Foundations Reaffirm Early Childhood Commitment
January 11, 2018
Local needs drive diverse strategies to affect change in Greater Minnesota
Presidents of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations have announced a renewed commitment to early childhood programming across Greater Minnesota, featuring an increasingly diverse set of strategies that reflect local priorities.
“Our foundations have worked with numerous partners since 2003 to ensure every child in Greater Minnesota has the best opportunity to lead a healthy life of learning, achieving and succeeding,” said Tim Penny, president/CEO of Southern Minnesota Foundation, on behalf of the six regional community foundation leaders. “These young children are Greater Minnesota’s—and our nation’s—future. We need to continue to build on our progress and invest in this critical goal while exploring innovative strategies to grow our impact.”
Early childhood strategies for each Minnesota Initiative Foundation include …
- Initiative Foundation, Little Falls: The Initiative Foundation, serving 14 counties in Central Minnesota, is offering a total of up to $500,000 across its region as a challenge match to help early childhood coalitions drive additional local fundraising. The resulting endowments will serve as a source of sustainable funding for innovative early childhood activities into the future.
- Northland Foundation, Duluth: The Northland Foundation, serving seven counties in northeastern Minnesota, is providing programs, training and funding to increase access to high-quality child care, strengthen infant and early childhood mental health resources, bolster early literacy, and expand school and community partnerships to improve outcomes for young children from birth through the early elementary years.
- Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji: Serving 12 counties, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation will continue to assist the region’s early childhood efforts to strengthen supports for children and families. The Northwest Minnesota Foundation also is working with communities across the region to help address critical child care shortages that are affecting the region’s communities, families and businesses.
- Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Owatonna: Serving 20 counties in southeastern Minnesota, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation invests $1.6 million annually by supporting local efforts to create and grow strong early childhood programs that provide a quality learning environment, achieve results, and have a positive impact on the children and families served. The work is accomplished through grants, community coalition support, strategic donor partnerships, educational seminars and workshops, and regional and statewide networking.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation, Hutchinson: Serving 18 counties in southwestern Minnesota, Southwest Initiative Foundation is investing in local strategies that give kids the best start to life through its new Grow Our Own initiative. Early childhood efforts focus on quality early care and education, public policy and advocacy, and community coalition support. Nearly $500,000 has already been leveraged to specifically address rural child care issues, part of a two-year commitment to identify regional solutions.
- West Central Initiative, Fergus Falls: Serving a nine-county region in western Minnesota, West Central Initiative is partnering with its 10 Early Childhood Initiative coordinators and coalitions to focus on public policy, the child care workforce, PreK to grade 3 alignment, social and emotional health and oral health.