3/14/2014 10:14:00 AM Grant presented to Shepherd's Center
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Fastbreak Foundation presented Shepherd's Center of the Cannon Valley a $5,000 grant during the second quarter of the Timberwolves and New York Knicks game on March 5 at Target Center. This special presentation helped kick off the month of March, celebrating "Read to Achieve" month.
Accepting the gift during the on-court presentation were Shepherd Center's chairman, Loren Evenrud, long-time Book Buddy volunteer, Gayle Prinzing and Cannon Falls elementary principal Derek Bell. The grant will help Shepherd's Center continue and expand their "Book Buddies" program. This program connects senior volunteers who read to first grade students at the Cannon Falls elementary school each Thursday, emphasizing the importance of reading.
"Shepherd's Center brings these wonderful senior citizens who read to our students," Principal Bell said of the program. "When we had the opportunity and found out about this it was a joy for me, because my goal is to get books in the hands of kids, but also to instill the love of reading."
The funds from the Fastbreak Foundation will be used to not only expand the program, but to purchase books that will be presented to the first graders at the conclusion of Book Buddies in May.
Shepherd's Center has ordered books from Gordon Fredrickson of New Prague, who was a featured speaker at Shepherd Center's Adventures in Learning last September. Inspired by actual events from his childhood on the farm, Gordon has written a total of nine books that enhance farm literacy, encourage farm pride, and preserve farm heritage by accurately portraying farm activities on a very small farm where the family had to work together to make a living. This year, his book entitled "What I Saw on the Farm" will be presented to the Cannon Falls first graders.
On May 8, the 2014 Book Buddies program will conclude with a special program. Author Gordon Fredrickson will be on hand to present a special program to the students entitled, "If I Were a Farmer: Nancy's Adventure." After his presentation, signed copies of his book will be presented to each first grader.
Gayle Prinzing has been a Book Buddy volunteer since day one and enjoys reading to the students each and every Thursday morning. "I think all those kid are going to be really thrilled," Prinzing said.
Shepherd's Center is looking at expanding their Book Buddies program to the Randolph School District and to St. Paul's Lutheran elementary school if there is sufficient interest. The grant from the Timberwolves' Fastbreak Foundation will make this possible, along with the volunteers who read to the students.
Shepherd's Center of the Cannon Valley was established in 1995, featuring senior adults who volunteer their life experience and skills to benefit the community. Their office is located at 120 State Street West in Cannon Falls and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.