Spreading Kindness Through Reading: United Way Teams Up with Capstone for Picture Book

    January 16th, 2024

    MANKATO — Greater Mankato Area United Way has teamed up with Capstone on its newest early literacy initiative focused on spreading kindness as well as the love of reading.

    Now available for purchase, Greater Mankato Area United Way’s picture book, The Kindness Booth, is published by Capstone, a leading educational publisher of children’s books, literacy programs and K-5 digital solutions based in North Mankato. The book follows a group of friends who set out to make the day brighter for their neighborhood through acts of kindness.

    Geared toward grades PreK-2, The Kindness Booth was written by Greater Mankato Area United Way Director of Operations & Communications Laura Murray and was illustrated by Italy-based Andrea Boatta.

    “With United Way’s focus on childhood literacy and development, I have had the long-time goal of releasing our own picture book,” said Greater Mankato Area United Way CEO Barb Kaus. “This book has a beautiful message centered on kindness, which is foundational at every age. We are thrilled to partner with Capstone on this initiative and can’t wait to see this book in the hands of children throughout our region and beyond.”

    “We’re delighted to partner with the Greater Mankato Area United Way on this very special book project near and dear to our hearts. As a publisher of books for kids for more than 30 years, and as long-time partners on the United Way’s Books For Kids program, we know firsthand the impact books have on children’s lives. The Kindness Booth has themes of kindness and relationship building, and we can’t think of a more fitting partner to create this book with than the Greater Mankato Area United Way. We are honored to help fund community initiatives in Capstone’s hometown with a portion of the book’s proceeds,” said Beth Brezenoff, Capstone VP of Publishing.

    Signed books can be purchased at Greater Mankato Area United Way. Books are also available wherever books are sold. A portion of the book sales benefit Greater Mankato Area United Way.

    As part of the book’s release, United Way will be hosting children’s story times, author signings and other community events throughout the year. The first event takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 27 at Barnes & Noble in Mankato. The event will include the author reading the book, a short Q&A and a book signing. In addition, Capstone is donating paperback copies of the books for United Way to distribute to local students. More information to come.

    Learn about the project and view the pdf activity kit for The Kindness Booth at MankatoUnitedWay.org/book.

    About The Kindness Booth:

    When Mya wakes up to a gloomy day, her grandpa asks her how she could make the day brighter. His simple question puts Mya into motion, and together with her little brother, Oliver, and neighbor Addie, she opens the Kindness Booth. Their plan is to spread some sunshine to the neighbors in her apartment complex by helping them throughout the day. But what happens when the booth gets rained out?


    About Greater Mankato Area United Way

    Greater Mankato Area United Way is a local nonprofit working to keep the region balanced through basic needs, health and education. Greater Mankato Area United Way serves more than 65,000 people annually throughout Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties. In 2024, United Way will support 62 essential regional programs as well as additional initiatives focusing on literacy, suicide prevention, youth mental health and other important topics. MankatoUnitedWay.org.

    About Capstone

    Capstone is the nation’s leading educational publisher of K-5 digital solutions, children’s books, and literacy programs for school libraries, classrooms, and at-home reading. Through print books, interactive eBooks, or the curriculum-connected learning tool PebbleGo™, Capstone has a passion for inspiring students to learn and their communities to thrive. As a publisher of content for children, Capstone embraces the responsibility to celebrate and share the diverse voices and perspectives of our readers and communities. Capstone supports great teaching and learning with engaging content that values the work that educators do every day—helping students succeed. CapstonePub.com #LearningIsForEveryone