Emerging Readers


Emerging Readers



In the State of Wisconsin, 67% of youth do not read at a proficient level. In an effort to promote literacy and put books into the hands of those children in need, the Emerging Leaders launched the Emerging Readers program. This program provides a simple opportunity for busy individuals or families to make an impact in the life of a child at one of our local partner agencies by sharing the joy of reading and opening worlds of possibilities.


Opportunity Overview

This year, we modified Emerging Readers to be completely virtual to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our volunteers, partners, staff, and students. Emerging Readers volunteers can donate funds for United Way to purchase books! United Way will use all proceeds and work hand-in-hand (virtually, of course) with locally owned bookstores to identify the perfect books on behalf of the volunteers and deliver them partner agencies for distribution to the students.

Hand selected books will be provided to agencies throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

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In addition, you can search for more literacy-related volunteer opportunities on Volunteers United.



Last year, 215 children were matched with 150 United Way volunteers. Children who received books were ages 1-12 and participated in programming at the following partner agencies: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Milwaukee, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, COA Youth & Family Centers, La Casa de Esperanza, Penfield Children's Center, and the United Community Center.

Since its inception, this program has provided 15,000+ books to 1,200+ youth in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties!



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 Who can participate?

Anyone interested in getting books into the hands of children in our community.

 Do I need to sign-up every year or am I automatically registered?

You will need to opt into the program each year.

 Who receives the books?

We work with United Way Partner Agencies to manage this program and ensure that every child who is signed up receives books.

 When do students receive the books?

Book will be delivered to nonprofits throughout the school year.

 Where are you buying the books?

United Way will work with locally owned and operated bookstores to purchase the books on your behalf.


Contact Brea Stevenson via email or at 414.263.8163.

© 2021 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 39-0806190.