Representatives from early childhood organizations gathered at the office of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) in Owatonna last week for a special day of early childhood celebration.
SMIF awarded 10,000 books with a total value of over $171,000 in partnership with Capstone. BookStart, now in its twelfth year, has put approximately 70,000 books into the homes of children across southern Minnesota.
Rushford Peterson Schools, Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, Red Wing Public Schools and Wabasha Kellogg Public Schools all received BookStart books because they provide outstanding early literacy opportunities for young children and their families.
SMIF also awarded 20 Young Explorer Computer Learning Centers with a total value of $52,000 in partnership with IBM.
Winona Area Catholic Schools Preschool and EduCare received Young Explorer Computers because of their commitment to provide a trained adult and easy access for young children and their families to the learning systems/computers.