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SMIF preparing another round of BookStart grants

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Education

Last fall, the Elysian Area Learning Center received a grant for 75 books.

Amber Athey, a supervisor at the organization that houses various early childhood and Head Start programs, said the grant was a small - but significant - investment in her students' lives.

She said staff members took students ranging from infant to five years old on a field trip to Greenwald's Greenhouse in Elysian and then gave each a book to take home. The theme for the event was "We read, we grow."

And while a single book won't ensure success, Athey said a single book is a good start.

"They were wonderful books," Athey said. "And they were a good addition to their little home libraries."

Through a partnership with Capstone Publishers, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation has provided more than 30,000 books to educational agencies throughout the region.

And, SMIF will be offering another round of BookStart grants. (Applications are due April 12 - visitwww.smifoundation.org for full details - and should promote early childhood literacy.)

Past grant winners have ranged from public school districts and libraries to preschools and child-care centers.

The Montgomery Public Library received a book grant last year and used it to host a pajama party, complete with cookies and milk and a book to take home. Nancy Noffke said about 40 kids attended the event and "the whole point was just to distribute a book to as many children as we could."

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