Press Releases

SMIF Awards BookStart Grants

SMIF awarded 10,000 books with a total value of $163,809 in partnership with Capstone Publishers. BookStart, now in its thirteenth year, has put approximately 80,000 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 of reading.

The following 28 organizations received BookStart books 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 one of the books to take home and keep.

-Albert Lea Area Schools
-Austin Public Schools
-Chatfield Public Schools
-Fairmont Area Schools
-Freeborn County Public Health-Healthy Families
-Freeborn County Thrive Initiative
-Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Schools
-Help Me Grow, Waseca County
-Kasson-Mantorville Community Education
-Kingsland Public Schools, Spring Valley
-New Prague Area Schools
-New Ulm Public Schools
-Owatonna Public Schools
-Rochester Public Library
-Rochester Public Schools
-Saint John's Grandkids, Springfield
-Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Fairmont
-Semcac Head Start, Rushford
-Southern MN Education Consortium, Adams
-Stewartville Public Schools
-The Center Clinic, Dodge Center
-Three Rivers Community Action Incorporated, Northfield
-Tri-City United ECFE- Early Childhood Screening, Montgomery
-Tri-City United Public Schools, Montgomery
-Triton Public Schools, Dodge Center
-Tri-Valley Opportunity Council Incorporated, Rochester
-Wabasha Kellogg Public Schools
-Watonwan County Public Health

As part of its strategy to invest in economic growth here in southern Minnesota, SMIF has supported early childhood efforts to make certain all children enter school fully encouraged, prepared, and supported for learning success. Over the past nine years, SMIF has invested on average $1.6 million annually for early childhood development initiatives. SMIF has also established 21 community coalitions as part of the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative. Each coalition is developing their collective early childhood vision and implementing local projects to strengthen early care and education for young children and their families.