First Lady Tonette Walker

Walker visits Viroqua to Promote Summer Reading

By: Matt Johnson, La Crosse Tribune
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wisconsin’s First Lady Tonette Walker (right) helps Viroqua second grader Amanda Staege pick out a book at Viroqua Elementary School, Wednesday morning.

Students who read during summer vacation will be better equipped to return to the classroom in the fall, Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker told Viroqua Elementary School students, Wednesday morning.

Walker was on a tour of schools in Viroqua, Bangor and Menomonie to promote the Summer Reading Challenge Program, which encourages second and third grade students to read four books over their summer vacation to help them retain reading skills. Students each received a book donated by the book publisher Scholastic.

"Sometimes when we don't read in the summer, we have a hard time catching up," Walker told students. "It's really, really important that you take time to read during the summer."

Walker spread books out across the Viroqua Elementary School Cafetorium stage, so students could see the book covers and titles and pick out their own book. She also helped students find books that interested them.

Walker's visit lasted about half an hour. Also attending were State Sen. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Rep. Lee Nerison (R-Westby).

A group of about half-a-dozen protestors picketed outside the school against Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget and plans to eliminate collective bargaining for benefits for state unionized workers. While protestors were present, they didn't interrupt Walker's program.