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Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. “People Helping People”


July Newsletter Family Voice and Choice Network is Now a Resource to Help Parents That Need Support

(cont’d) In fiscal year 2011, SNAP served nearly 45 million people, about one in seven Americans. Over the course of four decades, researchers and analysts—inside government and out— The Family Voice and Choice Network through have built a substantial body of evidence that SNAP makes an Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is now important difference in the lives of low-income people. available for parents and families who are dealing with tough situations. The mission of the For children, a better diet means better learning in school. For program is to build strong families, connect adults, it means better performance on the job or a better founpeople and resources and strengthen commu- dation for developing the job skill that can give them and their families’ independence. For seniors, it means access to a balnities. anced diet vital to their nutritional well-being. For everyone, The Family Voice and Choice Network can help provide: a voice participation in SNAP can help stretch limited budgets, improve for families, one-on-one peer support, referral and recommen- nutrition, and reduce the risk of diet-related health problems. dations, workshops, resource lending library, family networking and periodic newsletters. The focus of the program is to provide To find out more information on SNAP, please contact Commuparents with the resources they need to make the best decisions nity Services Director Cindy Pic at 218-281-2728 or by email at for their family. The Family Voice and Choice Network is com- pletely anonymous and open to everyone in northwest Minnesota including the counties of Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Norman, Red Lake and Mahnomen. If you are in need of information or resources for your family, call 800-820-7263 for support.

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. (TVOC) is a community action agency headquartered in Crookston, MN. It is our Mission to provide opportunities to individuals and communities in order to improve the quality of our lives. In existence since 1965, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. has imple- TVOC provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northmented the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance east North Dakota. For more information on services offered by Program (SNAP) into its Community Assistance Tri-Valley please call 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020. Programs (CAP) to help fight hunger. SNAP supplements qualified individual or family incomes to help them purchase healthy and nutritious food at the grocery store, ensuring the family has * You can receive more information on Tri-Valley’s programs and services by calling 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020. enough money for well-balanced meals.

Tri-Valley’s SNAP Program Aims to Curb Hunger for Children and Adults

Did You Know?...

SNAP has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net for more than 40 years. It is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and offers a powerful tool to improve nutrition among low-income people. (continued at top of page)

This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800584-7020 or by calling the Telecommunication Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer/provider. EOE/M/F/D/V

* You can keep up with Tri-Valley news on the TVOC website at www.tvoc. org, on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TriValley_TVOC. * Everyone can receive the Tri-Valley Newsletter. If you know of anyone who would like a copy please have them contact Mitch Bakken at 218-281-0509 or * You can help Tri-Valley through its Development Fund. If you would like to learn more about giving options please contact Mitch Bakken at 218-2810509 or

Bremer Donation Boosts Comfort, Efficiency at Mount St. Benedict

Migrant Students Get an Education in Owatonna

Courtesy of the Crookston Times

Owatonna, Minn. — This summer, children, who may only spend a few months in Owatonna are getting an education.

A donation of $2,600 from Bremer Bank in Crookston to the Mount Saint Benedict will go toward the replacement of windows in the Good Shepherd Hall. Together with funds raised by Mount Saint Benedict and funding from the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. work will now begin in replacing many of the windows in the Good Shepherd Hall, allowing for energy conservation, warmth and comfort to the residents of this facility for aging sisters at the Mount.

Courtesy of the Owatonna People’s Press

Migrant students — those who move north with parents who work seasonal jobs — can attend school while they are in Owatonna. The migrant students go to school in the morning with traditional Owatonna summer school students. Summer school at Wilson Elementary School, Owatonna Junior High School and Alternative Learning Center starts at 8 a.m., and ends at noon. Then, the migrant students come together until their school day ends at 2:15 p.m. In the afternoon, the students participate in a lot of activities. On Tuesday, they went outside and planted seeds in the Wilson school garden. Last Thursday, the students toured a farm and saw cows, sheep, ducks and horses. Student Evelyn Duran, a seventh-grader from Texas, said she enjoys the afternoon activities. “I love taking the trips,” she said. “It’s a lot more fun than sitting in class.” In the future, they will take afternoon field trips to River Springs Water Park and the Owatonna Public Library, as well as a daylong trip to the Como Park Zoo in the Twin Cities.

In an energy audit of the Good Shepherd Hall done in the spring and summer of 2009 it was discovered that significant energy conservation But it’s not all gardening and taking trips, student Jazmine Ramon said. Along with measures were needed to bring the facility up to new and modern stan- taking trips, the students will study math, science, English and participate in physical education. dards of energy conservation. Tri-Valley initiated the energy audit and sought funding from the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It was later determined by the funding source that the work could not go forward due to technicalities of eligibility. Still, with the commitment of the Mount Saint Benedict, Great Plains Natural Gas and the work of Tri-Valley, funds were raised from private individuals and groups to afford the attic insulation and air sealing of the Good Shepherd Hall with work completed in the spring of 2011. Nearly $5,000 in cost savings were achieved the first year. Left to be completed was the replacement of sixty-eight windows.

After canceling the voluntary migrant education program in 2010, Owatonna district director of special services Mark Krug said the district brought it back last summer after speaking with Lakeside Foods. “For a while, we were experiencing a decreasing amount of migrant families coming to Owatonna, so it wasn’t worthwhile to have a migrant program, so that is why we discontinued it for a year,” he said. “In 2011, hearing from Lakeside that they were much more active in recruitment and expecting more families coming up, we reinstituted the program.” In 2011, there were only about 15 migrant students. This summer, the numbers have more than doubled to nearly 40. The migrant students are in school from 7:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The longer schedule is more for the parents’ benefit than the students. “The majority of those students are coming from camp, so their parents are either working over at Lakeside or heading out to the fields early in the morning, so we need to provide the students with some type of supervision,” Krug said. “Basically, that’s why we have them early in the morning, so we can give them a safe structured environment.

Today, with the donation from the Bremer Bank, funds raised by the Sisters of Saint Benedict and funding provided from Tri-Valley a package The program runs concurrent to the Owatonna summer school program. has been generated that will allow work to be completed this summer in Students are in class Monday through Thursday for the final two weeks of June. replacing the old windows at Good Shepherd Hall. After taking a week off from July 2-6, the students will head back to school for the second and third week of July. After summer school ends, the migrant students will stay in class for two more weeks.

Sr. Brian Wild shared that, “This project has been a long time in the coming. We really appreciate the generous gift from the Bremer Bank Along with having elementary, junior high and high school programs, Owatonwhich puts us over the top in funding and now we can get the project na also offers a migrant head start program through the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council. Children ages 6 weeks to 5 years can attend for free, if they meet income completed.” qualifications.

Jim Snyder (President of the Bremer Bank of Crookston) noted that, “This donation on behalf of the Bremer Bank of Crookston is intended to finalize the financial funding necessary to get these windows replaced at Good Shepherd Hall. Working with Tri-Valley and the Sisters of Mount St. Benedict is an honor and we are happy to help. The Sister’s ministries have had a tremendous impact on many people in Northwest Minnesota over the past 75 years. Bremer is glad to assist in this effort and wish the residents of the facility comfort, warmth and security in their residence.” Since 2010 nearly $75,000 has been raised to insulate and seal the attic and replace the windows. With the work scheduled to be completed this summer the project will culminate in a much more efficient and comfortable environment for the residents of Good Shepherd Hall.

Center manager Jennifer Mazouz said the life of a migrant is a life of transition. The children move twice a year, meaning that they may live in Texas for half the year and Minnesota for the other half. “When you get uprooted twice a year, it can be easy to fall behind,” Mazouz said. “For older students, they may leave in October, in the middle of the school year. It can be tough to make up those credits. Migrant students need our help to get those credits.” For the preschool students, the Owatonna migrant head start program gets them off to a solid start. “We want to set a good foundation, so they can handle a life that full of transitions,” Mazouz said. “We want them to be ready for kindergarten, ready for school.” Wilson teacher Jamie Skala is working with migrant students for the first time this summer. She said she has been amazed at how well students from so many different locations get along. “It’s really cool to see them interact with each other,” Skala said. “They are very close knit. The older children help the younger ones. They take care of each other. “

Photo (L-R)- Sister Jennifer Kehrwald, Bremer Bank President Jim SnyDerek Sullivan can be reached at 444-2372. Follow him on Twitter @OPPSullivan. der, Sister Brian Wild, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Executive Director Dennis P. DeMers.

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

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July 2012 Newsletter  

July 2012 Tri-Valley Newsletter

July 2012 Newsletter  

July 2012 Tri-Valley Newsletter