Great Start, Kiwanis plan reading events

IRON MOUNTAIN – Great Start and Iron Mountain-Kingsford Kiwanis have announced March Reading Month activities. During the month, Great Start and Kiwanis leaders are visiting 20 preschool and elementary classrooms to read to children.

To start each reading session, the Great Start and Kiwanis leaders tell the students that they are in their classroom today because they strongly believe in the importance of experiencing the joy of reading at a young age.

Great Start and Kiwanis have also collaborated to promote a March Book Drive in both Dickinson and Iron counties. All donated gently-used books will be used to supply the Great Start Book Mailboxes. There are 18 book drive containers have been placed in Dickinson and Iron counties.

The public is encouraged to drop off books anytime during March. Great Start and Kiwanis leaders have set a goal of collecting more than 5,000 books. For site locations, go to Great Start’s website at

During March, Great Start is hosting Raise A Reader events to promote early literacy, families reading together and home libraries. All children attending Raise A Reader presentations will go home with a new children’s book.

Raise A Reader presentations feature valuable information for parents/guardians relating to creative ways to read together as a family. For example, families can read together in a car, before bedtime and in various places in the home.

Great Start’s motto to promote children reading at a young age is, “Once A Reader, Always A Reader!”

The more children read, the more their reading skills improve and the more their interest in reading increases. “Great Start’s early literacy initiatives promote a culture of reading for everyone. Reading is the key to success in school and in life,” noted Barb Reisner, director of the Dickinson-Iron Great Start Collaborative.

Jonathan Ringel, Parent Coordinator strongly believes that “All families must be given an opportunity to have books in their homes and to start home libraries.”

In addition, everyone is welcome to participate in the ABCs Of School Readiness Event being held at the Dickinson County Library in Iron Mountain on Thursday, March 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“Parents will listen to a 10 person panel consisting of school administrators, teachers, child care providers, early childhood professionals, etc. who will talk about their viewpoints on how to get children ready for school,” noted Parent Coordinator Ringel.

Children will be given the opportunity to take part in children’s reading and puppet activities during the panel, led by library children’s specialists Ginnie Adams and Emily Cummings.

Great Start leaders will be giving out children’s books and reading information for families at the Women’s Wellness Conference on March 15, the Iron County Parenting Fair on March 20, and the Iron County ABCs To School Readiness Panel at the West Iron District Library on April 17.