United Way, Olseth Family Foundation Distribute Poetry Books to Fourth-Graders

    May 27th, 2020

    Fourth-Grade Book Project Goes Virtual May 28

    MANKATO—For the fourth year in a row, the Olseth Family Foundation has given a grant to Greater Mankato Area United Way’s Fourth-Grade Book Project to provide 1,700 new copies of Shel Silverstein’s poetry book Where the Sidewalk Ends to fourth-grade students and teachers throughout the region.

    Despite COVID-19 closing schools, Greater Mankato Area United Way has worked with area schools to get creative in distributing books to students. United Way has delivered 1,700 books to schools in United Way’s service area of Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties.

    Schools are distributing the books during their supply pick-up days.

    • What: Join us as United Way and Mankato Area Public Schools present fourth-graders with Shel Silverstein books via the Mankato Area Public Schools’ YouTube page. Students will receive their physical copies at supply pick-up next week. Donor Jon Olseth has written a special letter and poem to this year’s students, which Superintendent Paul Peterson will read.
    • When: 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28
    • Where: Mankato Area Public Schools’ YouTube page
      (URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPtentpVz0U&feature=youtu.be)
    • Who: Paul Peterson, Superintendent of District 77, Barb Kaus, CEO of Greater Mankato Area United Way, Local fourth-graders
    • More info: “Along with the Olseth Family Foundation, we felt it was more important than ever to get the books to students before they finished school for the summer,” said United Way CEO Barb Kaus. “We hope this gift helps students and teachers finish the year on a positive note. We are grateful for the wonderful partnership with schools throughout the region and the continued generosity of the Olseth Family Foundation.”

    The project is one example of Greater Mankato Area United Way’s literacy initiatives, which include the region-wide Books for Kids program for infants and preschoolers.