UW Extension bringing literacy resources to Altoona

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 3:55 PM CST
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - In anticipation of Read Across America Week, UW Madison’s Division of Extension is working to give families in rural areas easy access to children’s books.

After a successful launch of Eau Claire Laundromat Libraries last year, UW Extension in Eau Claire County is bringing more literary resources to Altoona.

“We know that communities that are smaller, that are more rural, they tend to have less resources available to them. and so really being intentional with where we are putting our resources and making sure that we are reaching families who are in need,” Yia Lor, Educator, said.

The Spooner Avenue Laundromat in Altoona now holds free reading resources for families and a Book Barn is located just down the street outside of the extension office.

These little libraries are part of a larger initiative called Learning in Everyday Spaces.

“what our goal is, is getting into these spaces, connecting with families, bringing resources to them, and helping facilitate those positive parent child interactions. Laundromats are perfect because that’s a lot of time for kids to wait around. and so what can you do when you’re waiting? we can build a brain and how do we build a brain? we can encourage families to read together, talk together, sing, play all of those things that really help build the brain and future success as well,” Lor said.

Extension is partnering with libraries and other local organizations to expand these programs.

“I think that when we think about learning, we often think that it has to happen in a school setting at the library. and certainly these are great places where kids can learn as well too. but kids can learn anywhere and everywhere. and we really should be building the brain anywhere that kids are going,” Lor said.

Another site with reading resources is expected to open in Augusta this summer.