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Estrella Alarcon Angula colors quietly in Mrs. Pope’s classroom while other Fall 2018 kindergarteners register in the lobby of the Morris Area Elementary School Friday, March 2 in Morris.


Brooke Kern Stevens County Times

k e e W e h t g Celebratin 8 1 0 2 d l i h C g n u o Y e h t f o

ril 21, 2018

Ap evens County Times, A supplement to the St

Kids use a doughy mix at Sherri Tiegs’ daycare. Photo submitted

Small Talk

2 Saturday, April 21, 2018 

The Stevens County Times

Horizon Public Health recommends vaccinations By Rae Yost 2018 Small Talk Marcia Schroeder, a registered nurse with Horizon Public Health, said today’s parents and childrens have several vaccination advantages kids and parents didn’t have 25 years ago. Vaccinations for chickenpox, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B weren’t available 25 years ago, Schroeder said. A vaccination for chickenpox prevents chickenpox in kids and kids who don’t get chickenpox are not at as much of a risk to get shingles, a painful nerve and skin rash, as adults. An Hepatitis A, “anybody who eats” is at risk for Hepatitis A, Schroeder said. “Hepatitis A spreads through contaminated food,” Schroeder said. Food can become contaminated if a food service worker does not properly wash their hands, Schroeder said. Those illnesses and diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, pertussis, pneu-

Our (public health) job is getting out the information and education to people even before their children are born, MARCIA SCHROEDER SAID.

mococcal disease, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria and Hib, “these are not things to fool around with,” Schroeder said. A child who contracts such disease can get very ill and even die, Schroeder said. Although there is information that has been shared by various groups and organizations, including celebrities, that discourage vaccinating children because of risks of autism and health issues,

Schroeder said vaccinations “Are tried and true. (They’re) effective.” And they are necessary for children, Schroeder said. “Their little immune systems are so susceptible.” Children need the vaccinations to create antibodies that build their immune systems, Schroeder said. It’s important to start that building when children are infants, she said. It’s also important for a child to regularly receive vaccinations in the recommended stages so the immunes can develop well, Schroeder said. For those who don’t believe vaccinations aren’t necessary or pose health risks, Schroeder said, a tetanus shot is generally accepted by the public.

“We wall want that tetanus shot when we step on a rusty nail,” Schroeder said. A tetanus shot can prevent a person from getting lockjaw, or tetanus, which can be fatal. It’s the same for a measles or other vaccine, the vaccine protects us, Schroeder said. Horizon Public Health serves five counties in the region including Stevens County. Schroeder said there are still some pockets in the region that have a higher percentage of unvaccinated children. Other parents may read something from “a supposed knowledgeable professional” that causes them to delay vaccinations, Schroeder said. The majority of parents are having their children vacci-

nated, Schroeder said. Today’s parents and even young health care providers don’t remember when children in the region contracted measles or polio or similar diseases for which there are now vaccinations, Schroeder said. They don’t remember the devastating consequences including death, Schroeder said. So, it’s important for public health organization and health care providers to continue to educate parents and the public about the importance of vaccinations, she said. “Our (public health) job is getting out the information and education to people even before their children are born,” Schroeder said. While vaccinations are recommended for young children, Schroeder said many of the vaccinations can still be given to get a child caught up on schedule.

Visiting the Fire Station

Children from Kids in Christ Preschool visit the Morris Fire Station.

Photo submitted

Small Talk

The Stevens County Times  Morris Area Child Care Center

Primary services provided: Infant, toddler and preschool care Is there a cost to participate: Yes How long in existence (when did it start): 1990s Contact information: Kate Jirsa 320-5897948 or Spanish translator available on staff? Not currently

Someplace Safe

Primary services provided: Advocacy, Crime Victim Services, Supervised Visits and exchanges at our Parenting Time Center Is there a cost to participate: Advocacy/ Crime Victim Services no fee/free. Contact Parenting Time Center about their fees. How long in existence (when did it start): 1990s for Stevens County Advocacy Office; Someplace Safe Agency, since 1979 Contact Information: Rachel 206 Atlantic Avenue Morris, MN 56267 320-589-3208 rachel.p@; Spanish translator available on staff: Crime Victim Advocate uses Interpreter Line as needed

Kids in Christ Preschool

Primary service: Provides a Christian based early childhood education and social opportunities for preschool aged children. Is there a fee: Rates range for $40 per month to $150 per month depending on number of sessions attended When did it start: 14 years of experience Contact information: 585-5067 or 589-274

Horizon Public Health WIC

Primary services provided: Nutritional edu-

cation from a Registered Dietitian or Registered Nurse, trained to work individually with you and your children to help you make the healthy choices that are right for you and your family. Is there a charge for the service? WIC serves pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants up to age one, and children up to age five who meet income criteria and have a nutritional need. Families receive vouchers that they can use at a WIC approved store for healthy foods. Contact information: To make an appointment at Horizon Public Health WIC or to see if you qualify, please call 1-800-450-4177.

Morris Area ECFE

Primary services provide: Family interaction, parenting classes, parent/ child classes, parent education Is there ia cost to participate: Varies with the length and type of class offered. Many classes are free or with a minimal charge. How long in existence (when did it start): The program has been in Morris since 1985 Contact information: Diane Strobel, Morris Area ECFE/SR Coordinator, dstrobel@morris.k12., 320-585-2237 Spanish translator available on staff? Yes Los principales servicios que proporciona son: Interacción familiar, clases para padres, clases para padres/hijos, educación para padres. ¿Hay algún costo para participar?: Varía según la duración o el tipo de la clase que se ofrece. Muchas clases son gratuitas o con un costo mínimo. ¿Por cuánto tiempo ha existido? (Cuando se inició): El programa ha estado en Morris desde 1985. Información de contacto: Diane Strobel, Coordinadora de Morris Area ECFE/SR, dstrobel@, 320585-2237 ¿Hay traductor disponible en el personal? Si, en español.

Saturday, April 21, 2018 3

Morris Area School Readiness/Pre-Kindergarten

Primary services provided: Play-based Pre-Kindergarten classes for children 3 to 4 years of age. Provides students with hands on learning experiences that encourages students to grow in all developmental areas. Is there a cost to participate: Varies with the length and type of class offered. How long in existence (when did it start): The program has been in Morris since 1992 Contact information: Diane Strobel, Morris Area ECFE/ SR Coordinator,, 320-585-2237 Spanish translator available on staff? Yes Los principales servicios que proporciona son: Pre-Kindergarten lúdico para niños de 3 a 4 años. Proporciona a los estudiantes experiencias prácticas de aprendizaje y los alienta a crecer en todas las áreas de desarrollo. ¿Hay algún costo para participar?: Varía según la duración o el tipo de clase que se ofrece. ¿Por cuánto tiempo ha existido? (Cuando se inició): El programa ha estado en Morris desde 1992 Información de contacto: Diane Strobel, Coordinadora de Morris Area ECFE/SR,, 320-585-2237 ¿Hay traductor disponible en el personal? Si, en español.

RUSC Kinship

Primary services provided: Youth Mentoring Is there a cost to participate: Free How long in existence (when did it start): Started in 2015 Contact information: Erin Koehntop 320-5857872(RUSC) Spanish translator available on staff? No

Horizon Public Health Home Visits

Primary services provided: Home visits during pregnancy and ongoing, if desired after birth. Also, Growing Great Kids Program for pregnant women and families from birth to three years old. Visits help provide a strong network of support for the family and child through education and age appropriate activities. Is there a fee for the program? Contact Horizon Public Health at 1-800-450-4177 for more information.

Sherry Tiegs Family Childcare & Preschool

Primary services provided: I provide licensed family child care and specialize in early childhood education. I enroll full time children age 6 weeks through 5 years, then school age children through age 10 when space allows. My hours are 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. I offer a fun filled day of learning experiences through play. My program has been awarded a 4 Star Rating through Parent Aware. This rating verifies I provide practices to best prepare children for kindergarten. Is there a cost to participate: Yes, hours are contracted and there are daily child care tuition fees. My Experience: I have many years of experience in the early childhood education profession. I have experience working in preschool, Early Childhood Family Education, Center Care and Licensed Family Child Care. I am also an Early Childhood Adult Educator and provide training in the area of child development. Contact information: Sherry Tiegs Family Childcare & Playschool 109 West 5th Street, Morris, MN 56267 Contact information: 320-589-3333 Email: 001718392r1

Strong families are the center of strong communities These organizations recognize the importance of families in our community. Cargill

22815 540th Ave., Alberta (320) 324-7461

Dental Depot

2 East 5th St., Morris (320) 589-4481

Hancock Dental Clinic 657 Atlantic Ave., Hancock (320) 392-5300

McGinnis Appliance Heating Mohr Plumbing & Heating Otter Tail Power Co. 46400 Hwy 28 East, Morris 28 E. 6th St., Morris & Cooling 601 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-3933

Midwest Family Eye Care 512 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-1300

Midwest Health Benefits, Inc. 512 Atlantic Ave., Morris (320) 589-2972

(320) 589-1006

(320) 589-3434

Morris Area Child Care Center Stevens County Times 1001½ Scotts Ave., Morris (320) 589-7948

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

Morris Area Schools

University of Minnesota, Morris

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

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

Small Talk

4 Saturday, April 21, 2018  Stevens County Early Childhood Initiative

Primary services provide: The Stevens County ECI is composed of agencies and programs in Stevens County that work with young families. The ECI collaborates to provide support, help find solutions, and assist families to improve their lives. The ECI provides early childhood screening events, dental clinics, family fun activities, parenting education, child care provider training and home visits, and Pre-K to 3 Alignment. Is there a cost to participate: No cost or minimal costs to participate in ECI activities How long in existence (when did it start): The program has been in Stevens County since 2005 Contact information: Diane Strobel, Stevens County ECI Coordinator,, 320-585-2237 Spanish translator available on staff? Yes Los principales servicios que proporciona son: El ECI del Condado de Stevens está compuesto por agencias y

Horizons Public Health Follow Along Program

Primary services provided: Throughout your child’s first five years, you will receive questionnaires that provide age appropriate activities for you to complete with your child. FAP staff will review the

programas en el condado de Stevens que trabajan con madres y padres de familia con niños menores de 6 años. El ECI colabora para brindar apoyo, encontrar soluciones y ayudar a familias a mejorar su vida. El ECI ofrece servicios de revisión temprana de la niñez, clínicas dentales, actividades familiares divertidas, educación para padres, capacitación para los proveedores de cuidado infantil y visitas a domicilio, y alineación del plan de estudios de Pre-K al tercer grado. ¿Hay algún costo para participar?: La mayoría de las actividades de ECI son gratuitas o tiene un costo mínimo. ¿Por cuánto tiempo ha existido? (Cuando se inició): El programa ha estado en el Condado de Stevens desde el 2005 Información de contacto: Diane Strobel, Coordinadora de Stevens County ECI,, 320585-2237. ¿Hay traductor disponible en el personal? Si, en español.

The Stevens County Times

Overcoming obstacles

questionaire and share additional information and resources with your family. Is there a fee for the program? FAP is free Contact information: For enrollment information, call 1-800-450-4177or go to

File photo/Stevens County Times

A child on the obstacle course sponsored by Morris Area Community Education.

Open to 3-5 Years Old Preshool Learning in a Chrisian Environment

Now Registering for The 2019 School Year!

Zion Lutheran Church 315 South Columbia Ave. Morris, MN 320-585-5067


smalles����ll �e �he ��S� ��������� �ea�s �� he� l��e� �he� ��ll hel� �e�e�m��e h�� �ell she ��es �� s�h��l a�� �� l��e� �es� �e���al �����a���e sal��es �he S�e�e�s ������ �a�l� �h�l�h��� �����a���e ��� all �� ��s ha�� ���� �� ma���� ���� ������ �he �es� �la�e ��� ����� �h�l��e� �� l��e, �� ���� a�� �� s���ee�� �e a�e �lease� �� �e a �a���e��

Dr. Kevin Williamson, D.D.S.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Hauger, D.D.S.

2 East 5th St. - Morris, MN

320-589-4481 Like us on Facebook!


She’s small, ��� �he �e�� ��e �ea�s��he� she �s a� he�

• Kids love us! • Fun & Welcoming Environment • Compassionate Comprehensive Care for the Whole Family

Small Talk

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, April 21, 2018 5

Hispanic parents appreciate bilingual ECFE class Editor’s note: Four parents who participate in a bilingual child and parent class at Morris Area Early Childhood Family Education were interviewed by the Stevens County Times with the help of ECFE educator Citlalli Ibanez. Ibanez translated the questions and the anwers. A bilingual early childhood family education class at Morris Area Schools help is connecting their child and their family to a new culture but also, helping connect them to others who are also new to the area, four mothers said. Citali Concha, Yazmin Pérez, Beatriz Morrugares and Marcela Ocampo Coon each have, or have had, children participate in the bilingual Early Childhood Family Education class in Morris. Morrugares has only lived in the Morris area for two months. She was invited by Pérez to participate in the class. “I was very nervous in the beginning,” Morrugares said. “I took it to socialize more…” Anxiousness has given way to a more comfortable feeling with the

I think it helps (new Hispanic residents) make friends. For us, it’s a good bridge between the Hispanic community and the American community,” MARCELA OCAMPO COON, parent class and other parents involved in it, Morrugares said. OCampo moved to Morris about three years ago. She participated in the class with an older daughter. She also helped teach until the recent birth of her youngest child. “I think it helps (new Hispanic residents) make friends. For us, it’s a good bridge between the Hispanic community and the American community,” Ocampo Coon said. “This is one of the few places...for the two communities to come together, “Ocampo Coon said. Hispanic parents meet other parents while also helping their children develop English and other skills. Pérez said she’s seen the positive changes in

Rae Yost / Small Talk

Several mothers say the bilingual class offered through Morris Area Early Childhood Family Education has been valuable to their children and them. From left, Citalli Ibanez, an instructor with Morris Area ECFE, parent Marcela Ocampo Coon, parent Beatriz Morrugares, ECFE instructor Diane Strobel, parent Citali Concha and parent Yazmin Pérez. her son since when he started the class. “At the beginning it

was hard because we

! t s e B e th Simpy


Crime Victim Advocacy, Parenting Time Centers, Community Thrift Stores We survivors, family and We provide provideservices servicestotoassist assistvictims, victims, survivors, family friends who have been affected by domestic violence, sexual friends who havetrafficking been affected by crimes, assault orand exploitation, human and other domestic violence, assault, or other stalking, robberysexual harassment, elder abusecrimes. etc.

Formerly 320-589-2159 I

All advocacy services are free and confidential

24 Hour Crisis Line 800-974-3359

Elephant & Piggie! • Pictures w/ Gerald & Piggie • Crafts • Face Painting • Milk & Cookies


Wednesday, May 2nd 6:30 to 7:30 pm Story time featuring the “Elephant and Piggie” books by Mo Willems.


Thank You to the following who have donated money or are assisting with our Children’s Book Week event: Morris Friends of the Library, Morris Women of Today, Stevens County Child Care Association, Stevens County Dairy Association.


Morris Public Library 102 East 6th Street • Morris, MN • 320-589-1634

Sponsored in part by Friends of the Morris Public Library

Swim Lessons: June 11, July 9, July 23 FACILITY AND EQUIPMENT RENTALS



To enhance the health and well being of all who live, learn, work and play in the five county Horizon Community.

Advocacy Office 320-589-3208 Parenting Time Center 320-424-2301 Thrift Store 320-585-6614



By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

Small Talk

6 Saturday, April 21, 2018 


weren’t used to the people. He would cry at the beginning,” Perez said. “He doesn’t cry now.” Now, “He’s ready for pre-k (pre-kindergar-

ten class),” Perez said. “It has helped him adapt to (a different) environment. He feels more secure and he’s ready to go to pre-K.” Citlali Concha’s older daughter completed the bilingual class. A second child is enrolled now. “The bilingual pro-

gram helped her (oldest daughter) learn English and adapt to her new culture,” Concha said. “She got the tools to learn a new language and a new environment, everything.” Morrugares said “We live in another country (now) with another

The Stevens County Times

langue. We need to learn the language. We need to adapt to a new culture.” Yet, they don’t want to abandon their native culture or language, Morrugares said. “We don’t want to forget about our origins,” Morrugares said. The bilingual program

is a way for children to maintain their Spanish while learning English, the parents said. “It’s good for kids to learn more than one language,” Ocampo Coon said. “It’s probably too soon to think of jobs but it will be a good skill (in the future).”

Future careers for their kids are a few years down the road. In the present, Ocampo Coon said she’s seen the benefit of her child being able to speak and understand language in school but also being able to speak Spanish at home.

Gathered to learn

Submitted photo

Children in the Morris Area Community Education Pre-Kindergarten class.

Train play

Morris TransiT

Joaquin Mendoza plays with a train set with other future classmates in Mrs. Ulrich’s class. Mendoza registered for kindergarten during registration day Friday, March 2 at Morris Area Elementary School. Brooke Kern / Stevens County Times


Call For An Appointment To Tour The School and Register Your Child For Kindergarten or Preschool


Chokio Alberta Public School

Now enrolling for Fall 2018! Country Day Cooperative Preschool is now accepting children ages 2 years, 9 months through 5 years. We offer a spacious learning environment, field trips, and flexible enrollment options that work for your family. Choose from the following class options: M, W, F: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm T,Th: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm T,Th: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (based on interest) 001717475r1

Sponsored by Stevens County Child Protection Team. For more info call 585-2237.


For more information, call (320)589-3493


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


Group Rates $10 • Fill the bus!

Small Talk

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, April 21, 2018 7

Kindergarten teachers say parents have a role in preparation By Rae Yost 2018 Small Talk

Help your kids get ready by practicing independence. HILARY LINDOR, teacher, Hancock School District

Brooke Kern / Stevens County Times

Landry Schmidgall looks for the colored balloon, which signifies her classroom for next fall, as mother Lauren Schmidgall registers Landry for kindergarten March 2 at Morris Area Elementary School. things to help prepare themselves when a children goes to kindergarten, Lindor said.

“Get to know the school and don’t be afraid to communicate with the teacher,”

It’s group play time

Children play in Sherri Tiegs’ daycare.

Lindor said. Teachers, “want you and your child to feel welcome at school. We always want

what’s best for your child.” And, “if you have questions, let us know,”

Lindor said. While students will learn many things, including reading and writing, in kindergarten, here are a few things that will be good for children to know when they start kindergarten. “Coming into kindergarten we look for students to be able to identify their names and write it (first name) for the most part,” Christianson said. “We start working on the last name about the middle of the year.” “I would add that it’s good for kids to know their alphabet song,” Lindor said. “We work on the names and the sounds more throughout the year but they should know the letters in the alphabet.”


Just hanging out

Submitted photos

Family fun at a Morris Area Early Childhood Family Education activity.

“Where we believe a Parent is a Child’s Most Important Teacher” Head Start is a comprehensive school readiness preschool program that provides education, health and nutrition services to children birth to age five and expectant mothers. Head Start values parents as their child’s first and most important teacher, and supports families in meeting their needs by connecting them to resources in the community.

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

Applications are available online at

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



Parents have a role in preparing their children for kindergarten, two kindergarten teachers in the Hancock School District said. “Help your kids get ready by practicing independence,” teacher Hilary Lindor said. “Let them get dressed and ready to go places on their own. (Have them) practice zipping their coat and tying shoes.” Helping children practice independence is important, Lindor and fellow teacher Ashley Christianson said. But, don’t worry, they work with kids and their independence skills in kindergarten as well. Christianson said independent skills are important and kids learn more in kindergarten by retrieving items from, and placing items in, their own cubbies and lockers. “They are also working on expressing their feelings in an appropriate manner,” Christianson said. Parents can do a few

Small Talk

8 Saturday, April 21, 2018 

The Stevens County Times

PARENTS From Page 7

Here’s how a typical kindergarten day goes in Hancock Schools. The morning starts with kids finding their lockers and unloading backpacks. Students will sign in with their lunch choice on the SMART board, or electronic blackboard. They practice writing their names in a binder. “Typically my students will have manipulative tubes out on tables to play with and socialize with until all students have arrived and morning announcements come on,” Christianson said. Each week has a theme. The reading theme has Essential Questions for each week. The theme includes vocabulary words, sight works and the letter of the week. A new letter is introduced each week in the phonics segment of the days. The morning includes a snack. At Hancock, students have music three days a week and library one day a week after snack time. The theme returns in a story and center activities that focus on that week’s theme. Lunch and recess are next. “Every kindergartener loves this time,” Christianson said.

I would say one of the best things about teaching kindergarten is the growth students make from the first day to the last. ASHLEY CHRISTIANSON,

teacher, Hancock School District

Kindergarten students get a 30-minute rest period each day until Christmas break when the rest period time ends. The afternoon also includes journals and completing morning centers, another snack before physical education and a math lesson. There is also free time with peers. Then, it’s time to pack up and go home. How to learn more about the day. Parents can learn more about their child’s day in kindergarten by using the suggestions from Lindor and Christianson. Parents can ask what was the favorite part of the day and why or what made their child smile or laugh that day, Lindor said. They can also ask who their child played with and what was for lunch and if the child learned a new color or shape or letter or number. “If they bring home a special project, simply say, ‘Tell me about this,’”

Rae Yost / Stevens County Times

Hancock kindergarten teacher Hilary Lindor helps Chase Hacker during kindergarten roundup at the school in March. Christianson said. The two teachers said that each day includes something new and different. “Even after teaching 11 years, nothing is the same each day,” Christianson said.

“I would say one of the best things about teaching kindergarten is the growth students make from the first day to the last,” Christianson said. “I would agree that watching the ‘ah-ha’ moments and seeing the

kids grow before your eyes in multiple ways is very rewarding,” Lindor said. “It’s a year-long process but soon they are reading and writing and ready for first grade.” The kindergarten room is classroom but also

something more. “We become like a family, one big working unit,” Lindor said. “Getting to know them and their personalities is a good feeling. They show kindness and respect for each other.”


Small Talk 2018  

A publication highlighting the organizations and activities for families and young children in Stevens County, Minnesota.

Small Talk 2018  

A publication highlighting the organizations and activities for families and young children in Stevens County, Minnesota.