Falls City Man Gives Every Kindergartner Free Book in Memory of Late Wife

FALLS CITY – For 34 years, Diana Kottich advocated reading to her young students.

“She was a life-long, career-long kindergartner teacher here at North School, and she loved the kindergarten kids,” says her husband Steve Kottich.

Diana would look forward to the book fair every year, and would buy books for her class, as well as her own children and grandchildren. But in December of 2014, she lost the battle with ovarian cancer and passed away at the age of 58.

“We came up with the idea to memorialize her by giving a book to every kindergartner each year,” says Kottich.

So on Wednesday, that’s exactly what Steve and his family did. He, along with his daughter, son-in-law, grandson and Clifford the Dog, divvied out 61 books to every kindergartener at North School, courtesy of the Diana Kottich Memorial Fund.

Steve made sure to tell each kid, to go home and read their gift with their parents, something his wife of 37 years, would have seconded.

“She was real big with our own children of always reading and believed that your cognitive development was directly tied to reading, and so in addition to that she read at home constantly,” says Kottich.

Throughout the entire book-giving process, Steve was all-smiles.

“It brings back some good memories, but it’s really a neat feeling for my family and I, in that we know that this is marrying two of her greatest loves and that makes us feel really good,” says Kottich.

To make Diana even happier, the book purchases were made through the Scholastic All for Books Donation Program, which matches each purchase, dollar-for-dollar with the ‘Kids in Need Foundation.’ That foundation buys school supplies for some of the most impoverished children in the country.

“We intend to do it from now on until the Lord takes me I guess,” says Kottich.

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