Spring football game to benefit student literacy efforts


Gordon

Feb. 3, 2014

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez announced Monday that for the fourth consecutive year, proceeds from the Badger football team’s annual spring game will be directed to a campus partner.

This year, dollars raised through ticket sales will help fund efforts across UW-Madison’s School of Education dedicated to improving student literacy.

“The athletic department is pleased to annually direct the proceeds from the spring game to a campus partner providing them financial assistance,” Alvarez said. “We look forward to working with the School of Education to highlight their efforts to improve literacy while also promoting our spring game.”

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for the School of Education,” Julie Underwood, Dean of the School of Education, said. “We look forward to involving partners from across the community in raising funds for, and putting a spotlight on, efforts to improve student literacy. We’re also looking forward to making new connections with those who love Badger football.”

The spring football game is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, at Camp Randall Stadium. It will be televised live by BTN. Tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday, Feb. 5, for $5 online at UWBadgers.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BADGERS. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office. The game will be preceded by the annual Badgers Sports Kids’ Fair, which is a free event that starts at 1 p.m. in the McClain Center.

This partnership with campus started in 2011 with the proceeds benefitting the UW School of Nursing. In 2012 the UW School of Human Ecology and the UW Center for Nonprofits partnered with athletics. Last year, the UW School of Pharmacy was the beneficiary.

This year’s annual scrimmage will give fans a chance to get an early look at Head Coach Gary Andersen’s 2014 Badgers, while also providing support to the School of Education’s commitment to bolstering student literacy, which is crucial to the success of individuals both within the classroom and throughout life.

Former Badger and Green Bay Packers standout Mark Tauscher and former Wisconsin first lady Jessica Doyle have been designated by the School of Education as honorary co-chairs for the spring game. Both are members of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors, which serves as an external advisory body to the Dean.

Tauscher earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the School of Education, and in 2005 launched the nonprofit TRIFECTA Foundation, which is an acronym for Tauscher's Reading Initiative For Every Child To Achieve.

"Literacy has long been my passion and is why I started my foundation,” says Tauscher. “Teaming up with athletics to promote the spring game presents a golden opportunity to bring widespread attention to the importance of improving student literacy, and to shine a light on the range of far-reaching and cutting-edge literacy efforts being led by those within the School of Education.”

Doyle earned both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the School of Education, and during her time as first lady traveled the state visiting classrooms and schools. In 2004 she launched “Read On Wisconsin.”  This initiative continues today as an online literacy program that highlights quality books for Wisconsin students of all age levels, and is administered by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center within the School of Education.

“Sports and reading have a lot in common,” says Doyle. “Both take motivation and plenty of practice, but can open doors to all sorts of new experiences. That's why we started the ‘Read On Wisconsin’ book club for students and educators across the state a decade ago, and why the School of Education is proud to partner with the UW Athletic Department to promote the spring game. It's a great way to have fun while also supporting both our student-athletes and School of Education literacy programs.”

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