A student at Hawthorne Elementary School in Waukesha chooses books at a 2017 Build My Bookshelf fair.
May 9, 2018
GE Healthcare is a sponsor of United Way’s Build My Bookshelf program, which brings book fairs to five high-poverty elementary schools in the School District of Waukesha. Each student in the school gets to choose three free books to build their own home library. We talked to Kelly Skindzelewski, community relations leader at GE Healthcare, about why they decided to support this effort:
Why did GE Healthcare decide to sponsor the Build My Bookshelf program in Waukesha schools?
GE Healthcare has a lot of employees who live and work in Waukesha County. We look for ways to be a good neighbor and help people near our facilities. Build My Bookshelf was a good way to support education, a primary area of focus for us, and engage our employees with a local school.
How does this program, which encourages early literacy and puts free books in the hands of kids who need them, align with GE Healthcare’s mission and work in the community? Reading is a critical part of a child’s education. Youth need to develop reading skills first in order to tackle other subjects such as science or math. GE Healthcare supports numerous programs in the schools that focus on STEM skills and Build My Bookshelf was a nice way to supplement those efforts.
What would you tell other companies who are considering supporting United Way? United Way has good insights into community needs and supports programs with positive outcomes. Companies that partner with United Way benefit from their expertise and oversight. United Way focuses on and researches agencies at a much deeper level than many companies may have the capacity to do on their own.
Why does GE Healthcare choose to partner with United Way on an ongoing basis? Partnering with United Way enables a company to stretch their resources and invest in community priorities in a single step through the community campaign.
Get involved! Volunteer at the next Build My Bookshelf event in Waukesha or at My Very Own Library in Milwaukee.