Brewers Community Foundation and Corey Hart Team Up to Support MPL’s Summer Reading Program

As the daughter of not one, but two retired librarians, you can imagine how I was surrounded by books growing up. My parents read to me nearly every night and I also learned to read at a very early age. I loved books like Where the Wild Things Are, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Charlotte’s Web and devoured all sorts of series like Frog and Toad,  Curious GeorgeAngelina Ballerina, the Berenstain Bears, The Babysitter’s Club, Little House on the Prairie, American Girls,  and so many more.

I have no doubt that my early introduction to reading helped me to succeed in academics and fostered my continued love affair of books to this day (I’m in two book clubs and I visit the library almost every week).

Here I am with my best friends in one of my book clubs.We were reading Jill Smolinski’s The Next Thing on My List and the author had called in to our meeting. We took a group photo so she could see who she was talking to! [L-R: Erin, Nikki, Me, Jana (with her baby boy, Bennett), Stephanie, Kathryn and Kristen.]

So, when I heard that Corey Hart and Brewers Community Foundation are teaming up with the Milwaukee Public Library to support the “Super Reader” summer reading programfor the second year in a row, I was very excited to talk to Corey about his involvement.

Corey Hart and his wife, Kristina, recognize super readers during a pregame ceremony last season.

“I think it is important for kids to get out there and read,” Corey told me. “The earlier you start reading, the better you are going to do in school. It comes a lot easier to my kids because they started reading early. I never read. I wish I would have. Now I read all the time.”

Travel is a big part of life for a Major League Baseball player and Corey often uses his travel time to read. Religion is also a big part of Corey’s life, so he enjoys reading Christian books.

“Right now I’m reading the Left Behind Series, a  series of 16 books about The Rapture and life after. I’m on book three right now.”

Corey said he has a Nook, but that most times, he’d rather read an actual book.

Corey’s wife, Kristina, is also a big proponent of the reading program.  The couple has four children; boys Matthew and Brye and girls, Alyssa and Ryleigh.

“My wife reads to the kids every night. We have one of those audio books where you can record your voice reading a story so when I am gone, they can play that,” Corey said. Growing up, Corey’s favorite book was Where the Red Fern Grows, but his children have different tastes. Right now, his oldest daughter is into The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books while his younger daughter prefers books about princesses. The boys like things such as Batman.

According to the Milwaukee Public Library, children who do not read over the summer can lose two to three months in reading skills. And, just 15 minutes of reading a day can have a huge impact on their learning. That’s why they’ve continually promoted a summer reading program each year.

To participate in the program, parents can bring their children to one of the 13 Milwaukee Public Libraries to sign up for the “Super Reader” summer reading program from now through August 30. Just for registering, children ages 0-12 will receive this  yard/window sign, along with a folder they can use to track the time they spend reading or being read to.

The library will recognize Super Reader progress with free food coupons, attraction tickets, book bags, and even a free book for their home libraries. The program is free to sign up.  Learn more at www.mpl.org/summerreading.

Speaking of reading, this post comes at a time when I am actually in the middle of reading former Brewers outfielder, Frank Catalanotto‘s new book, Heart and Hustle, and I thought that Brewers fans might enjoy reading a review of the book, as well as my thoughts about some other baseball books, so look for that to come in the not-so-distant future!

Happy reading!

-Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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