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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

student looking at books

Build My Bookshelf

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First we learn to read—then we read to learn! Being a strong reader helps in every class and in every grade.

The best way to become a strong reader? Practice. And when kids get to pick out their own books—chances are, they will read them!

For some of our community’s children books are a luxury item. That’s where you come in. Build My Bookshelf helps kids in Waukesha County establish and grow their own personal home library.

Build My Bookself improves literacy and foster a love of reading in children whose families may not have the resources to provide books at home. Studies show that a large book collection and/or parents reading at home has a more powerful impact on reading frequency than household income. 

How Build My Bookself Works

  1. United Way and School District of Waukesha identify schools that have 50% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
  2. School representatives identify book fair dates.
  3. Volunteers assist students with picking out books of their choice, at no cost to them. All students enrolled receive 10 new books per school year.

Why Build my Bookshelf Works

Book ownership has a significant impact on:

  • Emergent literacy skills
  • Reading performance
  • Attitude toward reading
  • Motivation to read
  • Reading behavior
  • Basic language abilities
  • General academic performance 

How to Get Involved

Volunteer at a book fair and recruit you friends to sign-up too. 

Sponsor the book fairs. Contact John Andrekopoulos at 414.263.8117 or via email to learn more.

Give a financial gift to Community Fund to make difference in educational out comes.