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Storybooks distributed to Kent County children for Christmas

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 is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She 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, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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