Miss America, Gov. Walker promote reading program

Nick Montes

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Miss America, Gov. Walker promote reading program

By Nick Montes. CREATED Mar 16, 2012

RACINE - Miss America Laura Kaeppeler is teaming up with Gov. Scott Walker to promote a special program that's very close to the pageant winner's heart. 

The program is called "Book Bridge" and it's aimed at the young fathers at the Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility.

"For an entire year I have a really cool job," said Kaeppeler. I get to travel the entire country as Miss America."

But Miss America is home, with an important message about reading.  She's part of the "Book Bridge" program that bonds young inmate fathers and their children.  It's a topic Kaeppeler knows a lot about.

"I was a teenager, my father made a mistake," she explained."  He committed a white collar crime and spent time in federal prison himself."

Kaeppeler is using her Miss America influence to help other children with incarcerated fathers, by letting them know they're not alone. 

"I know what it's like to visit in a federal prison building," she explained.  "I know what it's like to receive phone calls and letters from a prison facility."

Gov. Walker is in full support of the program.

"Not just reading one time on a visit," Walker said.  "But to literally sit down and read either on tape or on video so their children can go back to that recording and hear their father reading to them."

The program should start this summer and, if successful, state officials plan to expand it.