by Sami Clausen
We’d like to recognize and thank a group of magazine literacy champions – students from Lake View Elementary in Madison, Wisconsin – for taking time to participate in our literacy efforts. These students were enrolled in Madison School and Community Recreation’s (MSCR) Safe Haven after school program, and on June 7th, during their ‘service learning’ activity time, they spent one hour bundling literary magazines for Project Shoe Box— an initiative focused on providing resources to children in foster care.
During this project, students participated in conversation about foster care– what it is, who it effects, and how it would feel. This topic, in particular, resonated with the group because a former student and participant in the after school program was in the foster care system. As a whole, the students reflected on how it would feel to be away from their homes, families, and belongings, and because of this shared dialogue and understanding were motivated and excited to use their time to help other children.
The students broke into two groups: one group handled folding the boxes and sorting the magazines and the other focused on packaging and taking pictures of the bundles. After the group had successfully met their goal and bundled 60 magazines for Project Shoe Box, they continued working until all available magazines were packaged. In total, Lake View students bundled over 130 magazines in one hour! One of the most exciting pieces for the MSCR staff members involved in this process was when the students were ‘rewarded’ for their hard work. MagazineLiteracy.org gave a magazine to each student who participated in this project. The children were ecstatic, and the majority of them spent the rest of their play time nose deep in literacy. MagazineLiteracy.org successfully touched the hearts and minds of countless children on this day: those in foster care who will receive magazines from Project Shoe Box, children served by programs who utilize the Market Place, and, importantly, the students at Lake View Elementary who were able to give and receive the gift of quality reading materials.