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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
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Local schools awarded free books through SMIF’s BookStart program


Mon, Jul 11th, 2016
Posted in All Education

OWATONNA, MN, June 23, 2016 - Representatives from early childhood organizations gathered at the office of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) in Owatonna today to celebrate 14 years of the BookStart program and 26 new BookStart awardees.

This year, SMIF awarded 10,000 books with a total value of $172,650 in partnership with Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services. Together, the organizations have placed approximately 89,000 books into the homes of children across southern Minnesota. The goal is that every child has a book of his or her own at home to read or be read to by family members, which promotes a life-long love for reading.

Studies consistently show that reading at a young age drastically improves a child’s educational trajectory. Not only does reading aloud help children acquire early language skills, it fosters curiosity and memory and helps children develop positive associations with reading.

“Reading should be fun, accessible and engaging, for both children and their caregivers. Capstone has been a great long-time partner with our BookStart program towards this goal,” said SMIF’s President and CEO, Tim Penny. “We believe investing in our young children is a long-term strategy that will pay big dividends for our communities and businesses.”

“Awardees find so many creative ways of getting these free books in the hands of kids,” said Teri Steckelberg, SMIF’s Early Childhood Director. “Some projects give children books when they get free meals at the summer lunch wagon. Others give books to adult basic education students who are just learning English so they can read to their child, often for the first time.”

Kingsland Public Schools and Rushford-Peterson Schools received BookStart grants because they provide outstanding early literacy opportunities for young children and their families. The organizations will incorporate the books into their programs and events where young children will receive books to take home and keep.

“Literacy is one of the building blocks of lifelong success,” said Bill Coughlan of Coughlan Companies, the parent company of Capstone in Mankato. “Capstone recognizes the power of literacy in helping children achieve their full potential, and we know that can start with just one book. Every child is a reader when matched with the right book.”
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Once Upon a Reader brings bath time fun to Spring Valley Public Library

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in All Education

SPRING VALLEY, MN – Parents and caregivers of small children won’t want to miss this opportunity for fun and learning with their little ones. Wednesday, June 29 at 2 p.m., author/illustrator Derek Anderson will perform his “Ten Pigs Trunk Show ..... 
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Lanesboro Library reading garden dedicated

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in All Education

Outdoor space meant to invite people in to read, relax or use Wi-Fi LANESBORO, MN – A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held to celebrate the new reading garden at Lanesboro Public Library. The garden, inspired because people were often seen ..... 
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ACT on Alzheimer’s Harmony event June 30

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Harmony Education

A community discussion on aging Please join Harmony area community members in an engaging dialogue on aging and planning for the life changes that are inevitable for all within our community. This event will take place Thursday, June 30, 2016, f ..... 
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Lanesboro School Board thanks Superintendent Jeff Boggs for years of service

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Lanesboro Education

By Hannah Wingert “As the parent of a former student, I want to thank you for your years of service,” Board Member Dave Lawstuen expressed his gratitude to outgoing Superintendent Jeff Boggs during theA Lanesboro School Board’s June 16 meetin ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson implements new technology option

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jun 27th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Education

By Kirsten Zoellner At the Monday, June 20 R-P School Board meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve a new 1:1 Initiative Program. Working to put technology in the hands of R-P students, grades 9-12, the program is a partnership with Best Bu ..... 
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Chatfield Elementary raises nearly $7,000 through Walk-A-Thon

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Chatfield Education

By Third grade teachers What a beautiful day for a walk! Chatfield Elementary kicked off their First Annual Gopher Pride Walk-A-Thon. Students were eager to collect money for a healthy lifestyle and raise money for a great cause: their school. Ea ..... 
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Evenson legacy donation

Mon, Jun 20th, 2016
Posted in Rushford Education

The Rushford-Peterson Schools Foundation was the recent recipient of a memorial gift in memory of Merle Evenson. The Ready Bus/Minnesota Coach Inc., has chosen to assist Merle’s family members in providing a lasting legacy in his memory. They ..... 
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Fillmore Central accepts Boots & Badges donations from American Legion and VFW

Mon, May 30th, 2016
Posted in Preston Education

The Fillmore Central School Board met for their regular meeting on May 24 at 6 p.m. The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and approved along with the district bills. Principal Heath Olstad reported that the local banks are continui ..... 
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