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Reach Out and Read Minnesota Partners with Bemidji Community Food Shelf to Distribute Children's Books to Families

Mary Mitchell, Director of Bemidji Community Food Shelf, with Cate Belleveau, Northwest Minnesota Program Specialist at Reach Out and Read Minnesota


For Immediate Release:

Media Contact: Cate Belleveau 
(218) 760-2211

Bemidji, Minnesota (Oct. 7th, 2020): Reach Out and Read Minnesota recently provided 1,000 gently used children’s books for disbursement through the Bemidji Community Food Shelf. The books will be given to families visiting the food shelf to meet food needs. Typically in the Reach Out and Read program, new books are given to families during well-child visits and gently-used books are provided in clinic waiting areas and exam rooms. Recent pandemic-related changes to clinic function, however, have given the program a new opportunity to bring early literacy resources to families with great need.  These books are a selection of the thousands of gently used children's books generously donated to Reach Out and Read Minnesota by community members and organizations in the state. 

Reach Out and Read Minnesota partners with doctors and nurses across the state to incorporate books into children's routine pediatric care visits and encourage families to read together. At children’s regular check ups, doctors and nurses, trained in the Reach Out and Read model, speak with parents and caregivers of children ages birth to five years, about the importance of reading for their child’s development. Each time they visit their doctor, children in our program go home with a culturally and developmentally appropriate book to read and share with their families. Because we collaborate with pediatric care providers, we are currently the only organization with the potential to serve nearly every child in the state before they enter kindergarten. We currently serve over 180,000 children at over 288 clinics across Minnesota. 

For more info on the Bemidji  Community Food Shelf, contact Mary via the Bemidji Community Food Shelf Website.

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