book Fair.

For some, it's one more they can add to their collection.  Unfortunately, for others, the access to books isn't quite there.  According to Scholastic, only 16 percent of students eligible for "free or reduced lunch" programs are proficient in reading.

“I love coming to the events to see the kids taking the time to find the right book, clinging to it and showing it off and beaming because they have a brand new book to take,” Patti Winter, Area Manager for The UPS Store said.

School officials say the program encourages kids to catch up during the summer and allows their love for reading to grow even more.

“I like reading because it makes my brain get smarter and I find out things that I never knew.  Information fills up the hole in your brain,” K5 student Matthew Bradley said.

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