Book program supports home libraries; promotes school readiness

September 18, 2018

A new grant will help the Rochester Public Library put 1,300 children’s books in Olmsted County homes.

The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation provided the funds to distribute the books to area preschoolers this fall. More than 650 children, 5 years old and younger, will receive the books through the library and Head Start and School Readiness programs.

“By building up home libraries and providing tips to parents and caregivers for using the books, we can expect to see increased early literacy skills in the preschoolers,” said Heather Acerro, head of the library’s youth services program. “Giving children and families greater access to books is an excellent way to foster these essential skills.”

The foundation’s Literacy Grant program provides support to early literacy initiatives in 20 southern Minnesota counties each year. Acerro said the grant funding allows the library, School Readiness and Head Start the opportunity to collaborate to help local preschoolers.

“We have a long-standing partnership, working together to find ways to increase the books in home libraries in our community, and this grant was a perfect fit for us.,” she said, adding, “We appreciate the support that SMIF provides to our community.”

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