A Heart for Children & Literacy

One day, when Karen Alworth was a little girl, her mother found her reading. She was surprised. “You’re not even in first grade yet!” she exclaimed with delight. As she grew older, Karen read to her younger brothers and sister. Not having many books of her own, the local library provided her with books that kept her reading for years to come.

When Royal Alworth was in second grade, he wasn’t reading for comprehension. His father began to read him a book by Robert Ruark, The Old Man and the Boy—stories of nature, of the lessons a grandfather teaches his grandson. Their time reading together was very meaningful, and the stories left Royal hungry to know, “What happened next?”

These two readers married, and they taught their four children to love books, too. Their oldest child began reading in first grade to his three little sisters and in the years to come, they all took a turn reading Harry Potter to each other. Now all of them continue the tradition of loving books and libraries.

Perhaps that is why in 2019 Karen and Royal dedicated themselves to supporting Every Child Ready Duluth, a library-led, community-wide initiative with a single aim: to help ensure that every child in Duluth begins kindergarten ready to learn.

Every Child Ready Duluth focuses on early childhood intervention, providing families with the simple tools needed to help ready their children for school, and promoting a love of reading and lifelong discovery to children. Supported by a coalition of organizations across Duluth, this initiative increases the likelihood that all of Duluth’s preschoolers will succeed when they enter school.

We are grateful for Karen and Royal’s commitment to the youngest members of our community and for their desire that every child in Duluth enter kindergarten ready to learn: with a willing attitude, confidence in the process of learning, and a healthy state of mind.

Mayor Emily Larson (right) applauds as Karen Alworth announces that she and husband Royal (center) support Every Child Ready Duluth and encourage other Duluthians to do so as well.