By LISA M. REED
IRON MOUNTAIN - Dickinson-Iron Great Start Collaborative officials are asking all community members to get involved with Great Start's Fund Development initiative.
Lisa M. Reed/The Daily News Photo
Nancy Pellegrini, director of Habitat For Humanity, and Mike Miller, Restore director and Kiwanis leader show off the first Great Start Book Mailbox, constructed by Miller and hosted at Restore. Children are encouraged to come in and take a book home to read with their family.
Barb Reisner, project coordinator for Dickinson-Iron Great Start, said the agency is raising funds to purchase children's books.
Children's books will be distributed to (1) area physicians for the Reach Out And Read Program that promotes doctors distributing developmentally appropriate books to children at regular office visits; (2) Great Start Book Mailboxes located at businesses, schools, home lawns where children play, playgrounds, hospitals, organizations, agencies; and (3) Raising a Reader events for children who attend with family.
"The 2013 Great Start Fund Development initiative to raise money for the purchase of children's books is scheduled from now until March 6. We need everyone in the community to help promote young children reading," Reisner said.
The Great Start Collaborative, under the leadership of the Dickinson-Iron Early Literacy Council, has set a goal of putting books in the hands of all children in Dickinson and Iron counties. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 books will be needed.
The Great Start Early Literacy Collaborative is also sponsoring Raising a Reader events bi-monthly starting in March.
Raising a Reader is a special initiative that promotes family literacy and getting families to read together.
Joyce Ziegler, an early literacy team leader, indicated that Raising a Reader events will promote family members learning creative ways to read together.
Cherie Fila, another early literacy team leader, added "There are many places in the home for families to experience the joy of reading."
A special video produced by Nick Jensen will be viewed at the beginning of all Raising a Reader events. The first event is scheduled for March 15 at Leeds Real Estate in Iron Mountain. No time has been scheduled.
Additional information on dates and locations of Raising a Reader events will be listed on the Great Start for Kids website at greatstart4kids.org.
Jonathan Ringel, parent facilitator for Great Start, strongly believes "All 2,000 children ages birth to five in Dickinson and Iron counties will have books in their hands by the end of 2013."
Contributions to the Great Start Early Literacy Collaborative Initiative can be mailed to: DIISD, Great Start Community Partnership Fund, 1074 Pyle Drive, Kingsford MI 49802.
For those interested in being part of the 2013-14 Great Start Pocket Calendar, contact a Great Start Collaborative member or receive more information on Great Start's Five Levels of Contributions by connecting to Great Start's Facebook pages and website.
To learn more about the Great Start Collaborative, visit greatstart4kids.org or contact Reisner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (906) 396-9546.
Interested parents who want to be involved and learn more specifics about parent resources, support and events can contact Ringel at email@example.com or (734) 474-8597.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.