Amanda holding baby while reading to her at NextDoor Milwaukee

According to NPR, children whose parents read to them get a head start on language skills and literacy, as well as lovely cuddle time with Mom or Dad. But many children miss out on that experience, with one-third of children starting kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read.”

Nick, Amanda, and April standing in front of NextDoor Milwaukee signAs part of our ongoing commitment to investing in our local community, a few team members from Brew City Marketing headed to Next Door Milwaukee, an Educare school founded in 2005, to participate in the “Read With Me” program. “Read With Me” pairs volunteers with the Next Door students for one-on-one and small group story time with infants and toddlers at their wonderful facility. 

“Read With Me” is an integral part of a larger learning initiative called “Books For Kids” which collects donated books to help students and children in the community build their home libraries. After books are collected, volunteers like Brew City Marketing are encouraged to visit and read to the students. Students then get to pick a book from the Next Door Mobile Library to bring home and read with their family.

Early exposure to language, whether through reading, talking or even singing, has a profound influence on children’s learning through life, research has found. Hearing language on a TV isn’t the same, studies have found. For young children, the words have to come from a real live human.

Unfortunately, exposure to language usually correlates with a family’s socioeconomic level.

Never Too Young: Pediatricians Say Parents Should Read To Infants, Nancy Shute, NPR

Amanda sitting down while reading to a child - Brew City MarketingIn the 2016-2017 school year, the Books For Kids program had over 105,000 books donated by the community — the most ever in Books for Kids history. With that many books, over 3,500 free books were given out from the Next Door Mobile Library after 3,460 volunteer hours were recorded with the Read With Me program.

We highly recommend volunteering with the Read With Me program and we can’t wait for our next opportunity to help this valuable organization that’s doing so much for babies and young children in Milwaukee. For more information on Next Door Milwaukee, visit their website at

Volunteer your time or host a book drive for Next Door here.



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