University of Wisconsin student leader Cassidy Slinger lights the way for Madison literacy

Cassidy Slinger, a member of UW-Madison’s graduating class of 2018, has been one of the most dedicated and involved volunteers at’s Madison, Wisconsin operation. Cassidy first connected with as Volunteer Chair for the university’s Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics group. After bringing members into the office for a sorting session, she realized that Madison’s literacy team could use her help. Cassidy returned throughout the summer, and her responsibilities grew as she donated her time with us more frequently.

For Cassidy, the most important part of working with has been finding new purpose for all different kinds of magazines and comics, some of which are aimed at highly specific audiences. For example, an influx of magazines aimed towards the armed forces can be placed with groups that can distribute them to veterans and current military personnel, whereas they might otherwise be destroyed or unread. Another exciting part about work, she says, “is discovering the interesting organizations right in our own backyard that are also doing good for the community, and connecting with those groups to support literacy in Madison”. Among the tens of thousands of magazines the office receives every year, there tends to be some quirky finds for niche interests, which has taught Cassidy that there is truly a magazine for everyone! Cassidy’s favorite unexpected find was old issues of Ms. magazine from decades past.

When asked why she would encourage others to get involved with, Cassidy says, “the work is fun and satisfying, and makes tangible differences in the community, even if it gives just one more person the chance to read content to which they would otherwise have no access”. Cassidy also notes, “magazines are incredibly accessible, and serve as a simple tool for improving literacy, with topics geared towards all interests, languages and age levels.”
Cassidy’s favorite moment from her time with was at a recent Read Up night, where she was able to hand out magazines directly to young readers and their families. The supply of Spanish language magazines especially excited community members who had not been able to find reading materials in their first language for a long time.

Cassidy has been a wonderful leader within the volunteer community, training and bringing in other student volunteers, reorganizing our storage space, and connecting us with many new agency partners, especially those serving the homeless. We value her strong work ethic, care for the community, and commitment to the goals of our organization. We know that Cassidy will go on to do great things, and we thank her for her time with!
Cassidy will be missed, but, by her warm heart and dedication, gives us great hope, as we iMAGine what’s possible, and work together to make literacy happen.