Reading Rally literacy events are a cornerstone for EWI Chapters across our organization. Events celebrating children, books, the ability to read and the impact of reading on a child’s life bring together individuals from our communities in all industries – education, civic, government, business and non-profits. Each year, we collectively celebrate reading rallies across EWI in our Chapter cities by hosting book drives, partnering with authors and illustrators, volunteering to read to children of various ages and donating items that schools or agencies may need to further their mission to turn children into avid, successful readers.

Annually, EWI plans a Reading Rally event in the host city of our Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting (LCAM). Volunteers from our host city and across our organization begin the planning process early in the year, beginning with selecting an agency to benefit from EWI’s efforts. Committee members select books to read, character visits, giveaways (such as bookmarks, backpacks, school supplies, coloring and art materials and more!) and a schedule of events to celebrate literacy, involve children and their teachers and have fun in the process. We also provide necessary donations for technological purposes, such as tablets, headphones, electronic marker boards and software programs.

In September of each year, our organization conducts the Reading Rally with the assistance of our conference attendees. We continually hear positive feedback from all parties and celebrate bringing together our members, communities and businesses to celebrate literacy initiatives and strengthening this skill set in our young learners.

See below for our most recent Reading Rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in collaboration with Next Door.

2019 READING RALLY | Next Door, Milwaukee

Next Door in Milwaukee currently serves 936 children ranging from six weeks to Kindergarten. Author Jamie Knisbeck and Illustrator Charlie Christman were onsite for the children and guests to meet. Jamie Knisbeck read Ivy Grace and the Birthday Monster to the children and Charlie Christman drew a monster just as the children described. Volunteers performed a skit to The Very Hungry Caterpillar and ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ spent time with the children. Volunteers read to children and gave each child a cinch sack with a book, bookmark, activity sheet, and dental care items inside. Next Door will receive a $3,000 grant for the Executive Women International volunteer service.


Delta Dental
EWI B/C/DP Corporate
EWI of Dallas
EWI of Des Moines
EWI of Houston
EWI of Kansas City
EWI of Omaha
Healthcore Clinic/Rep: Davna Gould
LD Kerns
Sarah Esch
State Fair of Texas
TPI – The Printer Inc.
Vicki Chapman


Chapter contributions resulted in the following donations to Next Door:

A large library rug
More than 2, 250 books
950 Cinch sacks
1,000 sets of dental care items
$500 cash
Read to Lead memory banner


Thank you everyone! We appreciate your contributions and support. From the 2019 Read to Lead Reading Rally Committee:

Christine Healy (Chair), TPI – EWI of Des Moines
Christina Casiano – Bill Miller BBQ – EWI of San Antonio
Melanie Cox – CASTO – EWI of Columbus
Jill Gaffney – Corporate Life Member – EWI of Spokane
Jackie Makinen – FedEx – EWI of Milwaukee
Marla Wylie – Delta Dental of Iowa – EWI of Des Moines