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Tuesday, July 21 • 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Out of the Desert

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In the past decade, the United States Department of Agriculture has been focusing on issues surrounding food deserts—defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Food deserts are identified by using census data and GIS mapping tools. Those living in a food desert tend to be low-income or elderly. This lack of access to quality food results in a poor diet and in higher food expense as the residents tend to rely more on fast food restaurants or convenience stores.

Building on the concept of the food desert, we began to wonder if there might also be a literacy desert—an area that has a high-probability of having a large number of children at risk of not becoming proficient readers. If we could identify areas of a community that were most likely in need, we could develop programs, outreach efforts and services to help address this need.

Our findings were clear—literacy deserts are real, and in some cases, growing.

Matt Mulder, Chief Community Engagement Strategist at Demco, will identify and define literacy deserts in Brown County and several other Wisconsin communities and discuss how the concept can also be applied for other core service areas. Kimberly Young, Brown County Library Deputy Director will discuss the implications for her library system, and how they plan to lead their community out of the desert.

avatar for DEMCO


Director of Innovation, Demco
Visit Demco's Makerspace and gain hands-on experience with Ozobots, Meeperbots, TeacherGeek, Color Craze, littleBits, and more! Take a shot in the March Maker Madness for your chance to win a maker prize basket!

Kimberly Young

Brown County Library, Deputy Director

Tuesday July 21, 2015 4:00pm - 4:45pm CDT
Pyle Center, Room 325-326

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