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FAMILY FOCUS

Special Supplement to the April 12, 2014 Morris Sun Tribune and the April 17, 2014 Hancock Record and Chokio Review


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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Morris Area Child Care Center offers curriculum, intergenerational learning environment as well as Maria Burns Director, Morris Area through play. We have three rooms used to care Child Care Center for a wide range of chilMorris Area Child Care dren: Infant Room (6 Center exist to enhance weeks to 16 months), the emotional, social, Toddler Room (16 months physical, intellectual, and t o 3 3 m o n t h s ) a n d language development of P re s c h o o l Ro o m ( 3 3 children and to help them months to Kindergarten). gain confidence and self- We also offer a separate esteem while learning to summer program for the function in a group set- school-age children and ting. We believe children before/after school care learn through a structured during the school year.

We provide both group and individualized care, which stimulates growth through a balance of selfdirected and guided activities. Using Teaching Strategies curriculum framework, each child has the opportunity for individual development and exploration offered in environments that stimulate creativity and problem solving. This means that a preschool program

is built into every day. Children receive quality preschool services as well as nurturing and loving care all in one setting. Morris Area Child Care Center, the University of Minnesota, Morris, West Wind Village (a senior retirement center), and many community members team up to offer the very young activities and experiences to enjoy in a learning environment.

The children have weekly intergenerational events between the residents of West Wind Village to create positive experiences for both groups. University of Minnesota, Morris has many students that use Morris Area Child Care Center as a stepping stone to their education degree. We have a wonderful group of teachers hired because of their genuine

love for children and willingness to commit to enriching the lives of the children for whom they care. P l e a s e f e e l f re e t o schedule a tour and check us out, we are located at 1001 ½ Scotts Ave, Morris, MN 56267 (attached to West Wind Village), visit our website at morrisareachildcarecenter.org, or call us 320589-7948.

Morris Public Library to celebrate Morris Area Pre-K Program Children’s Book Week Children’s Book Week will be celebrated at the Morris Public Librar y from May 12 to 18. This year we will be “Reading and Rocking with Pete the Cat” at two special events. On May 15 at 10:30 a.m., “Pete the Cat” and his books will join us for story time. That evening a special event family is planned from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. There will be stories with some special guest readers, crafts, games, face painting, treats, and Book Bingo. And of course “Pete” will be there to greet those who attend. There will be drawings for “Pete the Cat” books to give away also. There is no cost for any of these events. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running liter-

acy initiative in the country. It is the national celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. “Reading and Rocking With Pete the Cat” is spons o re d b y t h e M o r r i s Friends of the Library; Stevens County Child Care Association; and the Morris Women of Today. For more information contact the library at 5891634 or visit www.morris.lib.mn.us. “PAWS To Read” at the Morris Public Library this summer The Morris Public Library urges families to gallop, crawl, slither, or fly to the library for "PAWS to Read." Our summer program will run from June 9 to July 31. Once again, we

will have reading logs and bookmarks to track reading progress along with incentive prizes. Storytime, Lunch Bunch, Book Bunch, and Movie Matinees return this summer along with some new events. We kick off on June 10 with the Climb Theatre p re s e n t i n g " Fi z z a n d Boom Read." Magician Brodini is here to entertain on June 26. Both these events are funded in part or in whole with money from the Minnesota Art's and Cultural Heritage fund. Our final special entertainment will be the Zinghoppers performing on July 24. For more information call the library at 589-1634 or visit www.morris.lib.mn.us.

Morris Area school census: You matter to us The school census is a list of students from birth to school age. It is used to inform parents about opportunities that their child needs to be ready to enter school when they turn five years of age. Notifications for events and programs such as early childhood screening, ECFE classes, Prekindergarten opportuni-

ties, special events, family nights, and kindergarten registration will be mailed to families based on the census data. If you have just had a baby, recently moved into the school district, or recently changed your address, update your contact information by going to the Morris Area School District website at

www.morris.k12.mn.us and clicking on “School Census” under the Community Education tab. This will take you to the intake form. You can also contact Diane Strobel at 320-585-2237 or dstrobel@morris.k12.mn.us with updates to assure you receive the necessar y information.

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Options for Women provides a variety of FREE services. Pregnancy Tests ~ Parenting Classes ~ Car Seats Pack and Plays ~ Cribs, Diapers & Baby Supplies Our Earn While You Learn Program is an educational program presented in a one-on-one setting by a trained volunteer. As you complete lessons you will earn points that may be used in our "Baby Boutique", where you can "purchase" items you will need to care for your baby.

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Open to 3-5 Years Old


APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

Providers have questions about benefits of Parent Aware ratings ahead of launch

y

Kim Ukura Sun Tribune

Beginning in January 2015, early childhood p ro g r a m s i n S t e v e n s County will have the chance to participate in a statewide program designed to recognize and promote quality early childhood programs in Minnesota, Parent Aware. Although there are some financial incentives for programs that earn a star rating, providers in Stevens County have questions about whether the benefits outweigh the time and cost of getting rated. In 2011, Minnesota was one of nine states to receive a Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant to advance early education work in the state. One of the key areas of the grant was to implement an accountability system to improve the quality of child care program and provide parents with information about choosing a program for their families. “Many states in the United States have quality rating systems, and Minnesota was leaning that way,” said Dawn Block, MN child care consultant/quality coach with Child Care Aware of Minnesota. Block works with families in Stevens, Douglas, Tr a v e r s e , G r a n t a n d Pope Counties to offer provider and community support for the Parent Aware program, Minnesota’s accountability system. Parent Aware started out in a few counties as a pilot program, expanded to another 24 coun-

ties in 2014, and will be operating statewide in 2015. Parent Aware ratings are designed to help p a re n t s f i n d q u a l i t y childcare and early education programs to help p re p a re c h i l d re n f o r school and life. “Because 90 percent of a child’s brain develops between the ages of zero and five, the quality of care that a child received makes a huge difference in nurturing their healthy developm e n t a n d p re p a r i n g them for school,” said Block. A variety of childcare programs can participate in Parent Aware – family child care providers, child care centers, Head Start programs, school-based kindergarten readiness programs and special education programs. Grants associated with Parent Aware can help low-income families access quality child care programs. Providers who are Parent Aware rated can receive a higher reimbursement rate for families served by the state’s Child Care A s s i s t a n c e P ro g r a m . There are currently 35 families in Stevens County who are part of CCAP. The ratings for Parent Aware assess quality indicators in four areas: physical health and wellbeing, teaching and relationships, assessment of c h i l d p ro g re s s , a n d teacher training and education. The indicators measure the best practices that are most predictive of school readiness, said Block. Each of the star levels includes tasks and train-

ing that a provider needs to complete to earn the rating. “We look at the star levels basically as stepby-step process to improve your program and your best practices and the quality for your families and children,” said Block. Local providers who are interested in pursuing a Parent Aware rating will work with a quality coach, Block, to put together a Quality Documentation Portfolio – the evidence they will need to submit to the Minnesota Department of Human Services to earn their rating. Child Care Aware will also help providers connect with a grants coordinator and professional development advisor to prepare their portfolio, Block said. All programs that receive a one, two or three star Parent Aware rating will receive a up to $1,000 to continue to improve and reach for the next star level. Block said many one or two star programs will use Quality Improvement Support dollars to purchase curriculum or assessment materials – key items for the next rating that can be costly to purchase otherwise. L ocal child care organizations and child care providers who were interviewed have mixed feelings about the implementation and potential effectiveness of the program. Stacy Fehr, who operates a preschool, Sunshine Academy, out of her home, said she is considering getting a

Parent Aware rating this fall or next spring but is still debating about the cost and time for the program. Fehr estimated getting a four star rating would cost her more than $600 for trainings and assessment tools. She already as curriculum for her program, but for other providers that cost can be up to $3,000 depending on the selection. “Parent Aware would definitely help you to improve your program, but you have to decide if it’s worth the time and effort and cost,” said Fehr. L i k e Fe h r, l o c a l provider Sherry Tiegs said she is concerned about the additional training requirements for the Parent Aware program. Training that works for licensures or other certification may not qualify for Parent Aware, and many Parent Aware approved trainings are only available in bigger cities like Fergus Falls, Alexandria or St. Cloud.

“I’ve looked at the packets – it’s a tremendous amount of work but I think it provides a huge window into your program,” said Tiegs. “It helps you look from the outside in. … I see how you can grow that way but it is hard to get the training.” Maria Burns, director of the Morris Area Child C a r e C e n t e r, s a i d MACCC will likely work towards getting a Parent Aware rating because it provides an opportunity to improve her program, not necessarily because of the incentives tied to participation. “The staff training aspect is probably one of the biggest challenges because they have a lot of requirements in the training department, but yet that’s good – to give direction to train your employees,” Burns said Tiegs also noted that the information that a Parent Aware rating can provide may mean less to parents in a small town, who often make decisions about care based

on word of mouth and other personal recommendations. “We’re a small community, we know each other,” said Tiegs. “If we mess up, everybody ’s gonna know about it. If we’re doing a good job, people share that. “I have a lot of friends in the Cities that do daycare – it really benefits them down there because there are a lot of providers and parents d o n’ t k n o w a n y b o d y from anybody.” “People don’t go online to look for child care ratings out here – t h e y g o b y w o rd of mouth,” said Burns. Burns added that although there is some uncertainty about the benefits of the program in the area, the support to improve MACCC will be welcome. “There’s not really any financial incentive to do it, other than bettering my program,” said Burns. “If they can come in to make suggestions to make my program better, then why not?”

For more information

Parent Aware: http://parentawareratings.org/ Child Care Aware: http://childcareaware.org/

For those looking for more information about Parent Aware, or to apply for the program, contact Dawn Block at 320-219-6222 or dawnb@lakesandprairies.net.

HEAD START: “Where we believe a Parent is a Child’s Most Important Teacher” Head Start is a comprehensive program that provides children ages 3-5 with educational activities to prepare them for Kindergarten, as well as helping them grow socially, emotionally and physically. Head Start also provides services to families through connections to appropriate community agencies.

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A West Central MN Communities Action Program Serving: Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, Otter Tail, and Wadena Counties.

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Applications are available online at www.wcmca.org

Apply now so your child can get a “Head Start” at

320-589-7949

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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Stevens County Daycare Association meets monthly The Stevens County D a y c a re A s s o c i a t i o n meets monthly to organize and provides various training that enhances the quality and safety of the in home daycare environment. The 20 members of the Stevens County Daycare Association salute our families during this important week and will continue to strive high

quality child care. Officers in the association include President Sherry Tiegs, Vice President Toni Hughes, Treasurer Marie Hanson, Secretary Vicki Dalager, Care and Share organizer Judy Hein and Public Relations Director Darcy Fuhrman. Questions may be directed to 320-5892580.

Identifying signs of child abuse and neglect instance of child abuse, a couple from Monroeville, Ind. were arrested the same month and charged with felony child neglect after several of their children were left in a frigid van parked outside of a motel. The remainder of the children were zip-tied to a chair in a motel room. Stories like these may be shocking, but unfortunately they are not rare. The organization Child Help says a report of child abuse or neglect is made

every ten seconds in the United States. Every year, more than three million reports of child abuse are made, and around four to seven children die each day due to neglect and abuse. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. While many cases of abuse are discovered and reported, it's likely that many more are not. It is estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. Third-party observers may be unaware abuse is taking

place until it is too late. Child abuse can be hard to distinguish, but certain visual clues or changes in behavior may indicate there is a problem. The Child Abuse Prevention Center and other organizations offer these signs of child abuse or neglect. * There may be visible signs of injury, including bruises or burns. * Abused children may appear scared or anxious. They may also seem withd r a w n o r d e p re s s e d . However, abused children also may act like n o t h i n g i s w ro n g o r become "class clowns" in an attempt to avoid unpleasant feelings. * Some abused kids

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In January of 2014, f o u r- y e a r- o l d M y l s Dobson died in a New York City apartment from injuries sustained after days of abuse by his caregiver. Janaie Jones admitted to burning Myls, beating him with belts and hangers and keeping him locked up and alone in the bathroom for long, extended periods of time. Jones said this was all just a form of corporal punishment to control the young boy. In another horrifying

may fear going home or to places where they may be abused. * Changes in school performance may indicate a problem. Some children will fall behind on work or have difficulty concentrating. Others may do especially well on tests or be obsessive about getting good grades for fear of punishment. * Abused and neglected children may suffer from a lack of personal care or hygiene. Clothing may not be appropriate for the weather or appear dirty. * Abused kids could have sleep disturbances that cause them to appear tired. * Behaviors such as bed-wetting, thumbsucking or other habits of early childhood may be brought on by abuse. Some children may have

memory problems or stop speaking. * Children who are abused may balk at normal, appropriate touch. They may not be able to distinguish between good and bad touch. * Risk-taking behavior may be present in abused children. The youngsters may be testing their minds and bodies to extremes or looking for another form of escapism. * Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language. If you have concerns that abuse is taking place, report your feelings to a local or state child protective service agency or the police precinct. Doing so could save a child's life. TF144095


APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Early Childhood Screenings: What you need to know

What are the goals of Early Childhood Screening? • To find out how your c h i l d i s g ro w i n g a n d developing. • To connect parent and child with early childhood programs and other community services that may

Zinghoppers Concert

ment. be needed. • To answer any parenting questions/concerns What happens to the information gathyou may have. ered at Early • Identify any possible Childhood health or learning conScreening? cerns so that they may be You will be given a full addressed before a child report of the findings enters school. when your child finishes At what age should the screening appointment. You will receive one my child be copy of the report and one screened? The ideal age to have copy will be placed in your your child screened is child’s cumulative file between three and four. with the school district. Early Childhood How do I make an Screening is not a kinderEarly Childhood garten readiness assessScreening ment and should not be Appointment? put off until right before If your child is 3 years 6 kindergarten. Children usually go through screen- months and you haven’t ing one to two years before received a call from Public they enter kindergarten. H e a l t h t o s e t u p a n However, if your child is appointment, call the five years old and has not Public Health office at yet been through early 320-208-6688 to set up childhood screening, call the day and time for your to arrange an appoint- child’s screening.

MORRIS TRANSIT

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9am -5:30pm Saturday, 9am - 3pm

Children’s Book Week RReading e and Rocking with Pete the Cat Thursday, May 15 6:15 to 7:45 pm No cost - No preregistration.

Games • Treats • Storytime Gam Picture with Pete the Cat • Crafts Pictures Fac Painting • Book Bingo Face

Group Rates $10 • Fill the bus!

320-589-1000

Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. • Saturday Noon-4 p.m. • Sunday 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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Helen’s Fabric 1001 Atlantic Avenue • Morris • 589-1735

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We have wonderful & fun spring prints and a variety of easy-care fabrics for your active family!

May 12-18, 2014

Morris Public Libraryy 102 East 6th Street Morris, MN • 320-589-1634 www.morris.lib.mn.us Sponsored in part by Friends of the Morris Public Library

Visit the Morris Sun Tribune www.morrissuntribune.com Or Call: 320-589-2525 888-589-2525

001062208r1

What is Early Childhood Screening? It involves a simple, easy method of finding out how a child between the ages of 3 and 4 is growing and developing. A new law states that early childhood screening must be done within 90 days of entering a pre-kinderg a r t e n p ro g r a m . T h e screening will be done by Steven Traverse Grant Public Health. Early Childhood Screening only needs to be completed once.

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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW


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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Sunshine Academy

The name of our preschool is Sunshine Academy. We operate two mornings a week and provide parents with a place to bring their child to grow and learn socially, emotionally, and academically. Children are given the opportunity to learn skills and grow as an individual in a safe and caring environment. We help the children develop a foundation for learning. By nurturing the innate curiosity of children, their ability to grow and learn is being fostered. This is a basis for them as they grow up to be pro-

ductive and caring members of the community. Some of the keys to building healthy kids include giving them opportunities to explore, create, and use their imaginations to feed their mind, soul, and body. These children will one day be adults in our community and we will do our part to instill in them the qualities needed to assist them in developing the skills they need to become active citizens that will help maintain and promote a healthy community.

Head Start’s healthy kids are ready for school Head Start is a state and federally funded program for young children ages three to five. The program offers comprehensive services to enrolled children and families, giving priority to limited income families and families of children with special needs. Healthy Children = Healthy Community “Virtually every aspect of early human development, from the brain's evolving circuitry to the child's capacity for empathy, is affected by the environment and experiences that are encountered in a cumulative fashion, beginning in the prenatal period and extending t h ro u g h o u t t h e e a r l y childhood years” (Shonkoff and Phillips,

2000). How does health affect school readiness? Children who are physically healthy can fully participate in learning. Head Start focuses on the physical health, oral health, motor development, physical activity, nutrition, and sleep of each child Children who are mentally healthy can focus on learning. Head Start includes mental health, self-regulation, pro-social behavior, positive experiences, and play in our curriculum. Family health and wellness support healthy child development. Head Start includes nurturing and responsive relationships, health literacy, cultural

and linguistic responsiveness, and family wellness in our visits with families. Comprehensive services ensure children are ready for school. Head Start focuses on health promotion and prevention, daily child health checks, early intervention and treatment, and individualization of support. At Head Start, we focus on all of these aspects when we plan for your child’s care and education. For more information, contact our Head Start Staff (Jody Loher or Deb Dogotch) at 320-5897949 or visit this website http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs. gov/hslc/sr/faq. We are located at 1001 ½ Scotts Ave. Stop by and see the Head Start center. Visitors are welcome.

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announcing a year of 104 special arrivals at SCMC and we’d like to name them one by one. SCMC… Keeping You Close To Home Births April 1st 2013 to March 31st 2014 Cameron

Zachary

Royce

Alexandra

Kenley

Gage

Steven

Kailey

Lily

Henry

Zoey

Grace

Josemaria

Bentley

Ryker

Jax

Leo

Ethan

Allison

Cohen

Yamilet

Alejandro

Avan

Rilee

Ezekiel

Emmett

Antonio

Taylor

Simeon

Kolten

Alexandro

Kinzie

Molly

Cole

Nicole

Aiden

Quinn

Cooper

Harper

Kaidence

William

Jaxson

Chase

Blake

Greta

Adiel

Cash

Lindsey

Jancarlo

Estrella

Ethan

Zuriel

Alexander River

Payton

Lysbon

Joel

Alessandra

Emilano

Quinn

Wade

Kenzie

Isabella

Mason

Skylar

Angela

Samuel

Adelyn

Eli

Jaece

Everett

Harrison

Mandy

Sophia

Adelyn

Jaylah

Gustavo

Easton

Sophia

Camdem

Sawyer

Emily

Astrid

Joseph

Brixlee

Sutton

Hansen

Beckett

Flynn

Josue

Brodie

Uriah

Avery

Madeline

Landon

Jaina

Amelia

Evelyn

Thomas

Kadence

Rebecca

Levi

Chloe

Zitlali Guadalupe

Delivering Specialists at SCMC Greg J. Abler, M.D. Brent Barnstuble, M.D. Robert H. Bösl, M.D. Toby Christie-Perkins, D.O. Julia S. Hoffman, M.D. Paige W. McNally, C.N.M.

Starbuck Clinic

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501 Poler St.

7900 Chapin Dr. N.E.

320-354-4199

400 East First Street, Morris

589-1313 or 800-993-7262

www.scmcinc.org

320-239-3939


APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

PAGE 7

Child development courses help students learn about healthy families

Amanda Nygaard Family and Consumer Science Education Morris Area High School

family planning, pregnancy, infant care, and parenting even though only a fraction of students take these courses. Students have a wide variety of classes that they can c h o o s e f ro m t h a t a re offered at Morris Area High School, so finding room in their schedules can be a challenge. Students in the child development course are well informed about how to provide a safe and h e a l t h y e n v i ro n m e n t while being around young children. Not only does the course discuss the health and safety of physical development, but also healthy development emotionally, socially, and intellectually of the whole child. Providing a healthy environment before and during the pregnancy of the unborn child will reduce the chances for environmentally caused birth defects. While the child is young, providing a safe and emotionally stable surrounding is key to establishing a healthy future for the child.

Child development is the only class offered in the high school that focuses on prenatal health and parenting strategies. This course discusses and studies how to develop and raise happy, healthy children from preconception through school age. Child development benefits the community because our youth will greatly influence the direction our community will take in the years to come.

In the Morris Area High S c h o o l Fa m i l y a n d Consumer Science E d u c a t i o n ( FA C S ) Department, students in ninth through twelfth grades have the opportunity to enroll in Child Development I and/or Child Development II. Child Development I focuses on family planMAHS’ Child Development II class paired with Kim Erdahl's second grade class to form a "Big ning, pregnancy, delivery, Friend/Little Friend" partnership to share experiences together throughout the year. Activities newborns, infants, and planned include sign language, technology, recycling, yoga, and cooking. Courtney Storck and Cali Jo Larson are pictured getting to know the students through mini interviews. parenting. We tour the Stevens Community Medical Center birthing room and have multiple guest speakers come into the classroom to discuss various topics about pare n t i n g a n d c h i l d re n . Students have the option of taking home an infant simulator over a weekend and wearing the Empathy Belly which is a pregnancy simulator for part of a s c h o o l d a y. C h i l d Development II focuses on toddlers, preschoolers, school age children, and Lindsay Flogstad, Brittany Cardwell, Ryan Gray practicing taking care of the infant simulator before taking it home over the careers related to child weekend. development. Clare Lesmeister interviewing second graders about their likes One of the course goals and dislikes during a "Big Friend/Little Friend" activity as they for child development is to get to know one another at the beginning of the course. educate students about how to make wise choices that will benefit and enhance their personal and professional future goals. The more an individual is informed about the highlights and challenges of parenthood and/or working with children, the more likely they will make wise decisions that will lead to healthy future generations. The challenge for this course (along with other Sam Henrichs, Cali Jo Larson, Lexi Mahoney, Courtney Storck Career and Technical learning about how to care for newborns while studying the Education courses) is that infancy unit in Child Development I. it is offered only as an elective so it is not required for students to take the courses once they are high school students. These child development courses cover content that We provide advocacy services to assist victims, survivors, many of the students will family and friends who have been affected by most likely face at some domestic violence, sexual assault, or general crimes. point in their lives such as All advocacy services are free and confidential Local 218-589-3208 24 Hour Crisis Line 800-974-3359

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Get your child’s 1st haircut on Hairy the Horse!


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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

Morris Area Pre-Kindergarten Programs provide a solid foundation for kids

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Chokio- Alberta ECFE

Ashley Bennett and Kristin Grove M o r r i s A re a P re - K Instructors

The Morris Area PreKindergarten Programs offer a variety of classes for children 3 to 5 years old. Our Pre-K programs build a solid educational, and social foundation for children. We use a theme based academic curriculum, Reading Corps literacy strategies, and Second Step social and emotional approaches to learning. In our program we strive to provide developmentally and age appropriate learning activities to help children grow in all developmental areas, including science, math, fine motor and large motor skills, literacy, social skills, and self help skills. Theme based curriculum is teaching skills and concepts around a specific topic. In the Morris Area Pre-K program, we make s u re o u r c l a s s r o o m s “Scream the Theme!” Some of our themes include: shapes, food and fitness, rhyming with Dr. Seuss, making friends, Let’s pretend!, animals, and many more. We have Reading Corps members in our classrooms helping children build their early literacy s k i l l s . Re a d i n g c o r p s m e m b e r s a re t r a i n e d tutors and educators who teach children skills needed to be successful readers. These skills include vocabulary, letter names, letter sounds, alliteration, and rhyming. The Second Step program teaches children appropriate ways to get along with others. We teach skills for learning, empathy, emotion man-

A r t

P l a y t i m e C r a f t s

agement, friendship skills and problem solving. Using a theme based c u r r i c u l u m , Re a d i n g Corps members, and the Second Step program, we are able to help children make healthy, positive choices socially and emotionally. When children can master these skills, they are able to be lifelong learners!

The 2014 – 15 school year Pre-Kindergarten classes will be listed in the upcoming Summer Morris Area Community Education Tiger Tracks. Parents will be able to register their children for fall classes after April 30. For more information, call Diane Strobel, ECFE/PreK Coordinator at 5852237.

P l a y t i m e


APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Stevens County Early Childhood Initiative celebrates 10 years

The Early Childhood Initiative has been busy working to make sure all young children thrive in Stevens County for the past ten years. We were chosen as an Early Childhood Initiative site in January 2004 and are building on our strengths to further enhance education and support for families. We want all children to have a life of learning, achieving, and succeeding which begins in early childhood. Here are some highlights of what the ECI has accomplished this 10 year period: • Child Care Provider/Child classes and in- home Child Care Visits • Ages and Stages Follow Along Program • Family Fun Fair Family Fun Nights – Movie Nights, Gym Nights, Concerts, Dances,

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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

etc. • Training opportunities for early childhood professionals • Toddler area and weekly story time at the library • Purchased large riding toys for the RFC • Providing access to

dental health for young children • radKIDS classes • E C F E Pa re n t i n g Classes • Labor, Delivery, & Beyond Classes • Kindergarten Transition and Pre-K – Third Grade Alignment Our local coalition is part of a statewide network of coalitions aimed

at protecting, supporting, and advocating for our youngest children. All individuals are welcome to become involved by volunteering to help at an event, join a planning committee, or attend the monthly ECI coalition meeting as we make policy and funding decisions about our youngest c h i l d re n . T h e possibilities are endless, if you have an idea of ways we can achieve our goals, please let us know. To quote John F. Kennedy, “Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” The Early Childhood Initiative is helping make wise investments in our children here in Stevens County and in turn the future of this community. Stevens County’s ECI C o o rd i n a t o r i s D i a n e Strobel, 320-585-2237.

Kids In Christ Preschoolers (top right) Children make cupcakes for Jesus’ birthday. Children enjoy their new fenced in outdoor play area. (bottom left) Kendal and Avery on the table and Isabelle, (bottom right) Connor and Owen enjoying the snow.

These businesses salute the Families in our Local Communites. Hottovy Agency, Inc.

Morris Area Child Superior Industries University of Care Center Minnesota, Morris 315 East Hwy. 28,

624 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-3305

1001 1/2 Scotts Ave., Morris

Morris Karate

Hooter’s Lumber

707 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 491-3227

61904 Hwy. 28, Chokio (320) 324-7171

morriskarate@gmail.com

Midwest Family Eye Care

(320) 589-7948

Morris Area Schools

Morris (320) 589-2406

600 East 4th St., Morris (320) 589-6035

Wilken’s Industries

Young At Heart Dentistry

184 South Co. Rd 22, Morris - (320) 589-1971

111 10th Ave., E., Alexandria

Knute Nelson Home Care

Pedersen Funeral Home

201 So. Columbia Ave., Morris (320) 589-4840

514 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-6402

Stevens Traverse Grant Public Health

Needham Plumbing, LLC

New Horizons Ag Services

621 Pacific Ave., Morris (320) 589-7425

Graceville

(320) 748-7174 (320) 808-8347

11 West 5th St., Morris (320) 589-1581

512 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-1300

Pizza Ranch 7 East 5th Street, Morris (320) 589-2102

Emma & Evie's Closet, LLC 10 East 6th St. Morris 320-589-8899 www.eneclosetllc.com

24-hr skilled nursing care at home

Other locations: Herman, Donnelly, Fergus Falls, Chokio

Prairie Ridge Hospital West Central Wiring & Health Services & Consulting 24 East 7th St., Morris (320) 589-4008

Clinics in Hoffman, Elbow Lake, Ashby & Evansville

Elbow Lake Dental Center, Inc. 18 W. Division, Elbow Lake (218) 685-4710

morris.umn.edu

(320) 815-4062 walter@wcwiring.com www.wcwiring.com

Hancock Record P.O. Box 425, Hancock (320) 392-5527 Located at: 607 Pacific Ave., Morris

(320) 763-3113 www.youngatheartdentistry.com

101 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-3220

Mohr Plumbing & Heating 46400 E. Hwy. 28, Morris (320) 589-1006

McDonald’s 1124 Atlantic Avenue, Morris (320) 589-3239

Morris Sun Tribune 607 Pacific Ave., Morris (320) 589-2525


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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Morris Area Community Education summer recreation program help build healthy kids Tony Reimers tion this program because Manager, Morris Area it helps to provide data to Community Education large and small communities across the country. We Healthy Kids, Healthy use this information to Communities is a nation- improve our focus and the al program supported by lives of those living in our the Robert Wood Johnson community. As we get Foundation (RWJF). This ready to begin Morris Area program is helping com- Community Education munities all across the Summer Recreation activUnited States to support ities it is also important for healthy living and prevent us to remember why these childhood obesity. I men- fun activities are so criti-

Susan Janssen 1108 Park Lane, Morris

cal to a healthy community. Morris Area Community Education (MACE), through a joint powers agreement established in 1974 with the City of Morris and the M o r r i s A re a S c h o o l District, is responsible for providing recreational opportunities to area residents. Some of these programs include youth sport leagues and camps, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer, golf, open gym, open skating, PreK tumbling, and tennis. Morris Area Community Education also works with the Park Board to write grants, develop plans, and make recommendations for park improvements to the City Council. Research shows us over and over again that a healthy person is one with a healthy body, mind, and spirit. At MACE, we begin this journey before birth with our Labor and D e l i v e r y c l a s s e s . We encourage physical

Morris Area Comm Ed Yoga and (left) Morris Area Comm Ed Baseball

movement with both the toddlers and the adults in our Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) classes. Likewise, our ZONE after-school program for school aged children encourages physical activity each day. Before beginning the homework

time at 3:45 p.m., students are engaged in a guided wellness activity. As a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or special friend your actions and guidance are critical to the long term health of each child and our entire community. Take them for a

Child Care Is Our Business!

320-589-3346

320-589-2489 Thanks to all my families. You’re the Best!

Terry Maloney 300 East 9th St., Morris

320-589-4240

Jackie Dripps

600 W. 5th St., Morris

Loads of love, care and attention is what we provide for your child! Thank You To All Our Wonderful Families!

320-589-2315

Naomi Hoffman

Christie’s Kids Day Care Christine Lanoue 11 Highland Drive, Morris

320-589-3659

Laura Anderson 905 Montana Ave., Morris

320-585-5862

Thanks for entrusting your children with me.

Pam Mithun 46653 208th St., Morris

320-589-2911 Thanks to all the families I care for.

Vickie Anderson 309 E. 1st St., Morris

Tiffanie Pew

411 E. 6th St., Morris

320-585-6139

320-585-6647

320-585-3357

Thanks to all my families, past & present.

Thanks for letting me care for your children!

Heather Quiram

302 W. 7th Street, Morris Thanks to all my great families!

Judy’s Day Care Judy Hein 4 Highland Drive, Morris

walk, go for a bike ride, encourage them to dance, play ball, or take a lesson. You will not only have fun, you will be helping a child create a healthy habit and a healthier community!

203 N. Main St., Chokio

This ad brought to you by these Stevens County Licensed Day Care Providers! Jean Ritzschke 211 E. 8th St., Morris

320-589-3381 Thanks to all my families!

320-287-1387

Thanking all my past & present families.

Tammara Heitz 113 Pacific Avenue, Donnelly

320-349-0610


APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

Morris Area ECFE helps both children and parents

Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) is a program offered through the Minnesota Public Schools for all Minnesota parents with young children from birth to kindergarten entrance. The goals of ECFE are to support the child’s optimal physical, intellectual, social and emotional development during the important first years of life; to promote informed, realistic attitudes and expectations about raising children; to offer child development information and a variety of parenting techniques; to support parents in their efforts in raising children, to create effective communication in families, and to provide information on resources available in the community. These goals are accomplished through parent/child classes and special family events. Each class offers a time for parent and child interaction when you and your child will explore the activities, toys and projects in the early childhood room. This is followed by a circle time of singing, fingerplays and movement. After the children are settled in and eating a snack, the parents meet in the parent discussion room

for some conversation, education and discussion on a variety of issues related to parenting and family life. This is a great time to meet new people with children the same age as your children, to explore child development and to get tips on ways to handle different parenting situations.

Chokio-Alberta Early Childhood Family Education is a vital resource

Join us for some fun times with your child plus the added component of spending time with other adults who are experiencing many of the same struggles and joys while raising their children. Call Diane Strobel at 320-5852237 for more information.

Dorothy, Carrie, and Elvin Redden

Carrie Redden The no cost, weekly activChokio-Alberta ECFE ities provided a great platparent form for social interactions for both kids and parOver the past year, ents. Chokio-Alberta ECFE has With both an infant and b e e n a n i n v a l u a b l e a toddler, the free, weekresource for our family. As ly, birth to 36 months class parents of two young chil- gave our children a chance dren, and new members of to explore through play, t h e c o m m u n i t y l a s t music, and crafts, and to s p r i n g , M a r v e l o u s very casually introduce M o n d a y n i g h t f a m i l y them to a school environactivities were our first ment. While they were introduction to the local busy having fun, parents ECFE program, and the and the instructor were perfect opportunity to able to share stories, meet other families with laugh, and offer advice or children of similar ages. support regarding the

Stevens County

DENTAL OUTREACH CLINIC

May 27, 2014 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

for kids!

at Morris Elementary School Early Childhood Room 153 Columbia Ave., Morris MN

Questions about child care?

Child Care Aware of Minnesota can help!

CARING HANDS DENTAL CLINIC is pleased to offer this mobile dental outreach clinic to children between the ages of 1 and 12 years of age. Dental professionals will be available to provide all dental services for children covered by Minnesota Health Care Programs and Minnesota Medical Assistance.

We can provide free support to help you make wise, appropriate choices in selecting your child’s care, including:

Appointments must be made in advance by calling toll-free 1-320-815-5711 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

- Licensing information - Financial assistance information

Contact us at 1-888-291-9811 or search for child care options online at www.childcareawaremn.org 001063199r1

If you need help with transportation, ask at the time you make your appointment.

001062218r1

- Customized list of providers - Child care checklist

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Sponsored by: West Central Initiative, Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative, Delta Dental, Otto Bremer Foundation, Prime West Health.

many challenges of raising little ones. C-A ECFE is a highlight of our week; the classes and programs always give us the opportunity to have fun, learn, and spend quality time together. It has given our young children the chance to become familiar with school, and excited to participate and learn. Our family’s experience with ECFE has been extremely positive, and we are grateful to be a part of a community with such a strong ECFE program.


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FAMILY FOCUS—MORRIS SUN TRIBUNE, HANCOCK RECORD, CHOKIO REVIEW

APRIL 12 AND APRIL 17, 2014

Healthy kids build healthy communities

Healthy Families Find Nutritious, Delicious Food at Willie’s!

Open 7 Days a Week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

25 East 7th St., Morris

www.williessupervalu.com

589-4040 1062720


Familyfocus2014