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Assignment: Education – ‘Real Men Read'

New program hopes to change conversation about boys and reading

Assignment: Education - Real Men Read

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A La Crosse School District librarian found that many male students don't see themselves as readers.

A new program called "Real Men Read" is hoping to change the conversation about boys and reading.

Librarian Linda Watson from Lincoln Middle and the School of Technology and the Arts II received a grant this school year to start a campaign in an effort to raise awareness and build a culture of male readers.

"There's a lot of misperceptions out there that I think our young have that men don't read. It's not cool if you're a guy to read. So, I want to get their perceptions out there that men do read," Watson said.

Watson asked the Lincoln Middle School Small Business for Teens class to design t-shirts for men in the community to wear as part of this campaign with the message "Real Men Read."

"So, we all made designs and mine was chosen for the front and Henry's was chosen for the back," said 8th grader Madeline Ickes.

"It's the big muscle. so, I thought real men read. So, I guess muscles and everything with the book in the middle that says I read," said 8th grader Henry Kabat.

As part of this campaign, Watson also plans to make posters promoting men and what they like to read. Her hope is to hang the posters throughout the community to raise awareness. So this program is basically a community conversation about the importance of reading and modeling good reading habits.

The campaign will officially kick off in the fall when you'll start to see teachers and some community members like firefighters and the mayor wearing the t-shirts. You may also start to see posters throughout the community encouraging dads to read to their sons and spreading the message that men do, in fact, read.            

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