Friday, January 24, 2020, was a big day for the Vel R. Phillips Justice Center and Reach Out and Read Wisconsin. Too Small to Fail, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, unveiled the Family Read, Play and Learn space at the Justice Center in Milwaukee. After that, Too Small to Fail donated 25,000 copies of the bilingual book DJ’s Busy Day to Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.
The space at the Justice Center is part of a larger program to raise awareness about the importance of early literacy, brain development and early learning. The event, organized by Dea Wright, Director of the Milwaukee Office of Early Childhood, also included Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Mayor; Maxine White, Chief Judge of Milwaukee; Judge Ramona Gonzales, President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Chelsea Clinton, former First Daughter; and representatives from Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.
Spaces like the one at the Justice Center are designed to meet parents where they are and help them make the most of everyday moments that can have a big impact on their child’s development. Too Small to Fail has similar spaces at barbershops and laundry mats across the country. The spaces provide a much-needed early learning environment, according to Ms. Clinton.
“A fundamental test for our country is whether or not we can make early learning available and real to all kids and families,” she said.
After the event at the Justice Center, Ms. Clinton and other representatives from Too Small to Fail visited Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Chavez Center. Ever since 2014, Too Small to Fail and Reach Out and Read have worked together to advance early literacy and promote early learning. Reach Out and Read Wisconsin pediatrician and Advisor Council member, Emilia Arana, M.D., hosted a tour of the clinic. Afterward, Ms. Clinton read to a group of children and took pictures with the staff at the Chavez Center.
The 25,000 book donation will be delivered to Reach Out and Read clinics throughout Wisconsin in the upcoming months. In the meantime, a special thank you goes out to Books4School for storing the books until they are delivered.