Storybooks distributed to Kent County children for Christmas

Kent County youngsters went home for Christmas with their own copies of ‘The Gruffalo.’ Helping with the distribution, from left, are Bright Beginnings parent educator Kathy Waltrous; Great Start to Quality early childhood special Betty Krzyszton; Bright Beginnings parent educator BethStraubel; Great Start to Quality specialist Chanelle Charity and infant toddler specialist Julie Van DenBrink

Thousands of Kent County children will have the chance to enjoy the story of the warmhearted Gruffalo monster this Christmas season.

Early education students are receiving their very own copies of “The Gruffalo,” an award-winning storybook that has sold more than 13 million copies.

Distribution of 8,000 books from the Great Start Collaborative of Kent County and their partners, is taking place in 4-year-old preschool, home-visiting and childcare programs including Kent ISD’s Great Start Readiness, Great Start to Quality and Bright Beginnings classrooms.

“Reading is so important for children’s development and there are lots of things you can do when you are reading a book. You can learn colors; you can learn opposites, make up your own ending, act out scenes and create Gruffalow masks with art,” said Therese Smith, program director for Great Start to Quality. “A book can spur on so many more activities that create family fun while building brains.”
With the books are a chart of fun activities tied to the book and Kent County Success Basics, which supports learning through videos, tips, and tools for families to help children grow smarter.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

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