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Drive hopes to raise books for 4K program

SCC 4KIDS Book Drive boxes are located in the St. Croix Central Elementary School library and at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Hammond, one of the 4K sites for this fall.

The St. Croix Central School District's 4-year-old kindergarten collaborative committee is having a book drive to raise books for the 4K program starting this fall.

Now through May 27, community members can drop of new or used books in the donation boxes at the elementary school library and at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Hammond, one of the 4K sites for this fall.

Amie Gafner, the district's 4K liaison, said the 4K collaborative committee came up with the idea for the book drive to obtain books for literacy bags.

Gafner said the committee is asking for donations because early literacy is a strong indicator of later achievement, and without donations, the 4K budget restricts the number of books the program can purchase.

"When we planned our original budget, we did not allocate for the purchase of such a large number of books. During times of economic unknown, the committee determined it would be more appropriate to ask for donations, especially since we are at a time in the year where people are spring cleaning," said Gafner.

The book drive started on May 9 and runs until May 27.

Gafner said the goal is to get around 300 books for literacy bags.

"This would allow us to make 100 literacy bags with three books inside, or one bag per week per child," she said.

There were donation boxes at the Elementary Spring Carnival on April 29. Families who donated a book the night of the carnival received one free carnival ticket.

Gafner estimates the drive has raised 75 to 100 books toward the goal for 4K literacy bags.

Literacy bags

Gafner said the goal is to provide a "literacy bag" with two to three books in it every week for each child in the 4K program.

"This would enable parents to read age-appropriate books to their children at home," she said.

Gafner said the committee's initial idea is to have every child "check out" a literacy bag to take home weekly.

"This way the students will have new books to take home each week to read with someone at home," said Gafner. "Our hopes would be that the literacy bags will promote some family time, a love for reading and some good pre-reading skills to get them geared up for kindergarten."

Gafner said any new or used books are appreciated.

"Our ultimate goal is to ensure there are opportunities for early literacy in every home of our 4K students," she said.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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