Iowa's First Lady helped celebrate reading this week as well as the unique partnerships formed between Ag Partners, Buena Vista University and area libraries and schools.
Christie Vilsack said she was happy to take part in the culmination of Read To Grow, a program between BVU and Ag Partners.
"It's a pretty special occasion when two such groups can come together like this," she said.
At the center of the celebration was the children's storybook "Farmer Christmas," written by BVU professor Jerry Johnson. Ag Partners provided the funds to publish that book, which was then sold at area libraries over the 2002 holiday season. Net proceeds raised from the book's sales were distributed Wednesday night to the participating libraries.
"We sold over 1,500 books and had two printings," Johnson said.
Along with Farmer Christmas, students in Johnson's public relations campaign class developed a reading program that brought Ag Partners employees into area classrooms to read to students.
"The Read To Grow program was designed to reinforce the idea that early reading development is vital to a child's learning process," Johnson said.