My Very Own Library
Skip to Content
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

My Very Own Library

Main Content

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 My Very Own Library comes in to help kids establish and grow their own personal home library.

Since 2015, the program has provided half a million books to students and over $1 million in credits added back to school budgets. 

How My Very Own Library Works

  1. United Way and its partners, University of Chicago, Scholastic, Milwaukee Public Schools, and School District of Waukesha, provide two free book fairs at 17 Milwaukee & Waukesha schools.

  2. Volunteers and school staff help students choose their favorite books to take home and keep, a total of 10 each school year.

  3. Half of sales are credited back to school budgets in Scholastic Dollars to use on anything in the Scholastic catalogue – technology, furniture, or even more books.

  4. Schools also engage families in home learning strategies with fun family literacy nights and visits from children’s authors.

Why My Very Own Library 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 

Participating Schools

Auer Avenue Elementary, Brown Street Academy, Browning Elementary, Doerfler Elementary, Gwen T. Jackson Elementary, Hadfield Elementary*, Hawthorne Elementary*, Heyer Elementary*, Hopkins-Lloyd Community School, Kagel Elementary, Kluge Elementary, Lancaster Elementary, Lincoln Avenue Elementary School, Longfellow School, Riley Elementary, Townsend Street Elementary, and Zablocki Elementary

*School District of Waukesha schools

How to Get Involved

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


Sign up to volunteer here!


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.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Landmark Credit Union logo    MPS logo University of Chicago Logo