Foundation Gives Books To Southern Minnesota Children


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The Early Literacy Grant Program of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation provided grants for more than 21,000 children's books to 46 local groups. This program provides books to kids to boost early literacy initiatives that improve preschoolers' preparedness for school. Brown County Public Health, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Early Childhood, Madelia Early Childhood Family Education, New Ulm ECFE, and Sleepy Eye ECFE were among the local organizations that received Early Literacy Grants because they offer exceptional early literacy opportunities for young children and their families.

Capstone and ABDO, two Mankato-based publishers of children's books and digital goods and services, collaborated on the distribution of the books.

Capstone collaborated with SMIF to establish the BookStart initiative in 2002, distributing thousands of books to kids in the area over a 15-year span.

In order to get even more books into the hands of kids from birth to age eight, SMIF and the two publishers launched the Early Literacy Grant in 2018.

Through funding and programs, SMIF has previously collaborated with both businesses to disperse more than 100,000 books around the area. According to Rae Jean Hansen, vice president of Early Childhood at SMIF, "getting books into the hands of early children fuels their growth with language, reading, and so much more."

Our efforts to provide parents and kids the help they need to be ready for school depend on our long-term collaborations with both Capstone and ABDO, the organization said. The publishing businesses contributed a variety of publications, including bilingual and early childhood books, to the award winners.

Young children will get books to take home and keep from the organizations as part of their activities and programs.

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