The Big Red Reading Bus is hitting the streets today

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MADISON, Wis. "Over the course of the summer, we hope to reach 10,000 kids in our area," Rowan Childs, Executive Director of the Madison Reading Project, said.

The Big Red Reading Bus is hitting the streets on May, 30 to give kids the opportunity to pick up some books to read over the summer. The bus will go to neighborhoods, libraries, schools, parks, community gatherings and hometown festivals. The bus was created by a generous grant from the Madison Community Foundation and other sponsors.

Madison Reading Project's goal is to spread the love of reading one mile at a time, even for bilingual readers. "We have a whole section of books in Spanish," Childs said. "We want every kid to experience the joy of reading."

The Madison Reading Project staff and volunteers also lead storytimes, book discussions, arts & crafts activities and more fun events at each site to stimulate a love for reading and building home libraries.

"We involve the whole family in literacy activities and offer coaching to parents and caregivers on sharing books and stories," Childs said.

The Big Red Reading Bus' launch party is May, 30 at 5 p.m. at the Madison Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave. Guests can enjoy light refreshments and tour the bus. There will also be a poetry slam.

Upcoming bus stops include public libraries in Cross Plains and Madison, Bayview Foundation community center, Boys and Girls Club, Lindbergh and Lapham elementary schools, plus several block parties and community celebrations.

"It's our mission to reverse low literacy rates, build family libraries, and nurture literacy. Our new bus will greatly expand our reach," Childs said.

For more information about the Madison Reading Project, or how you can get the Big Red Reading Bus to your event: click here.