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University of Wisconsin student leader Cassidy Slinger lights the way for Madison literacy

By Amelia Robinson

For Cassidy, the most important part of working with MagazineLiteracy.org has been finding new purpose for all different kinds of magazines and comics, some of which are aimed at highly specific audiences.

Cassidy Slinger, a member of UW-Madison’s graduating class of 2018, has been one of the most dedicated and involved volunteers at MagazineLiteracy.org’s Madison, Wisconsin operation. Cassidy first connected with MagazineLiteracy.org as Volunteer Chair for the university’s Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics group. After bringing members into the office for a sorting session, she realized that Madison’s literacy team could use her help. Cassidy returned throughout the summer, and her responsibilities grew as she donated her time with us more frequently.

For Cassidy, the most important part of working with MagazineLiteracy.org has been finding new purpose for all different kinds of magazines and comics, some of which are aimed at highly specific audiences. For example, an influx of magazines aimed towards the armed forces can be placed with groups that can distribute them to veterans and current military personnel, whereas they might otherwise be destroyed or unread. Another exciting part about MagazineLiteracy.org work, she says, “is discovering the interesting organizations right in our own backyard that are also doing good for the community, and connecting with those groups to support literacy in Madison”. Among the tens of thousands of magazines the office receives every year, there tends to be some quirky finds for niche interests, which has taught Cassidy that there is truly a magazine for everyone! Cassidy’s favorite unexpected find was old issues of Ms. magazine from decades past.

When asked why she would encourage others to get involved with MagazineLiteracy.org, Cassidy says, “the work is fun and satisfying, and makes tangible differences in the community, even if it gives just one more person the chance to read content to which they would otherwise have no access”. Cassidy also notes, “magazines are incredibly accessible, and serve as a simple tool for improving literacy, with topics geared towards all interests, languages and age levels.”

Cassidy’s favorite moment from her time with MagazineLiteracy.org was at a recent Read Up night, where she was able to hand out magazines directly to young readers and their families. The supply of Spanish language magazines especially excited community members who had not been able to find reading materials in their first language for a long time.

Cassidy has been a wonderful leader within the MagazineLiteracy.org volunteer community, training and bringing in other student volunteers, reorganizing our storage space, and connecting us with many new agency partners, especially those serving the homeless. We value her strong work ethic, care for the community, and commitment to the goals of our organization. We know that Cassidy will go on to do great things, and we thank her for her time with MagazineLiteracy.org!

Cassidy will be missed, but, by her warm heart and dedication, gives us great hope, as we iMAGine what’s possible, and work together to make literacy happen.

  • Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County

    501(c)(3) Charity
    40 individuals per month of both genders age 16 and older. Some children are immigrants
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Needs: 40 per month
    Magazines requested: any and all magazines.

  • Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center, Inc

    501(c)(3) Charity
    Wyandanch, NY

    Serving the following number of individuals on a monthly basis:
    550 children ages 0-17
    630 adults ages 18-59
    35 seniors ages 60+

    Magazines Requested: Magazines for a wide age range of readers on topics such as cooking, women’s health, automobiles, teen trends, kids magazines etc.

  • Wave City Care: Shine Program

    501(c)(3) charity
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Serving: Girls in from grades 5th through 12th
    Needs: 50 magazines per month, year round
    Magazines Requested: Girls teen, Career, National Geographic, Fashion, Home, Family, Women, Seventeen, Redbook, Teen Vogue, Self, Good Housekeeping, Home Journal, Ellle, Homes & Garden

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