Commissioner reads to children on Reading Oasis visit
Published 10:56 am Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Mower County’s Reading Oasis turned another page Tuesday and drew praise from a state leader.
Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey read books to children Tuesday in the Reading Oasis, located in the lobby of Mower County Health and Human Services on the second floor of the Mower County Government Center, 201 First St. NE.
“Literacy is so important because it’s a basic foundational building block for youngsters,” he said. “And if they get that building block set early on in life, they position themselves for success.”
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Lindsey was a guest reader at the oasis, where he visited with children and parents, and read three books: “The Sneetches,” “Teammates” — the story of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese — and “On the Day You Were Born.”
Health and Human Services received funds from several community groups to add the reading section to its lobby, which opened Aug. 3. The county received 1,200 books, five bean bag chairs, three book shelves and a book-listening station with books on CD. The books range from picture books to a third-grade reading level. The books are in the lobby, parent visitation rooms and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental food program area.
“I would say it’s becoming a new trend,” Lindsey said of the reading oasis. “I think a lot of government leaders, and we especially appreciate the leadership here, and looking at how they deliver services and how they leverage those opportunities to maximize opportunities for children. I’m very happy to be here to read stories to young children today, and it just gets this city, this county off to such a great start when you get literacy into the hands of kids at such an early age.”
Health and Human Services Director Lisa Kocer told the Mower County Commissioners during their Tuesday board meeting of Lindsey’s visit. She said the reading oasis has been successful thus far.
“That has been very well received,” she said.
Lindsey was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in February 2011 after previously serving as a civil litigation attorney in the Office of the Ramsey County Attorney.