MANKATO -- Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation awarded 20,000 children’s books valued at $363,400 to 49 organizations through its Early Childhood Literacy Grant Program.
This grant supports early literacy efforts that enhance school readiness for children birth to age five by providing children with books.
Area organizations getting books were Amboy Public Library, Brown County Public Health, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Public Schools, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Public Schools, Le Sueur-Henderson Public Schools, Minnesota Valley Action Council, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Public Schools, New Ulm Public Schools, St. Anne’s School, Le Sueur, Sleepy Eye Public Schools, Tri-City United Public Schools, Le Center/Lonsdale/Montgomery, Waseca County Public Health, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Public Schools, Watonwan County Human Services/Public Health and Wells Public Library.
The books were awarded in partnership with Capstone and ABDO, Mankato-based publishers of children’s books and digital products and services.
In 2002, Capstone helped launch the BookStart program, working with SMIF to distribute thousands of books to children in the region over a period of 15 years.
In 2018, the Early Childhood Literacy Grant was formed as a new collaborative effort between SMIF and the two publishers.