3 Area School Receive Grants for Early Literacy

The Mitchel Perrizo Jr. Leaders are Readers Fund, a designated fund under Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), recently awarded $45,000 to three area school districts to support early literacy initiatives.

In 2021, Mike and Tami Hoffman provided a $1 million grant from the Michael J. and Tamara Rae Hoffman Family Charitable Gift Fund to the SMIF for the creation of a designated fund dedicated to early literacy.  Three school districts in southern Minnesota are eligible on an annual basis for these grants.

The Mitchel Perrizo Jr. Leaders are Readers Fund supports investments in elementary teachers, primarily Kindergarten through third grade, allowing them to master literacy fundamentals to transform student learning into a lifetime love of reading and literacy success.

The 2023 Mitchel Perrizo Jr. Leaders are Readers Grant award recipients each receiving $15,000 are:

Blue Earth Area Schools to work on increasing students’ reading fluency by improving and increasing the utilization of decodable readers in the classroom.

United South Central Public Schools to purchase phonics books for K-3 classrooms and a license for a comprehensive learning platform called Raz-Pius.

Maple River Schools to implement a writing program and to support a summer tutoring program for reading intervention.

Mitchel Perrizo Jr. was raised on a farm near Delavan.  He devoted his life to public service as a state legislator at a young age, then through military service during World War II, followed by a career in various military and diplomatic roles.  In addition to his professional roles, he was a mentor to many and always emphasized the importance and value of reading.  His nephew, Mike Hoffman, and Mike’s wife, Tami Hoffman, both originally from Blue Earth, have generously established this fund in his honor.