The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Nonprofit Will Hold Fundraiser to Support Literacy


February 12, 2020

In celebration of its Tenth Anniversary, the Plant a Seed . . . READ Program is hosting a Crunch for a Cause promotion in partnership with Taco John’s to raise the importance of reading aloud to preschool children. The event will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 13 at the Taco John’s location at 505 First Street West in Havre. The organization is also inviting people to join the March 21-Day Challenge to help build a universal read aloud habit.

When a patron brings in a copy of the organization’s Crunch for a Cause flyer from Facebook, shows it on a smartphone, or mentions it to the Taco John’s cashier, Plant a Seed . . . READ will receive 50% of every purchase.

Founded in January of 2010, the Plant a Seed . . . READ Program is an educational community impact project that not only advocates for literacy but supports children in North Central Montana with readiness skills prior to kindergarten. This proactive nonprofit encourages and educates communities and families about the importance of reading aloud to preschool children. Their motto—To plant, to nurture, to grow, to excel—speaks to reading’s ability to contribute to life-long achievement.

Fundraisers like this Crunch for a Cause promotion provide resources for many of the nonprofit’s projects, such as Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. All children from birth to age five in Blaine, Hill, and Phillips counties are eligible to obtain books from the Imagination Library through the support of Plant a Seed...READ. Children enrolled in the Imagination Library receive an age-appropriate book once a month until their fifth birthday. Although Imagination Library chooses and sends the books, it does not pay for them. Local groups, such as Plant a Seed...READ, raise the money to nurture literacy.

For additional information and to enroll a child in the Imagination Library, a person can visit the Program’s website:, which shares the benefits of reading aloud to children:

• Bonding

• Literacy Skills-Comprehension

• Fostering Concepts about Print

• Language and Vocabulary Enhancement

• Empathy Building

• Growing a Love of Reading

• Brain Development

Children develop much of their capacity to learn in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 90% of their eventual adult weight. Just as a child develops language skills before learning to speak, the child also develops literacy skills long before being able to read.

The entire Plant a Seed . . . READ Program is run by volunteers. Because there is no paid staff, all monies raised go back into the communities served. According to a member of the Plant a Seed . . . READ Board of Directors, Lorraine Verploegen, “We would like to start an endowment fund for sustainability and longevity for the program, but everything takes time. We hope community members continue supporting the program by adopting a reader so more children can benefit from the Imagination Library.”

Because Plant a Seed…READ encourages and educates communities and families about the importance of reading aloud to children, they are supporting the Read Aloud March 21-Day Challenge to promote the enjoyment of reading as a family event.

Read Aloud is a non-profit organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Accepting the 21-Day Challenge involves reading aloud with a child, or children, any time throughout March and then posting a photo or video of the experience on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The process must continue for at least 15 minutes for 21 days in a row. Anyone interested in this program can learn more details and register for the challenge by visiting On the organization’s website, visitors will find resources for parents, educators, and childcare providers.

The month of March has significance since it is the birth month of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote under the pseudonym, Dr. Seuss. An author and illustrator known for inventing creatures with fanciful names and for writing in rhyme, Dr. Seuss and his books are popular with beginning readers. He has inspired many readers with words like those from his book Oh, The Places You’ll Go: “The more that you reader, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Every year on his March 2 birthday, Seuss is remembered around the globe as children and adults alike celebrate literacy in honor.


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