Author Natasha Tarpley Visits Lancaster School for "My Very Own Library" Program

In this day and age of touch screens and swiping, an appreciation for the crisp turning of the pages of a book at MPS.

More than 5,000 MPS students will receive free books to continue building their own home libraries and develop their reading skills through the My Very Own Library (MVOL) literacy initiative that is dedicated to putting books into the hands of children in need. This is the second year of the initiative in Milwaukee.

Author Natasha Tarpley who started writing at 7, made her first visit to Milwaukee and told Lancaster School students to cheer for reading.

"Children usually only know their neighborhood's story," she said after the event which included kids picking out books to take home. "Reading helps you to expand your knowledge base."

Milwaukee is one of seven communities selected to take part in the MVOL program, which is supported by the Feeley Family Foundation, Scholastic Book Fairs, Milwaukee Public Schools, and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Inaugural partners United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and Milwaukee Public Schools continue to support MVOL at ten MPS schools. An additional contribution from the Zilber Foundation allowed the program to add four additional schools: Doerfler Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, Milwaukee College Prep - Lloyd St, and Milwaukee College Prep - Lola Rowe.

The program kicked off in December 2015 and during the last school year, the My Very Own Library program distributed 34,200 books to students in 10 MPS schools: Kluge; Auer Avenue School; Brown Street Academy; Hopkins Lloyd Community School; Jackson Early Childhood and Elementary School; Kagel School; Lancaster School; James Whitcomb Riley School; Townsend Street School; and Clement J. Zablocki School. At the end of this school year, students in these 14 schools will have received 50,000 books for their home libraries.

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