MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — For the fifth consecutive year, fourth graders in the greater Mankato area take home their very own copy of Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends” poetry book.
“Thanks to the Olseth Family Foundation, we were able to give out 1,600 books to fourth graders all around the region,” said Laura Murray, communications and marketing manager at the Greater Mankato Area United Way.
For the next few weeks, the United Way will deliver books to students in Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties.
“It’s an event that we look forward to. The district employees and kids, particularly if they have older siblings that have received the book. It’s really a great opportunity to celebrate literacy and give kids a keepsake from their fourth-grade year,” said Travis Olsen, director of teaching and learning at Mankato Area Public Schools
The initiative is a rewarding experience for the Olseth Family Foundation and United Way that promotes literacy year-round
“Giving kids access to books and getting them excited about reading and literacy and just to see the excitement in the kid’s faces when they know it’s their own book to keep. It’s just always a really special event every year that we get to do,” said Murray.
In addition, the United Way plans to host interactive virtual presentations for students receiving the books.