Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent Program Holds Recognition Luncheon

Posted by Mitch on October 12, 2017 8:07 AM in Uncategorized

Photo (L-R) Darlene Jadeke, Corann Fladhammer, Beverly Flickinger, David Vanderhoof

The Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Foster Grandparent Program held its annual recognition luncheon at the Crookston Eagles Club on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. Heidi Simmons, Senior Programs Director began the event by welcoming the Foster Grandparents and guests to the banquet. Jason Carlson, Tri-Valley’s CEO then thanked all of the volunteers for the difference they are making in the lives of others in our communities.

Following the welcome, the “World of Difference” award was given to individuals who have been nominated by professional staff at their volunteer site. The award is engraved with, “With the little things you do every day, your impact spreads far and wide. Your commitment to improving lives inspires and motivates us all… You make a world of difference.”

Recipients of the World of Difference Award were Grandma Darlene Jadeke (Head Start, East Grand Forks, 8 year volunteer), Grandpa David Vanderhoof (South Point, East Grand Forks, 9 year volunteer), Grandma Beverly Flickinger (Challenger Elementary, Thief River Falls, 7 year volunteer), and Grandma Corann Fladhammer (Win-E-Mac School, Erskine, 12 year volunteer).

Prior to the meal and awards, the Foster Grandparents were entertained by the sounds of the Crookston Area Men’s Chorus led by George French.

For more information on how to become a Foster Grandparent, Caring Companion or how to receive Caring Companion services please call Heidi, Jeanette, Jean, or Kristal at 1-800-584-7020.

Tri-Valley Head Start, Child & Family Programs Parents Attend Parents as Leaders Training Program in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Mitch on October 3, 2017 2:24 PM in Head Start, Migrant Head Start

Three members of the Tri-Valley Head Start/Early Head Start and Migrant & Seasonal Head Start/Migrant & Seasonal Early Head Start Policy Councils had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. in September to attend the Parents as Leaders Training Program. Sponsored by the National Head Start Association and part of the Families Unite for Head Start initiative, this unique educational training program focused on developing parents into leaders in their programs, families, and communities. While in Washington D.C., the parents met with house members and their staff, to include Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Collin Peterson, and Congressman Tim Walz to share their stories, educate them about the importance of Head Start and how Head Start empowers parents as their child’s first teacher, and canvass for their continued support of Head Start programs. They also joined hundreds of other Head Start parents from across the country at the Families Unite for Head Start Spirit Rally on Capitol Hill.

Pictured from left to right: Juanita Wilkes, Policy Council President for Region V; Bernardo Rangel, Policy Council President for Region RXII; Teresa Luque, Policy Council Vice-President for Region RXII

Chisholm-Bennett Receives Years of Service Recognition from MinnCAP

Posted by Mitch on August 9, 2017 8:28 AM in Head Start

Chisholm Bennett 25 Year Picture (media)Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. staff attended the Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) Annual Training Conference held on August 1-3 at the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. Staff took part in Legislative General Sessions, listened to speakers on various topics, and took part in several educational breakout sessions.

In conjunction with the annual training conference, 25 Year Honorees were recognized for their dedicated service and commitment to Community Action. Tri-Valley’s Jill Chisholm-Bennett (Preschool Teacher, Hendrum Center) was honored for her 25 years of work with Tri-Valley in Crookston.

(A short bio on Jill from the event): Jill began working with Tri-Valley Opportunity Council with the Migrant program in Hendrum, MN in Norman County in the summer of 1991. She has worked with all ages of the Head Start Programs from infant to toddler and preschool levels and has enjoyed all of the different ages. She has spent the majority of her years working at the West Adventure Center Preschool located at the Norman County West Elementary School. She has enjoyed meeting new families over the years and being a part of their children’s learning and watching them grow and develop over the years.

(Photo L-R): Arnie Anderson (MinnCAP Executive Director), Jill Chisholm-Bennett, and Francie Mathes (Office of Economic Opportunity)

Tri-Valley Implements Farm to Head Start

Posted by Mitch on July 10, 2017 3:32 PM in Head Start

Jami Nunn, Food and Nutrition Specialist has been partnering with the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy to implement Farm to Head Start in Tri-Valley Opportunity Councils Head Start centers.

Farm to Head Start works to connect early child care and education settings to local food producers with the objectives of serving locally-grown, healthy foods to young children, providing related nutrition education, and improving child nutrition.

Farm to Head Start activities can increase children’s willingness to try new foods and help them become familiar with local foods they will see in school.

Implementation started on June 5th where a focused produce item is incorporated into the menu every two weeks.  Centers that implement the Farm to Head Start Curriculum will learn about the focused vegetable/fruit the beginning of the week, then it will be presented in the menu in varies different cooking methods.  The pilot center implementing IATPs curriculum is St. Cloud.  All other centers are encouraged to reach out to local farmers and incorporate curriculum revolving around farming and gardening.

Week of June 5 & 12: Asparagus

Week of June 19 & 26: Snap Peas & Snow Peas

Week of July 3: Strawberries

Week of July 10 & 17: Squash

Week of July 24 & 31: Green Beans

Ben Winchester Back by Popular Demand to Talk about Brain Gain and Economic Development and Housing

Posted by Mitch on May 25, 2017 8:23 AM in Uncategorized

Rewriting the Rural Narrative Flyer (2) 052317The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives and Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. are excited to announce that Ben Winchester will be back to the area by popular demand.  Winchester will give his presentation in Thief River Falls on Tuesday, June 13 and Crookston on Wednesday, June 28. These presentations are a free-of-charge community event.

Winchester and Christopher Ingraham presented Rewriting the Rural Narrative: the “Brain Gain” of Rural America in February and it was so well received that more dates were set. This presentation will be slightly different with an hour focusing on the “Brain Gain” and an hour focusing on rural economic development and housing

The Brain Gain: People often lament a brain drain in rural Minnesota—the loss of 18-25 year-olds who leave their small home towns after high school. But there is also an in-migration to these towns of 30-49 year-old adults and their young children. In many cases, those moving into rural communities offset, or surpass, the numbers of those moving away. This, says Extension research fellow Ben Winchester, is a brain gain. This is hopeful news for rural Minnesota. But the trend must be sustained.

The New Economy: The new economy has the following characteristics: brick and mortar does not equal economic success; it’s more people focused with more self-employment and more (1099) consultant work for short periods of time; there are more diversified jobs and occupations; more multiple-job holding, job sharing and self-employment; recruitment revolves around more than just job and work-related benefits. The bottom line for rural towns is a simple one, Winchester said. “The bottom line is people want to live and move here for what you are today and will be tomorrow, not what you may have been.”

Two opportunities to take part in the presentation are available. Thief River Falls will host the event on Tuesday, June 13 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Ralph Engelstad Arena (Imperial Room). Crookston will host the event on Wednesday, June 28 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the University of Minnesota Crookston (Kiehle Auditorium).The presentations are open to the public and free of charge.

The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives is an informal partnership comprised of a variety of organizations from individual county collaboratives representing Kittson, Marshall, Mahnomen, Norman, Pennington, Polk and Red Lake counties.

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. is a non-profit community action agency headquartered in Crookston, Minn. In existence since 1965, Tri-Valley provides services in 84 counties in Minnesota and Northeast North Dakota.

Tri-Valley to Host a MNsure and SNAP Booth in Crookston, Ada, and Warren

Posted by Mitch on May 23, 2017 8:11 AM in MNsure, SNAP

mnsure logo_color_tag_TMsnaplogoTri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. will host a MNsure and SNAP informational booth in Crookston, Ada, and Warren in June. The purpose of the booths is to encourage those that have questions about MNsure or SNAP a chance to ask those questions and get answers and to learn more about the programs.

The Crookston booth will be set up on Monday, June 12 from 1-3 pm at the Crookston Public Library (110 N. Ash St.). The Ada booth will be set up on Thursday, June 15 from 1-3 pm at the Ada Library (107 4th Ave. E). The Warren booth will be set up on Wednesday, June 28 from 1-3 pm at the Godel Memorial Library (314 E. Johnson Ave.).

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Outreach (SNAP): For more than 40 years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has served as the foundation of America’s national nutrition safety net. It is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger and offers a powerful tool to improve nutrition among low-income people.

MNSure: MNsure is a one-stop health insurance marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses will be able to get quality health coverage at a fair price. MNsure will empower more than 1 million Minnesotans to compare, choose, and get help finding health care coverage. It will facilitate enrollment in public and private health insurance, determine eligibility for premium tax credits and allow Minnesotans to shop and compare between health care coverage options.

For more information on MNsure or SNAP, please contact Nancy Ramon (Tri-Valley Community Assistance Program Coordinator) at 1-800-201-3475.

Child Care… Children, Families, and Employers Need You!

Posted by Mitch on May 19, 2017 10:22 AM in Uncategorized

ChildcareAwareLogo(Crookston, Minn.)- Do you want to be self-employed? Do you like babies and toddlers? Do you want to work from home or would you be interested in renting space for your business? If you answered yes to these questions, then Tri-Valley Opportunity Council Child Care Aware Program wants to speak to you.  Children, families, and employers in our area desperately need you!

Tri-Valley and the Child Care Aware Program are currently seeking individuals who can fill the child care provider void in Northwest Minnesota. Candidates need to be patient, warm, and enthusiastic. Candidates must like to laugh and enjoy children. Candidates must be eager to learn and try new things, and candidates must have a desire to provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment.

For those interested, there are a variety of types of licensed child care opportunities in the area. There are also grants to assist with startup costs and technical assistance and mentoring that can help you get started on the right path.

If you would like to join the child care conversation, have questions about child care in our communities, or would like more information on becoming a licensed child care provider, please contact Maureen Hams (Tri-Valley Community Services Program Director) at 1-800-543-7382 or 218-773-5319.

Head Start Success Story – Maria Nelly Martinez

Posted by Mitch on May 18, 2017 9:00 AM in Head Start, Migrant Head Start, Tri-Valley Blog

Maria MartinezMy name is Maria Nelly Martinez. I have been a migrant all my life. I have traveled to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska and Texas. We traveled state to state in search of agriculture work. Being a migrant I had to juggle work and school, in the summer were long days of working in the sun followed by homework packets given to us by summer school teachers. My parents tried their best to give us the best education they could but sometimes they needed our help working in the fields. All of my childhood was spent juggling work with my education. Freshman year my parent and I made the decision that I would drop out of school because I felt I needed to help my parents more. At such young age it was so hard to juggle work and my education. Jumping from state to state meant jumping from school to school. It wasn’t a problem when I was younger because I was allowed to catchup with homework when I couldn’t be present in school, but once I got to my freshman year I needed to be present in school so my grades would count and being a migrant that was not possible. After dropping out as a freshman I dedicated my extra time to working towards my GED. I am proud to say that after only three and a half short but difficult months I was able to obtain it. This for me was an extremely proud moment because the lack of education presented difficulties in me learning the material I needed to complete my GED. Three years down the road I met the love of my life and we decided to get married. My husband was able to obtain work in a place that would allow for us to put our migrating years behind us and plant roots for our family. His employment took him away from what mattered most his family. This brought forth more struggles and hardships than anticipated so in 2015 as a family we decided that we would yet again pack up our belongings and migrate with the hopes of finding work that would allow us to make a living but keep our family united. We found work harvesting potatoes and sugar beets. In 2016 we came back to North Dakota. When I first arrived I was referred to Tri- Valley by the local MET program in Grafton. I put in my application for work as an RFA because I wanted to be able to help migrant families get much needed help and make a difference in their children, just like someone did when they told my parents about the program that I went to in Cavalier , ND. Summer school as I called it was such a great experience for me, not only did it give my parents the peace of mind knowing that I would be safe when they were working but I was able to make friends and learn from my teachers. This is now my 2nd season working for Tri- Valley and I love it, I am making a difference in the lives of migrant families and their children. I am currently working on completing the family service credential so that I can better serve the families in our program. I plan to further my education in the social service field. This will not only allow me to better myself professionally, it will also make me grow as a person so that I can better provide for my family. Thanks to Tri-Valley for the training and experience, they have given me up until now.

Friday, May 12, 2017, is Provider Appreciation Day!

Posted by Mitch on May 12, 2017 8:37 AM in Uncategorized

2017 Provider Appreciation GraphicIt is a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere. A very big thank you to our Tri-Valley co-workers who provide care and education for children!

Every day, child care providers care for our children providing nurturing, safe, healthy, learning experiences.  The children, parents and employers depend on child care providers.  May 12th is the day to recognize the hard work and dedication of providers, and to acknowledge their contributions to their community. “Child care providers are central to a quality child care system and Provider Appreciation Day is the time to tell providers everywhere we recognize and value their important work,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America, the host organization of Provider Appreciation Day.

“It takes a special person to work in the child care field and these individuals are often unrecognized.   Providing quality child care is hard work.   Quality providers are committed to helping children learn and grow,” says Maureen Hams of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Child Care Aware of MN.  “This day offers an opportunity for parents to show their child care providers how much they are appreciated.”

Thank you providers!!!


Posted by Mitch on May 9, 2017 12:43 PM in Uncategorized

2017 Community Action Month Melbye with Jason Carlson(story and photo courtesy of KROX-AM)

Two Mayoral Proclamations were at the top of the agenda at the Crookston City Council meeting on Monday night. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council Director, Jason Carlson, was on hand as Mayor Wayne Melbye proclaimed May 2017 as “Community Action Month.”  Carlson commented, “What we have going on here in Crookston is unique – it doesn’t happen everywhere.” Melbye proclaimed May 7-13, 2017 as “RiverView Health Week.” On hand to accept the proclamation were CEO Carrie Michalski, CFO Betty Arvidson, and Vice President of Ancillary Services, Lance Norman. Michalski commented that RiverView will continue their quest to “keep the Crookston community healthy.

The Council also heard the first reading of regulation modifications recently made to the City’s sign ordinance. Discussion on the proposed changes will take place at the Council’s May 22 meeting.

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