If you give a child a book, imagine what could happen.
It's National Reading Day and in search of that magic, TODAY'S TMJ4 had a big surprise for a local organization dedicated to help kids read.
Volunteers from TODAY'S TMJ4 joined the students at Next Door Milwaukee to take them into new worlds one book at a time.
"To see them get excited about the words jumping out on the page and using their imagination you can just see the potential in their lives," said Cristina Crogan, the Vice President of Development and Communication for Next Door Milwaukee.
Potential that grows with every story and every new face who stops in to read one.
"The reading is so important for the children to hear language and to acquire the vocabulary that they're getting from the books," said Jacquelyn Shanti, who runs the Books for Kids Program.
Each week, Next Door's Read With Me program invites the community into the centers to read with the children. At the end of each session, Next Door and Books for Kids sends home a book with the kids.
"Research has shown that children that have books in their home do better in school and that's what we want. we want our kids to be ready," Shanti said.
In support of their efforts, and as a celebration of 50 years of Next Door, TODAY'S TMJ4 and our parent company, E.W. Scripps chipped in to support their efforts. The station donated more than 2,500 books. The Scripps Howard Foundation donated $10,000.
Shanti said the money helps support more books for more kids- including filling age-specific gaps in donated books.
It's a welcome addition to an important year for Next Door and Books for Kids.
But, they'd also love your help moving forward! Help Next Door celebrate 50 years and learn how you can get involved.