Making a Difference at Brown Street Academy

RCM partners with two Milwaukee Public Schools, Brown Street Academy and Oliver Wendell Holmes, to provide financial and hands-on support to elementary school students. The RCM Community Trust contributes funds annually to BSA and OWH to support year-long learning programs including science programs at the Urban Ecology Center, sponsorship of Danceworks’ Mad Hot Ballroom, behavioral incentives, swimming lessons, and support for end-of-the-year celebrations to uplift and encourage students.

Rotarians also volunteer their time at BSA as part of the RCM Reading Initiative, in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee service learners. This past school year 94 UWM students and 21 Rotarians provided one-on-one tutoring in each BSA classroom Monday through Friday, for a total of 325 volunteer hours – and recent tests have shown a 72% improvement in literacy scores over the year. This effort proves that money alone does not transform communities, but that vision, dedication and the tireless efforts of people really make things happen.

“Rotary’s ongoing commitment to Brown Street Academy’s community has greatly impacted and enriched the lives of the children here. Through Rotary’s robust financial support and its members’ consistent volunteerism, we are certainly able to fulfill one of the school’s missions: to provide students with experiences that they might not otherwise have received.”

—Ava Morris, Principal, Brown Street Academy

Reading is Fundamental

For nearly 40 years, RCM has lit the spark of literacy as ambassadors for the Reading is Fundamental program, in which Rotarians volunteer their time to distribute thousands of books to students in 10 Milwaukee schools each year.

When federal funding for the program disappeared in 2012, the Brewers Community Foundation, Inc. stepped up to partner with RCM and ensure the future of the program. Because of this support, RCM continues to serve as the face of literacy for many Milwaukee school children, showing them that the community cares about their education.