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September Newsletter


Did you blink and miss fall? I know I am sure feeling short-changed as far as the weather goes. Beyond disappointment for those of us who really enjoy fall weather, we must think of our famers and those who help farmers bring in the crops. Our current weather pattern has moved far outside of being an annoyance for those folks. Now that the topic at hand has been addressed, read on for several updates. Tri-Valley had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with Polk County Public Health, Norman/Mahnomen Public Health and MinnCAP to bring a poverty simulation to Crookston in September. I believe that the simulation was moving and educational for all participants. Because of the feedback we have received and the fact that the simulation roster was not filled, we will try to host another simulation in the area in the future. I had the opportunity to participate in an event put on by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) in Bemidji on September 20. MCN has been trying for a number of years to bring quality training to Greater Minnesota to help nonprofits receive needed information without having to travel great distances. I moderated a panel of nonprofit leaders speaking on growth and sustainability. Agassiz Townhomes achieved a huge milestone by receiving a Certificate of Occupancy on October 1 for three of the six buildings in the property. This allows the property to generate tax credits according to our revised schedule. For most folks, this isn’t particularly noteworthy but I can assure you it is a big deal to our investor. We will be holding a celebration event on October 18 for our funders and a community open house (weather permitting) that same day. If you are in the Crookston area, please consider visiting the property. Details will be shared with all staff. Tri-Valley’s Board of Directors has agreed to help an informal group of communities test a new model for lowering the price point of new construction homes in the area. We have started with projects in Warren and Crookston. Red Lake Falls and East Grand Forks are considering starting projects in the future. It was my pleasure to spend time with Head Start staff in Fergus Falls on the 27th. I so appreciate the opportunity to interact inperson with coworkers from our larger service areas. Even though I couldn’t get myself to participate in the Baby Shark video, I hope to continue to snag invites to future meetings. Reminder to benefit-eligible staff that Open Enrollment starts in October. Finally, even though she wouldn’t want me to, I need to mention that Heidi Simmons has retired as Tri-Valley’s Senior Programs/Foster Grandparent Director. Heidi spent 21 years in Senior Programs and her passion for working with our senior population and her expertise in the grant world that serves that population will be missed. You will be able to read about our new Director in a future newsletter.

In This Issue:

In This Issue:

* CEO News and Notes * Transportation Thank You * Monticello In-Service * Elysian Fire Department Visit * Le Center Open House * Rochester Parent Meeting * Recruiters Visit Minnesota Farms * Danube Parent Meeting * Crookston Center Blasts Off into School Year * Morrison Earns Home Visitor CDA

* Benavidez Earns Preschool CDA * Application Contest Winners Announced * T.H.E. Bus Goes to Rollag * Foster Grandparent In-Service * Volunteer Visits Glencoe * St. Cloud Center Holds Preschool Celebration * Danube Center Holds Family Event * Poverty Simulation Held in Crookston * Crookston Needs Childcare Informational Session * Tri-Valley Board of Directors

Monticello In-Service Tri-Valley Transportation Programs received a very nice thank you letter that read in part, “Your drivers were always so kind to my brother when he was in the Ada Nursing Home. He considered them all his friends. You were his “wheels” for many years and a chance to go places when his family was not around. We all lived far away in the winter. You provide a great service and you do it with great care. Thank you.” Along with a heart-felt letter, a monetary donation will go to purchase T.H.E. Bus passes for those who are less fortunate and who may not be able to afford a pass.

Are you seeking a career with purpose? Tri-Valley is a rapidly growing organization and is always looking for qualified employees; we seek highly motivated, talented candidates to join our staff. Tri-Valley offers a supportive work-environment and a competitive benefits package to our employees. Apply today at Tri-Valley!

On August 3, the Monticello center had their first in-service day for the 2018-19 season. Center Manager Milton, Family Advocate Avril and Data Processor Doris decided on a camouflage themed day. The Monticello team learned about LA V.I.D.A, Safe Environments, and Behavior Guidance. They also had Susan DeMars from Wright County Public Health present to train them on CATCH Early Childhood. Staff learned to always remember to keep La V.I.D.A “Alive” (VIDA in Spanish means Live) at any time we transport children to and from our center. Staff should also always have an eagle eye to keep environments safe, clean and welcoming. It was a perfect day to refresh their minds and to remember “To Cultivate Life-Long Learning in Children and Families”.

Upcoming Calendar Items: * Oct. 1 - HS/EHS Policy Council Meeting * Oct. 9 - Board of Directors Meeting * Oct. 18 - Agassiz Townhomes Open House

Le Center Open House

Elysian Fire Department Visit The Elysian center had the Elysian Fire Department visit on Friday, August 17. Firefighter Rick Galewski started out in the gym as a plain clothed firefighter and then put on his fire gear. The children were watching in awe as he went from a normal looking man into the firefighter. Rick then let the children try on his equipment and of course, they all had to have a picture with him before we moved outside to explore the fire truck. The children had fun climbing, looking and exploring the inside and outside of the truck. Rick left them with excitement and awe of becoming a firefighter!

The new Le Center Administrative Office held an open house on Friday, August 10. They had 32 visitors come throughout the day, including community members, families and the Superintendent of Tri-City United (TCU) Schools. There were cookies, refreshments and games for everyone that attended. It was a fun day!

Rochester Parent Meeting The Rochester center held a parent meeting on Wednesday, August 29 in the park in Plainview. They spoke with parents about parent involvement and they had some games that involved the parents. After the meeting, the center provided food and a little prize for the kids that attended.

Danube Parent Meeting

Recruiters Visit Minnesota Farms Tri-Valley recruiters have been visiting farms and businesses throughout Minnesota in order to build relationships and to talk to the workers. Through these connections, the recruiters have been able to educate people about our programs, network with families and identify eligible migrant workers. The west side of Minnesota and North Dakota is covered by Region 1 Recruiters. Some of the cities they cover include Bird Island, Breckenridge, Brooten, Danube, Grafton, Sleepy Eye and Willmar. The east side of the state is covered by Region 2 recruiters. Some of the cities they recruit in include Elysian, Glencoe, Monticello, Owatonna, Rochester, Rogers, St. Cloud, Waseca and Winnebago. In Minnesota, the top five crops families work with include peas, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and soybeans. Many migratory agricultural workers also pick rocks, prepare fields, milk cows, and care for chickens, among many other things. Pictured are Region 2 Recruiters Barbara Garza, Pablo Diaz and Melanie Wolff.

For more information call Nancy Ramon at 1-800-820-7263

The Danube center hosted a parent meeting this month where parents participated in the “Relationships Matters!” workshop from Ready Rosie. Parents learned about how children build relationships and learn skills through everyday activities and play. During the workshop, parents engaged in some of these activities including Simon Says, making a drawing that represents their families and they had the opportunity to make their own family portrait.

Crookston Center Blasts Off Into the New School Year The Crookston center held a space themed open house on Thursday, August 30. Families came to meet their teachers, find their classrooms and get to know some of their new classmates. Nine community partners set up booths and shared information with families about their services. The center staff is excited to blast off into the new school year!

Application Contest Winners Announced Tri-Valley Head Start, Child & Family Programs held a contest for staff members to see who could bring in the most applications. First, a big thank you to everyone for all the hard work in identifying families! The winners are, Region V Nicole Worrall (East Grand Forks Recruiter Family Advocate) with 215 applications. Region XII Maria Davila (Recruiter) with 68 applications, Johanna Barreintos (Rochester Family Advocate) with 30 applications and Heidi Schwarze (Health Service Specialist) with six applications. The contest is over, but the journey is not. Please continue to help by identifying potentially eligible children and families. (Pictured are Worrall, Davila, Barreintos, Schwarze)

Morrison Earns Her Home Visitor CDA Janelle Morrison from the Crookston center received her Home Visitor Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). She was the first one to complete the CDA process for home visitors. It was a bumpy road trying to navigate the new process, but her patience and perseverance paid off! Congratulations Janelle!

Benavidez Earns Her Preschool CDA April Benavidez from the Danube center received her Preschool Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). Congratulations April on your hard work!

T.H.E. Bus Goes to Rollag On Friday, August 31, T.H.E. Bus brought passengers from Crookston and Thief River Falls to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, MN. T.H.E. Bus arrived in Rollag at 10 am and departed at 4 pm and the cost was only $10!

Volunteer Visits Glencoe On September 11, Storm from Ridgewater College and enrolled in the RN Program came and volunteered at the Glencoe center for the day. She participated in the toddler room for breakfast, circle time, lunch and naptime. Storm read books and did activities with all the kids. We love it when volunteers visit the center!

St. Cloud Center Holds Preschool Celebration

Foster Grandparent In-Service Friday, September 7 marked the first in-service training of the 2018-2019 Foster Grandparent Program year. The event was held at Trinity Lutheran Church Crookston, MN. The morning speaker was Molly Hanson (OTP/L, MOT), Owner of Choice Therapy Crookston. Molly presented on Aging in Place. She spoke on various topics including home modification, fall prevention, low vision and safety, driving and community mobility and social participating. She followed up with a checklist for home safety for fall hazards and a handout on different exercises that can improve flexibility and help with balance.

It was a busy September at the St. Cloud center. They held a preschool celebration for children moving into kindergarten. Parents came to the center for a parent/child reading activity and were able to read books to the children. The St. Cloud Fire Department was gracious enough to come to the center and do a presentation on what to do and how to stay safe during a fire situation. They gave kids a tour and let them get on a fire truck!

Danube Center Holds Family Event To end the summer and recognize the preschoolers heading off to kindergarten, the Danube center had a beach themed family event. The event included a preschool graduation ceremony, vehicle fair, information booths for families, photo booth, fishing game, bubble making, water play and volleyball games. Many families attended the event and all had fun! Four of the center’s preschoolers are headed into Kindergarten now this fall!

Poverty Simulation Held in Crookston A poverty simulation was held on Thursday, September 13 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. The event was sponsored by Polk-NormanMahnomen Community Health Services, including Polk County Public Health and Norman-Mahnomen Public Health, and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. The simulation was facilitated by Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP). The poverty simulation tool was utilized since decreasing persistent poverty is one of three PolkNorman-Mahnomen Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) priorities. We know that poverty level is one of the most critical characteristics that contributes to the number of people experiencing preventable chronic diseases. The collaboration between agencies allows communities to solve problems that cannot be solved, or easily solved, by single organizations. A poverty simulation is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family. The object is to sensitize audiences to the realities faced by low-income people. In the simulation, participants assume roles of up to 20+ different families facing poverty. The task of the families is to provide for necessities and shelter during the course of four 15-minute “weeks”. Throughout the event it is stressed that it is a simulation, not a game and those involved should take it very seriously.

Profile for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Tri-Valley September Newsletter  

Tri-Valley September Newsletter