The Milwaukee Vibha action center is going to support a local non-profit organization called Cops’N Kids! We will be doing so as a member of WCAIO (Wisconsin Coalition of Asian-Indian Organizations) in partnership with the police officers of Milwaukee City and Julia Burney-Witherspoon, the founder of Cops’N Kids. CNK is a unique program with a strong impact on local communities. It has a Reading Center with activities, story hour, and even a nearby garden plot! Police officers also keep books in their squad cars to distribute to local children in economically challenged neighborhoods. Children who participate in the program benefit on many levels: they receive free books that improve their reading skills, and experience positive interactions with local police officers. Many of these children have never owned a book before!
Cops’N Kids was founded in 1997 by police officer Julia Burney. During a burglary call, she was led to a warehouse full of children’s books and realized that the books could be given to disadvantaged children. Police officers began distributing the books from the trunks of their cars, and the program was popular from the very beginning! This practice laid the foundation for the Cops’N Kids Reading Center, and there are now over forty CNK Reading Centers throughout the United States, South Africa, Venezuela, and the Philippines. To learn more about CNK, you can visit their website at: http://www.cops-n-kids.org/
On June 19th (“Juneteenth Day”), local volunteers from many area groups came together to distribute books. The eighteen member organizations of WCAIO collectively gathered over 14,000 books!
Vibha Milwaukee has also chosen Cops’N Kids as the local beneficiary for this year’s Dream Mile. We are hoping to collect more even more books and raise funds for them through the Dream Mile on August 14th. As Leena Ghosh, local action center coordinator, points out, “Vibha Milwaukee is not just about Vibe or Dream Mile—it is also an active member of the local community and is playing an important role for these kids.”
The local news channel also has a short clip with members of the WCAIO talking about CNK; it can be accessed here:http://www.todaystmj4.com/multimedia/videos/?bctid=979616532001
Milwaukee Vibha is proud to support this unique literacy program for children. Many thanks to all the volunteers who collected books and to Juilee, Samareh, Manju, Nayeem, and Mukta for helping out on Juneteenth Day!