Reading time

Bekkum Memorial Library patron Kaylee Foss, 7, reads some of the material Monday Monday morning that has been provided to the Westby library as a part of the partnership with Wisconsin Public Television.

Wisconsin Public Television was recently awarded a Ready to Learn Grant of $175,000 in order to collaborate with community partners in Westby and Cashton to improve science and literacy. The Ready to Learn Initiative is through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.

“The plan is to have books and kits that would involve games and DVDs all to improve literacy for kids and their families,” Michelle Tryggestad, director at Bekkum Memorial Library, said.

WPT will be working with both Cashton and Westby elementary schools, as well as Bekkum Memorial Library in Westby.

“These are the people that have engaged in early learning programs before,” Katy Kraemer, Early Learning Specialist for WPT, said.

“That interaction with public schools and libraries, it’s awesome,” Tryggestad said. “Parents and kids will definitely benefit.”

Families have already been invited to take part in educational events that are set to begin this month at Westby Elementary School.

“The grant allows us to run some family nights,” Bruce Peterson, Westby Elementary principal said. “Four Thursdays in a row in January.”

Bruce Peterson


The grant will be implemented over a period of three years, with summer reading programs at Bekkum Memorial Library.

“This only works because we have staff who want to help kids,” Peterson said. “We have great relationships with our families.”

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Sahnje McGonigle can be reached at


Vernon County Broadcaster reporter

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thanks for reading. Subscribe or log in to continue.

Already a subscriber?
Log in or Activate your account.