2012-07-19 / Front Page

Wine event will aid literacy

‘Wine and Chocolate’ to fund area reading

MANISTIQUE – A special event is once again returning to Manistique – this time with a mission. The Delta-Schoolcraft Great Start Collaborative, along with the Mackinaw Trail Winery, will be presenting “An Evening of Wine and Chocolate” on July 26.

In its second year, proceeds from this year’s event will go to the Great Start Early Childhood “Born to Read” fund. This fund will eventually bring the “Dolly Parton Imagination Library” to Manistique.

According to Leann Espinoza, Delta-Schoolcraft Great Start coordinator, the program delivers ageappropriate books to children once a month via mail. These books concentrate on the development of positive themes, and are available to all children ages 0-5, regardless of income.

“By getting books into the homes of young children, we are not only hoping to increase our literacy rates but also to foster a love for reading and learning,” she said. “When families don’t have enough money to buy simple groceries, books certainly do not fall high on the priority list.”

The nationwide program costs less than $25 a year, per child, and is something Espinoza, and others working with Great Start, is hoping will improve literacy among area children.

According to Michigan “Kids Count” data, one in every five preschool children in Delta and Schoolcraft counties live with families in poverty. It also shows that both counties fall slightly below the state average for the percent of children who achieve proficiency in third grade.

The “Imagination Library” program is based on data that shows 85 percent of the brain’s structure is built, and the foundation for language, social behavior, problem solving ability, and emotional health is created by the time a child enters kindergarten.

Reading aloud to young children is one beneficial way a young child can learn skills such as developing language, cognitive and literacy. The Born to Read fund and Imagination books are aimed at stimulating more reading, both by the parent and child, as well as the child alone.

“The establishment of the literacy fund is going to be an on-going community effort,” said Espinoza. “We would like to establish this as a permanent project in our community. It is going to take a commitment from our community to sustain this project, but the outcomes will be tremendous.”

The “Wine and Chocolate” event will take place from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Mackinaw Trail Winery, 103 West Lakeshore Drive. Guests will be treated to Mackinaw Trail wines, a chocolate gourmet dessert provided by Jack’s Fresh Market, and chocolate covered strawberries courtesy of Manistique Big Boy.

“The evening event is very casual and guests are invited to attend anytime during the scheduled event time,” said Espinoza. “There will be various raffles, auction items and prizes at each event donated by local businesses.”

Advance tickets are $20 per person, and $25 per person at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Schoolcraft Chamber of Commerce or by calling Leann Espinoza at 906-286-3168. All proceeds from the event will go to the “Born to Read” fund.

More information about the Delta-Schoolcraft Great Start Committee, as well as the Great Start Parent Coalition, can be found at www.greatstart.org, or by contacting the collaborative director, Tara Weaver, at (906) 786- 9300 or emailing tweaver@dsisd. k12.mi.us.

Return to top