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


MAY NEWSLETTER May is Employee Appreciation Month. For readers who are not on staff, we encourage the building lead or manager of all non-seasonal offices to hold an event to show all staff appreciation for their contributions to the agency and its mission. We also celebrate milestone employment anniversaries. I have historically shared the milestones internally to all e-mail accounts but thought it would be nice to share the information this year through the newsletter and therefore a broader audience.

35 Years

10 Years

Barb Roth – Head Start

Phil Wold – Community Services

• •

Sherilyn Sinkevich – Head Start Tracey Sundeen – Head Start

Norma Campos – Head Start

• • • • • • • •

Anita Swift – Head Start Carla Hegreberg – Head Start Kimberly Filson – Head Start Nancy Mellesmoen – Head Start Pam Nikle – Head Start Ruth Hoffman-Fugleberg – Head Start Sherri Christianson – Human Resources Vickie Zahradka – Head Start

30 Years 25 Years 20 Years 15 Years

• • •

Delores Anderson – Community Services Janet Arvizu – Head Start Mara Salinas – Head Start

• • • • • • • • • •

Chris Bernd – Fiscal Diana Martinez – Head Start Heidi Peterka – Head Start Jamie Dauksavage – Transportation Joann Covarrubias – Head Start Karen Martin – Transportation Lindsay Vokaty – Head Start Molly Kramer – Head Start Stacy Reinhart – Head Start Tomi Hollenkamp – Head Start

5 Years

Congratulations to those listed above on achieving your employment milestones and thank you to all who are employed by Tri-Valley for your contributions to those we serve. The program has a name! I am happy to be the first to announce that Tri-Valley’s new companion program will be known as the Caring Companion Program. This is exciting news. You can expect to hear much more about the program in future newsletters. I ask that if you are approached for help with the new program by anyone in Senior Programs be as accommodating as you can. Remember that this service was deemed a priority by our board for our current strategic planning cycle. (CEO News and Notes continued on next page)

In This Issue: * CEO News and Notes * Transportation Offers New Services * Chip is a ChildPlus Celebrity! * Migrant Head Start Minnesota Reading Corps

In This Issue: * Age is Just a Number * Head Start / Early Head Start Term Recognition * Three-Session Family Service Credential Training

(CEO News and Notes continued)- I may have mentioned at board meetings and perhaps in past newsletters that we were to have a visit by some monitors to test Head Start Key Indicators. That process is no longer used and we will be contacted about a more traditional review in the future. So if you have been put on notice about the Key Indicator review you can relax for a while. May was a busy travel month. In addition to starting the month at the NHSA conference that I mentioned in the last newsletter and attending the regular MinnCAP board meeting I attended two events sponsored by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. The first event was the bushCONNECT event in Minneapolis on May 12. This was a full day of training and networking with leaders of various organizations from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. It was a great day and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to attend to make the time to do so. The second event was Day 1 and 2 of an eight day training called the Performance Management Institute. This training is put on through the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and seeks to strengthen networking in our region while honing leadership skills. I will complete three more two day blocks in June, August and September. I will close this month with words of gratitude and a reluctant good bye to an individual in Head Start. Megan Bentley has been positively impacting Head Start children and their families for eight years at Tri-Valley and has decided to accept a new challenge with a different organization. I have had the opportunity to work with Megan on different projects in different roles over the years. She will be missed. Thank you, Megan. Good luck in your new position.

Tri-Valley Transportation Offers New In-Town Services and Guaranteed Routes Tri-Valley Transportation is excited to announce that T.H.E. Bus now offers new in-town services and guaranteed routes throughout its service area. In-town services that have been utilized in communities have been expanded. Towns that now receive this service include Hallock, Karlstad, Warren, Hendrum, Halstad, Ada, and Twin Valley. T.H.E. Bus will run in these communities on certain days of the month to help residents with transportation needs. Guaranteed routes are now available each month as well. A guaranteed route means it will run no matter how many people have scheduled a ride. Passengers that can utilize these routes will have peace of mind knowing that they will be able to get to their destination no matter the number of riders.

Way to go Chip!!! He’s a celebrity!

Chip is doing his part! He was featured on the ChildPlus Facebook page in April. (From the ChildPlus Facebook page)- Missy Janssen of the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. sent us the picture of mascot, Chip, hard at work at his new desk job.

Age Is Just a Number

Courtesy of Thirteen Towns, Fosston, MN Grandma Pearl gives a whole new meaning to "Meeting the Rule of Ninety." The Rule of Ninety is a formula used to determine retirement benefits in the teaching profession. When the number of years of service combined with your age totals ninety years, you can qualify for full pension benefits. If Grandma Pearl Birkeland was a teacher, and qualified for a pension, she would meet the Rule of Ninety on the basis of her age alone. Grandma Pearl is ninety years old.

Tri-Valley Partners with Minnesota Reading Corp

Tri-Valley is partnering with Minnesota Reading Corp in Rochester! If you or someone you know is interested in being a Minnesota Reading Corp Preschool Literacy Tutor at our Rochester Migrant and Seasonal Head Start location, please visit the Minnesota Reading Corp website below for more information or to apply online.

But Grandma Pearl won't get a pension, and she doesn't get a pay check. She's a volunteer. And she has been- every day of every school year for eleven years. Grandma Pearl, along with Grandmas Mary Thorstad, Hazel Trogstad and Vickie Olson are all Volunteer Grandmothers, and are the darlings of Magelssen Elementary School. The kids love them, they love the kids, and they provide the school with four additional staff members with no additional funding requirements. You could buy a sizable pile of textbooks and supplies with the money these four ladies save our school district every year. last, the school threw a little party as a combination come-a-member/positions/migrant-head-start 90th Birthday and retirement party for Grandma Pearl. Yes, Grandma Pearl is retiring. Grandma Pearl doesn’t have very big feet, but she’ll leave behind some mighty big shoes to fill. Do we have any Grandmas out there who have some time to give, and want to do some­thing positive and constructive? Photos by Dean Vikan

Grandma Pearl Birkeland is surrounded by some of her favorite little people - Mrs. Lucken’s Kindegarten Class. Pearl has worked with Mrs. Lucken’s Kindergartners for 11 years, and she loves every one of them. The feeling is mutual.

Grandma Pearl with the teacher she has gotten to know intimately over eleven years of volunteer work in her classroom. Grandma Pearl has never known a day when she didn’t want to go to work in Mrs. Lucken’s classroom.

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

The Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council met on Monday, May 20. Plaques were handed out to two Policy Council members whose terms were up. On the left is Angie Larson she is the Head Start Center-Based Alternate for Hendrum. On the right is Aisha Woods she is the Early Head Start Center-Based Alternate for Crookston. Thank you for your three years served on Policy Council.

Three-Session Family Service Credential Training Employees from the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Head Start program took part in a three session Family Service Credential Training on December 17-19, February 1820, and May 6-8, 2014. Those completing the training from Tri-Valley included Elizabeth Zamora, Leticia Bravo, Melanie Wolff, Nancy Ramon, Marie San Miguel, Trish Schilling, Edna Tudon, Laura Elfert, Julie Christianson, and Dona Theis-Nepstad. The Family Service Credential is a comprehensive, competency based training experience, designed to support direct service staff in their work with children and families. The content is structured using four modules and is designed to support staff in the refinement of skills and strategies to incorporate the core values of being family centered, relationship focused, strengths based, ecological and reflective. The Family Service Credential Training is sponsored by the Minnesota Head Start Association, Inc. and Minnesota T/TA Early Childhood Education Specialists, STG International.

Did You Know?... * You can receive more information on Tri-Valley’s programs and services by calling 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020.

Upcoming June Calendar Items: * June 7 - MSHS/MSEHS Policy Council Meeting * June 10 - Tri-Valley Board of Directors Meeting * June 25-28 - Norman County Fair (Ada, MN) * June 27 - Red Lake County Fair Senior Day (Oklee, MN)

* You can keep up with Tri-Valley news on the TVOC website at, 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 218-281-5832 or

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, TVOC provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northeast North Dakota. For more information on services offered by TVOC please call 218-281-5832 or 800-584-7020.

This information is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities. Contact us at 1-800-584-7020 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

Maynewsletter 2014  

Tri-Valley May Newsletter

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