Albert Lea Kiwanis clubs completing 13th year of book reading, distribution program

Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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The three Kiwanis Clubs in Albert Lea are completing the 13th year of reading to and providing a book to most children in preschool and kindergarten classes or other programs in the county. Books are donated by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) in Owatonna as part of their Early Literacy program. Further support for this effort comes from the Albert Lea Tribune by donating printing of most of the informational material and specially sized bags readers use to carry the books to reading locations. The Albert Lea school district provides book storage at the Brookside Annex.

Members of the Kiwanis Clubs (Noon, Golden K, Day-Breakers), plus a few guests, volunteer to read in the classrooms and bring books to be given to the children. Changes occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating reading by a Zoom process or delivering books to teachers to share and distribute. A number of reading locations were lost during that time, making this a rebuilding year as reading could again be in-person. About 700 books are being provided to children this year — some are story books and others are about land and water animals, behavior, bugs, etc.