In 2018, we challenged the Madison area community to re-think how they donate some of their dollars over the holidays. Of course, it is a thrill to see a child smile upon receiving a gift; so no intentional "Grinch-mood" here. . . But our challenge was that there are hundreds of thousands of dollars donated to toys and there are sometimes not enough families to provide toys to. The challenge in 2018 was to donate money toward the gift "that will last a lifetime" . . . a new reading project. With your generosity we have been tutoring and expanding the program ever since. Your donations help pay for the program's tutors (reading specialist), food, books and more. The Evjue Foundation and Madison South Rotary have also been enormous supporters. Thank you Madison! Our need is great as we meet so many youth who are behind in reading for their grade levels, as in 3-5 grade levels below. The great part is to see these kids, who are skeptical in the beginning, form a bond with their tutor and indeed improve their reading confidence and their reading skills. Reading assessments are taken in the beginning of the summer and then at the end of the 10 weeks of tutoring and the growth is simply amazing. Now though, as you think about holiday donations, please consider donations to our Community Read program through the Madison Community Policing Foundation (MCPF). MCPF manages all donations and payment to the tutors. I bet through the various Toy Donations in our community we raise over $500K. . . just think what a fraction of that can do for children in our community to help enhance their reading. Once a child learns to read, the confidence and opportunities grow exponentially. Many of our teenagers, who are committing crimes, have incredibly poor reading levels. Let us make the gift of reading a crime-reduction tool for our community. If you are interested in supporting Community Read, please send a check to MCPF, PO Box 44246 Madison, WI 53744 and in the note field write: Community Read. Or you can donate online at www.madisoncommunitypolicingfoundation.org
Stay safe this holiday season!
Mike Hanson - South District Captain
Madison Police Department