The Edvest College Savings Plan is awarding $20,000 in Edvest college savings accounts, $8,000 in library grants and numerous Green Bay Packers prizes as part of the 'Leap into Reading' summer reading program sponsored by Edvest, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the Green Bay Packers.
The program, which ran May 29 through July 18, encouraged children to read during the summer. A total of 6,128 contest entries were received from families across 456 Wisconsin communities.
Twenty grand prize winners were drawn July 29 and each received an Edvest college savings account valued at $1,000 along with their choice of four tickets to Green Bay Packers Family Night or a $30 Green Bay Packers Pro Shop gift card.
Additionally, the following 16 libraries with grand prize winners received a $500 grant: Oostburg Eastern Shores, Hazel Mackin Community Library (Roberts), Kenosha Public Library Southwest, Waterford Public Library, New Holstein Public Library, Juneau Public Library, Greenfield Public Library, Egg Harbor Unit Door County Library, Green Bay – Central Library, Winter Public Library (Loretta), Vaughn Library (Ashland), James L. Siebers Memorial Library (Kimberly), McCoy Public Library (Shullsburg), Oconomowoc Public Library, Black River Falls Library and Fond Du Lac Public Library.
More than 250 libraries in the Wisconsin Library System participated in the 'Leap into Reading' program, which was offered in an effort to prevent "summer reading loss," a cumulative condition that can put students two years behind their classmates by the end of sixth grade. Children throughout the state were entered into summer reading activities and events at local libraries. Green Bay Packers fullback John Kuhn helped kick off the program with a reading event at Gillett Public Library in June.
"The program was hugely successful for Wisconsin public libraries and young readers," said Tessa Schmidt, public library youth and special services consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. "Partnering with Edvest and the Green Bay Packers offered additional motivation for children and families to invest in reading and lifelong learning. The biggest benefit of the 'Leap Into Reading' program was the acknowledgement of the critical role family members play in the literacy development of their children. Parents, grandparents and other role models such as the Green Bay Packers have a tremendous influence on how children value reading. It's one thing for a kid to participate in the summer library program; it's an even greater thing when their participation is encouraged by family members, librarians, Edvest, and the Green Bay Packers."
"There are great synergies between Edvest, the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction," said James DiUlio, director of 529 college savings for the State of Wisconsin. "It was exciting for our organizations to team up on this program to promote literacy and education."
Edvest is Wisconsin's 529 College Savings Plan designed to help families save for higher education expenses. It takes just $25 to start an Edvest college savings plan and account owners can choose from more than 22 investment portfolio options, enjoy one of the lowest cost 529 plans in the U.S. as well as in-state tax advantages for Wisconsin residents. For more information, visit www.edvest.com or call toll free 888-338-3789.