‘Books for Kids’ marks 25th year of delivering free books

Thousands of area kids will soon receive free books in the mail through Greater Mankato Area United Way's Books for Kids program.
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Thousands of area kids will soon receive free books in the mail through Greater Mankato Area United Way’s Books for Kids program.

The Blomquists are among families who get free books for their kids from the program.

They’ve been a part of “Books for Kids” for almost five years, when their daughter, Aribelle was born.

“When they got the first book, they knew that I liked books because I read,” Aribelle said.

Aribelle’s mother, Shanna, said reading runs in the family.

“One nice thing about these is, a lot of times they’re educational books, and so, they’re pretty thoughtfully chosen and I do really like that,” she said.

This week, the “Books for Kids” program, which turns 25 this year, is working to make sure over 3,500 books get mailed to other kids in the region as well.

“All the books are donated by Capstone, and we send out the books directly to the kids at their homes,” Laura Murray, the communications and marketing director for Greater Mankato Area United Way, said.

United Way serves Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca Counties.

Anybody in that region can sign up for the free program, which serves children between two months and four years, 11 months old.

“We hear time and time again how important it is for kids to have access to books at an early age even from infancy, so this program really focuses on that,” Murray said.

Several community groups are volunteering throughout the week to help.

“Our members work in schools helping support students and improving their reading and math skills. It’s important to have access to books at a young age. It’s helpful in improving their literacy skills,” Amber Hughes, a volunteer and recruiter for the Minnesota Reading and Math Corps, said.

As their home library continues to grow, Shanna said the books are handed down as well.

“The kids continue to go back to, some of them actually one of them that we got in the first year of her life, my son was just reading last night,” she said.

Copyright 2022 KEYC. All rights reserved.