Page 1

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



The crops are pretty much harvested, bins and piles are full and the land lays fallow. We hope for a nice blanket of snow to cover and renew our trusted natural resource. “Sleep well good earth, you have served us well another year.” With goblins and ghouls knocking at our doors we now prepare for Thanksgiving and then onto deep winter. Clocks will move back one hour this weekend as we get up and travel to work in the dark and return home in the dark. The cycle continues. I hope that this winter brings mild weather and that travel for our many clients, staff, Board and partners is safe and warm. It seems to me that the first winter storm usually starts with “slush,” on the road that can grab your tires and pull you into a ditch. Be careful, wise and look ahead. There is little one can say about the Vikings. Well, I mean there is little “good” one can say about the Vikings. The offense is sputtering and the defense can’t stop the opposition. Special teams are suspect and the coaches keep finding excuses for the lack of focus and intensity needed to be successful. It is hurtful to think we should lose the rest of our games so that we can choose earlier in the draft. Yuk. Maybe this will be the year to get behind the UND Hockey and Basketball teams. Two interesting issues are being grappled with by the Board of Directors over the next few months. The first is referred to as: The Impartial Justice Act. This Minnesota based effort is based upon the premise that voters have little or no information about judges up for election, have no real power to hold judges accountable, and that big money from special interests is beginning to have an impact upon elections of judges. If you are interested in reviewing the issue you might wish to go to: Voters will have the final say on this issues and I ask that you become informed about the issue. The second issue is broadly referred to as: Criminal Justice Reform. There are several historical reasons and more political reasons for this issue being on the front burner at this time. About 30 years ago there was a strong movement to take discretion away from judges when it came to crime. This was particularly true as it related to drug cases. Now, judges have no choice about sending convicted people to prison and the cost has become astronomical. Secondly, there is a growing body of evidence that many people who are incarcerated have mental illness and being in jail will do nothing to help them when they exit the criminal justice system. Today, there is growing attitude that we, as a nation and state by state, should reassess our criminal justice system as a conservative rather than a liberal issue. Thus you have Jeb Bush, Gov. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich all advocating for some kind of reform. Tri-Valley has been asked to become involved in both of these issues. The first (Impartial Justice Act) appears to have the support of the Board. The second issue (Criminal Justice Reform) demands more information and discussion by the Board. To inform you more on the second issue I would suggest going to: and the StarTribune article by Rich Stanek dated November 24, 2012. Congress is back in session, the Farm Bill is front and center and discussions about a federal budget are, at least, being given some lip-service. Right now I am quite pessimistic about the whole process. And, this is unusual. I am really pretty optimistic. Alas, I don’t think Congress has the capacity to “compromise,” in either chamber or on either side of the aisle. I would sure hate to see milk sell for $8 gallon. But, over the past few years it all seems to boil down to the Next Election, who will take the credit/blame, and kicking the can down the road. If the Congress or the President calls, I have all the answers to the budget problem – they just need to give me the authority. (Continued on next page)

In This Issue:

* From My View- Report from CEO Dennis P. DeMers * “The Place” in Rochester * I-C.A.R.E. at Arthritis Walk & makes donation * Amanda Bochow Zombie 5K * Senior Programs Recognition Luncheon

In This Issue:

* Monticello Mini Concert and Staff Meeting * Why Do You Love Head Start? * Crookston Head Start Parent Meeting * Rochester Parent Meeting * Upcoming Events

(From My View Continued)- This past week the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives held its Annual Meeting. We had presentations from Susan Brower (State Demographer), Nate Dorr (Northwest Minnesota Foundation) and the Children’s Defense Fund. The meeting concluded with participants taking the data presented and identifying a priority list of issues they want the Board and staff to focus on over the next couple of years. When the document is finalized, I will be sure to share it with you. It is High School Football playoff season. Good luck and sportsmanship to all those local schools in our area which have made it to the Regional Playoff level.

The Tri-Valley I-C.A.R.E. group took part in the Arthritis Walk on Saturday, October 12 at Choice Health & Fitness in Grand Forks, ND. The I-C.A.R.E. group walked as part of Tori’s Team to raise funds and awareness to fight the nation’s leading cause of disability. Tori Byklum is the daughter of Tami Byklum who is a Program Health Specialist at Tri-Valley. I-C.A.R.E. donated $150 to Tori’s Team and Tori worked hard to raise enough money to be the top individual and team fundraiser! Photo (L-R)- Norma Campos (Family and Community Services Specialist), Tami Byklum (Program Health Specialist), Tori Byklum, Cindy Boudreaux (Health Services Manager).

Tri-Valley Migrant and Seasonal Head Start has a new “Place” in Rochester! Shelly Goddard and Robyn Klemm started working with the Child Care Resource and Referral and The Boys and Girls Club of Rochester in 2004 to think of a way they could collaborate to serve all kids and families in Rochester. After nine years, all their hard work became reality and The Place opened on September 30, 2013 to serve kids birth-18 in Rochester. The facility includes a Head Start wing with rooms specifically designed for early childhood, a full-size gym, multipurpose room, industrial kitchen and much more. Tri-Valley Migrant and Seasonal Head Start will have eight classrooms at The Place from June- December and plans to serve approximately 100 children in the facility. Shelly Goddard, Head Start Program Design Manager said the best thing about The Place is that, "It will serve children and families for generations." For more information about The Place visit

Amanda Bochow (left) (Center Manager, Crookston, MN) took third place in her division at the 5K Zombie Run during the 2013 Arthritis Walk & Zombie Run & Kids' Run held at Choice Health & Fitness in Grand Forks, ND on Saturday, October 12. Great job Amanda!!

2013StarfishAwardRecipients Photo (L-R)- Lisa Bjorndahl (Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Coordinator), Anne Mae Magoris, Jeanette Larson (Senior Program Manager), Lois Seeger, Larson, Mary Kerr, Larson, Nancy Jewell.

Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs Hold Recognition Luncheon Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs held its annual recognition luncheon at the Crookston Eagles Club on Wednesday, October 9. The event acknowledged the hard work and dedication provided by so many generous individuals. All volunteers were recognized from new enrollees to those who have provided an outstanding 22 years of service volunteering 15 hours or more per week. Last program year, Tri-Valley Senior Programs provided 78,665 hours of volunteer service working with over 800 children and 40 senior clients.

(Recognition luncheon continued) Prior to the awards and

the luncheon, Marshall Olson of Crookston spoke to the group about the journey his family has had after the death of his son Brock. He shared a message of faith and how our priorities in life can be strengthened and straightened. For more information on how to become a Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion or how to receive Senior Companion Services call Heidi or Jeanette at 218-2815832.

The Starfish Award was given to individuals who have been nominated by teachers or others the volunteers work with. This year there were four recipients of this award from the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs. The award is based off the story of an old man who walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. “Why do you bother?” the old man scoffed. “You’re not saving enough to make a difference. The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back into the water. “Made a difference to that one,” he said. Recipients of the Starfish Award were Anne Mae Magoris (Foster Grandparent), Lois Seeger (Foster Grandparent), Mary Kerr (Foster Grandparent), and Nancy Jewell (Senior Companion). (Continued at top of page)

The Monticello Migrant and Seasonal Head Start/Early Head Start center held a mini concert on their playground. All the children had instruments including some that they had made. During a team building staff meeting event, staff at the Monticello center played "Fear Factor!" (Photos: Top Left- Carol Amundson, Top RightCarol Fritz, Middle- Milton Ventura, Bottom Left- Usi Quinones.

It's Head Start Awareness Month! Why do you love Head Start? (Left) Mary Johnson (Assistant Program Design Manager, Apple Valley, MN) Crookston Head Start Center held a Head Start parent meeting in October and hosted a Health and Wellness Carnival. Community partners presented at the event including Polk County Nursing/Health/WIC and the Northwest Mental Health Center. Head Start gave away water bottles and the event was a big hit with parents and children!

Laurie Coleman (Head Start, Child and Family Programs Director, Crookston, MN) The Rochester Center held a parent meeting at the library in October where there was story time for the children. They loved the dog puppet and enjoyed the scavenger hunt that helped them familiarize themselves with the center. Story time is always a good time!

Upcoming November Calendar Items:

* Nov.- Heating Assistance Program accepting applications * Nov. 1- In-Service training for Head Start teaching staff

* Nov. 1- Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion in-service

Lindsay Vokaty (Center Manager, Monticello, MN)

* Nov. 4- Head Start/Early Head Start Policy Council meeting * Nov. 11- Veteran’s Day * Nov. 19- Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Community Wellness Fair * Nov. 28- Thanksgiving

Patricia Schilling (Center Manager, Hendrum, MN)

For more information





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

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

Jenn Derry (Center Manager, Winnebago, MN)

* 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 218-281-5832 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.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Octobernewsletter 2013  

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. October Newsletter

Octobernewsletter 2013  

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. October Newsletter