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UW-Green Bay Literacy Initiative

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Improved literacy rates improve lives.

UW-Green Bay supports student success at all levels. The goal of our Literacy Initiative is to provide much needed hours of volunteer reading time to kids in the communities we serve to help improve literacy rates. To achieve this goal requires the help of all UW-Green Bay faculty and staff. We're looking for volunteers to read to first through third grade students across the region. You'll receive free training to help shape a child's love of reading and make a real impact in the lives of young readers.

Free training

A woman reads to children at a table
A woman reading to children sitting in a chair

Leverage The Power of Reading

Reading opens new worlds of opportunity.

Reading is more than a great escape. Literacy is a key factor in academic success, social mobility and economic wellbeing. Our literacy initiative not only demonstrates our commitment to the community, but also helps to ensure a more equitable future for all children. By investing in our region's literacy rate, we will create a brighter future for generations to come.

See Chancellor's Appeal

Prep for Success

Become a Reading Mentor.

Our free, online and self-paced reading mentor prep will give you strategies to engage and support children in reading. It will also help you to feel more confident in reading with children. It's available within our University and also to our community at large. Plus, you can download a certificate of completion when you successfully finish the course.

Have a University Login?

UW-Green Bay students, faculty and staff should self-enroll for the Reading Mentor Prep course using their University login credentials. Select UW-Green Bay and enter your UWGB email and password.


Community Volunteers

Volunteers external to the university, who don't have a UW-Green Bay login can sign up for the course through our event registraton portal.

Sign Up for the course

Volunteer Training

Those who complete the Reading Mentor Prep course can apply to volunteer at agencies such as K-8 schools, daycares, literacy centers and volunteer centers. Each agency will have their own procedure to become a volunteer reading tutor. Students in UW-Green Bay's America Reads work study program can use the course to fulfill training requirements. Individuals may also find the course helpful to improve reading support to their children or grandchildren.

Free, Online & Self-Paced

This training is free at no cost to anyone on campus or in the community who wishes to be a reading tutor. This course is conducted entirely online through our online learning platform. Complete it at your own pace in about 3 hours.

Where to Volunteer

Here's a list of places where you can make an impact and improve literacy in our region. We're working with more organizations, so stay tuned – there are more opportunities to come! You can also reach out to your local schools, libraries or other organizatons and see if they have other opportunities not listed here.

Howard-Suamico School District

Contact Kim Decur, Volunteer Coordinator, about volunteer opportunities.

How to Volunteer

Pulaski Community School District

Contact Dana Thibodeau in the Superintendent's Office at 920-822-6001 with questions about volunteering or their volunteer requirements.

Sheboygan Area School District

Contact Jamie Schramm if you want to help students at Jackson and Wilson Elementary Schools.

McKinley Academy Virtual School

McKinley Academy Virtual K-12 Charter School is hosting volunteer opportunities on weekdays while school is in session. Due to the nature of their academic programming, these activities will be conducted virtually. If you are interested, please contact Principal Chris Dirkes directly to facilitate your volunteer participation.

Volunteer Schedule

Reading Coaches for Kids

The Volunteer Center of Brown County Reading Coaches program matches volunteer coaches with children in need of reading support. With a 1-hour weekly commitment, you can make a difference in a child's life. Join now.

Visit Reading Coaches

Literacy Rates

In Brown County, reading proficiency levels have been slowly declining, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflects state-wide trends.**

41% in 2016-17

41% of Brown County students were reading at a proficient level in 2016-2017 school year.*

-14% in 2020-21

14% decrease in reading proficiency in 2020-2021, with only 27% of Brown County students meeting 3rd-grade reading proficiency targets.*

16%-31.3% Equity Gap

Reading proficiency scores in Brown County also reveal massive equity gaps between children of marginalized populations and white students. These range from 16% to 31.3%, with the largest gap existing between Latinx and white students.*

We're on a Mission

This initiative aligns with institutional priorities of supporting student success for all students, making education more inclusive and equitable and being community-engaged to solve problems of our region.

See our Strategic Priorities

Susan Grant Robinson

Want to know more?

There's an ongoing literacy crisis in our region, and we need to do something about it. If you have questions about our initiative, contact Susan Grant Robinson, our Chief of Staff.

Contact Us