Kiwanis reading to preschoolers for SMIF

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Members of the Austin Early Morning Risers Kiwanis visited the YMCA of Austin’s preschoolers to read to students Tuesday and Wednesday.

Members read from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. and from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, and at the Community Learning Center from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. and 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, as part of the youth reading program initiated by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. The goal of the program is to increase literacy and learning among not only pre-school aged children but children of disadvantaged backgrounds as well.

Former Congressman Tim Penny (D-Minn.) approached the Kiwanis clubs of southern Minnesota earlier this year and asked them to participate in the reading initiative. The clubs gladly accepted.

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“The age and ethnic demographics of our area have changed dramatically in a relatively short amount of time,” said Eric Shoars, president of the Early Morning Risers Kiwanis. “We have a responsibility to recognize the need of the changing population in our community and be there to support those who are in need. Part of the way we can do that is by assisting children to read and encouraging education – especially as this level.”

Kiwanis members read “Froggy Goes to School”, “Daisy Comes Home”, and “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash.” Each of the 40 children at the YMCA of Austin pre-school and about 110 children at Community Learning Center received a book to keep. The books were donated to Kiwanis by the Pearson Company.