Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"First Book’s Impact" by Kate Howe

Learning to read is critical to a child’s success – both in school and in life.  Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child’s future success.  But a child without access to books won’t have the chance to become an engaged and capable reader.  This is the reality for children who are growing up in poverty; books are scarce.  In some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the country there is only one book available for every 300 children. 

At First Book, our innovative approaches tackle the single biggest barrier to the development of literacy – access to books.  To date, First Book has provided more than 135 million books to children in need, increasing access to needed materials for educators and administrators, and helping to elevate educational opportunities for our nation’s most disadvantaged youth. 

Through two innovative distribution engines – the First Book National Book Bank and the First Book Marketplace – educators are empowered to influence and select the educational materials their students need most. 

The National Book Bank is the first centralized distribution system for large-scale donations of children’s books from publishers to schools and programs serving kids in need.  Today, the First Book National Book Bank distributes over 8 million books annually.  The Marketplace is an online site offering high-quality children’s books and educational materials at deeply discounted prices exclusively to programs registered with First Book. 

First Book is extremely efficient and frugal.  97% of our revenue goes directly to providing new books to kids in need.  We are also expanding resources by providing high-quality books on college preparation, healthy eating and exercise, anti-bulling, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), diversity and many other topics as well as bilingual titles and resources.

Sharing my love for First Book,

Your 2015 Mrs. Minnesota International

Kate Howe


Sunday, March 6, 2016

" American Heart Association' Go Red for Women" By Lillie Imm

I would like to thank the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women for allowing me to be part of their event at the Mall of America.  It is such a wonderful life-saving cause!

I learned the steps for emergency CPR, how to administer CPR in case of an emergency, and that the compressions are the most important part.  I also learned to ALWAYS tell one person to call 911, not just tell a crowd because everyone may assume someone else is calling.  I got to see an AED and learn how it works, did you know the machine will tell you if it is needed? 

I had so much fun visiting with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women volunteers.  The main volunteer team has an ‘emergency’ skit.  Seeing them enact an emergency really helped me to remember the steps.  They were great actors and fun to talk to!


If you would like more information or to donate to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women, please visit:

I also want to tell you about another foundation I learned about at the event.  The Patrick Schoonover Play for Patrick Foundation.  His family is working hard to ensure heart defects are found earlier in children by educating the public and making screening more accessible.  If you are interested in donating or learning more about the Patrick Schoonover Play for Patrick Foundation, please visit:


I was honored to sing for such a wonderful cause and I hope I drew more attention to the tables!  It is so important for everyone to know more about heart disease, the signs, and emergency life-saving techniques.  I am hoping to get CPR certified next summer!

If you are interested in learning CPR please visit:


Lillie Imm, Miss Pre-teen Minnesota International 2015