As with any small town, Miltonvale has learned to be resourceful. In 2016 a Miltonvale Grade School teacher saw the need for a summer reading program in our community. She was concerned about the number of children coming to kindergarten not ready for school. After reviewing many options, a program was set up at the Wesleyan Church. A local cabinet maker made and donated bookshelves.
The first summer was a growing summer, averaging 15 children. Books were primarily donated. In 2017 three teenagers joined the program to help check out books, and story time was added. It averaged 23 children that summer. This year, with help from a Hansen Foundation Summer Reading Grant, additions included a separate preschool story time, a Makers Space time, a magical science activity, and new books for older elementary students. The program grew to an average of 25 children. The children turned in weekly reading logs, read in groups and had activities to do at home and in the maker’s space. Books were read and talked about – key components to retention and improved reading skills.
Through this program and some other community involvements a community preschool was opened in the fall of 2016. The kindergarten teacher reported that this year, all of her students arrived kindergarten ready.