In a partnership with Read2Lead, GEP is excited to share a project helping local preschoolers transition to Kindergarten.
Inspiration for this project was first sparked by the R2L Board, who wanted to provide continued literacy support and encouragement to Grinnell area learners as they transition to kindergarten. The COVID19 pandemic was hindering fundraising and causing scheduling constraints for R2L when two VISTA Taskforce Coordinators, Grace Morrison (School Readiness) and Jill Harris (Skills Gap), stepped in.
The bags became a true possibility with the collaborative support of Grinnell United Way, Grinnell Mutual, Bayer CropScience, Drake Community Library (DCL), Connected PTO, Grinnell Newburg School Foundation (GNSF), and the Grinnell College Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement.
"Read 2 Lead came up with a fantastic, fun way to celebrate entering kindergarten while focusing on education. Our local United Way focuses on improving education, financial stability and health in our community, so this project was the perfect fit. We hope that families of children entering kindergarten take advantage of this great bag that will promote reading, creativity, and fun this summer."
-Ashley Grundler, Grinnell United Way Co-Chair
The Kindergarten Kickoff Literacy Bags were distributed by local preschool teachers at the end of the 20-21 school year to those children in the Grinnell area who will be entering a Grinnell-Newburg Community School District kindergarten in the fall of 2021.
The R2L imprinted literacy bags contain items to inspire a joy of reading during the summer months. Each bag includes age- and interest-appropriate books, a beach towel, a water bottle, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, crayons, sunglasses, a beachball, and paper. The bags also include a calendar of DCL summer events and a library card registration form as well as a gift certificate for a Dari Barn treat and promotional information for caretakers about Grinnell Connected PTO.
“Grinnell Mutual is honored to support the Kindergarten Kickoff Literacy initiative. We know that a solid education is the cornerstone to building strong community members and productive employees. Preparing young students with engaging reading materials and activities will help instill a desire to learn as they prepare to begin their education journey.”
-Barb Baker, director of Advertising and Community Relations at Grinnell Mutual
If you know a caretaker with a kindergarten-ready child that is not currently enrolled in a Grinnell area preschool, please encourage them to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 641-236-5518 and speak to Nicole Brua-Behrens or Karie Smith to receive a bag.