First Lady Tonette Walker

State's first lady visits Bangor Elementary to push reading

By Michael Martin, Lacrosse Tribune
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker, at left, poses with second- and third-graders at Bangor Elementary last week. Principal Lois Meinking, who is leaving her position at the school, is on the right.

Tonette Walker, the state’s first lady, encouraged Bangor students to read over the summer so they could retain the skills they learned during the school year.

Second- and third-graders at Bangor Elementary enjoyed a special visitor last Wednesday morning as Tonette Walker, wife of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, was at the school to promote the importance of summer reading.

During her talk, Walker also notified the children that each of them would soon be receiving a free book from Scholastic to read over the summer.

Holding up a copy of "Captain Underpants," Walker told the children how much her own children, now grown, loved such books as youngsters. She had hoped to present each of the second- and third-graders with a book after her presentation, but logistical problems prevented that.

"Unfortunately, the books didn't arrive in time for me to give them to you today," Walker told the children, "but they should be here tomorrow."

The book give-away is part of the Scholastic Summer Challenge, a four-month global literacy campaign encouraging kids to read four or more books over the summer to combat the "summer slide" (the learning loss that occurs from simply being out of school).

Principal Lois Meinking reminded the students that Bangor has won the La Crosse County Library System's summer reading challenge for something like 10 years running and encouraged them to uphold the tradition.

Although unable to present the children with books on Wednesday, Walker did pass out special bookmarks at the end of her talk.