Preschoolers invited to ‘Read with Leaders’ — and get free books!

August 1, 2012 by

A grant of nearly $7,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation will allow preschool age children from throughout north-central Kansas to join a storytelling project and take home a free book at the end of each session.

The “storytellers” for the 12 sessions scheduled to begin in September will be leaders from local and regional government, business, sports and nonprofit organizations.

The first “Reading with Leaders” storytelling time will be 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 7. The storyteller will be Anita Butler, a wildlife specialist from Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure of Salina, reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” It will be held at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St., Concordia, and is open to all children from ages 3 to 5. There is a limit of 30 children per session so parents need to register in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215.

At the end of the session, each child will get a copy of the book, personalized with a photo of that child and the storyteller.

The staff of Neighborhood Initiatives Inc., an office of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, wrote the grant and is now lining up “Leaders” and the books they will read.

The idea, according to Neighborhood Initiatives coordinator Cheryl Lyn Higgins, is to get preschool children excited about reading, while encouraging parents to read as a family.

“Reading is key to academic success as well as making healthy decisions in life,” Higgins explained. “Reading with Leaders is designed to start children on that path to success by kindling an affection for books and reading, and introducing them to potential role models in our community.”

The $6,939 Recognition Grant will fund a total of 12 “Reading with Leaders” sessions from September through May 2013.

The storytelling sessions are all on Fridays and all begin at 10 a.m. Parents need to register their child or children for each session.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 7 — “Duck! Rabbit” with Anita Butler from Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure
  • Oct. 5 — “The Firefighter” with Fire Chief Larry Eubanks and Sparky
  • Oct. 19 — “The Velveteen Rabbit” with Dr. Bonnie Cramer
  • Nov. 9 — “Harold and The Purple Crayon” with Cheryl Lyn Higgins
  • Nov. 30 — “Guess How Much I Love You” with Marilyn Johnston
  • Dec. 14 — “Santa’s Little Helper” with Richard Palmquist
  • Jan. 11, 2013 — “Dancing Feet” with Jason Martin
  • Feb. 15, 2013 — “Hot Rod Hamster” with Tony Miller
  • March 8, 2013 — “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” with Sister Marcia Allen
  • March 22, 2013 — “The Giving Tree” with Dora Whitney
  • April 12, 2013 — “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” with Mike Lambert
  • May 3, 2013 —            “Green Eggs & Ham” with Police Officer Sara Heiser and McGruff the Crime Dog

“We hope to help foster the love of reading in the children who take part,” said Sister Pat McLennon, one of the three women who founded and staff Neighbor to Neighbor.




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2 Responses to “Preschoolers invited to ‘Read with Leaders’ — and get free books!”

  1. Missy Ljungdahl on August 27th, 2012 7:24 pm

    Thanks to all involved with this great project!!! Makes me want to be a kid again.

  2. Jodi Creten on August 1st, 2012 10:19 am

    Congrats on the reading grant. Wish I were there to read also.What a great start for the little ones!

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