Area Organizations are Invited to a “Quality of Place” Brainstorming Session at Tri-Valley on Wednesday, September 19

Posted by Mitch on September 15, 2018 9:45 AM in Uncategorized

The University of Minnesota Crookston, Crookston School District, City of Crookston, Crookston Housing and Economic Development Authority (CHEDA), Crookston Youth Foundation, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., Crookston Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau, Polk County Public Health, Polk County Wellness Coalition, Downtown Crookston Development Partnership, Bike Crookston invite area community members and organizations to a “Quality of Place” brainstorming session on Wednesday, September 19. The event will be held at the Tri-Valley Administrative Office at 102. N Broadway in Crookston at 4 pm. The session will focus on recruitment and retention of talent (people).

Urban Land Magazine describes “Quality of Place” as cutting across three key dimensions:

  • What’s there: the combination of the built environment and the natural environment; a stimulating, appealing setting for the pursuit of creative lives.
  • Who’s there: diverse people of all ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations, interacting and providing clear cues that this is a community where anyone can fit in and make a life.
  • What’s going on: the vibrancy of the street life, café culture, arts, and music; the visible presence of people engaging in outdoor activities—altogether a lot of active, exciting, creative goings-ons.

If you have any questions about the brainstorming session, or if your organization would like to be included as part of the invitation as a community partner, please contact Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen at

Tri-Valley – Between 2 programs, almost 9K meals served this summer

Posted by Mitch on August 31, 2018 8:09 AM in Uncategorized

By Mike Christopherson (Crookston Daily Times)

Posted Aug 30, 2018 at 11:08 AM

Tri-Valley program wrapped up Aug. 24 at Community Family Service Center

Between the Summer Food Service Program coordinated by the Crookston School District, which wrapped up Aug. 9, and a similar program put on by Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, which concluded on Aug. 24, almost 9,000 free lunches were served to local youth up to age 18 this summer.

The school district’s program operated at serving sites in Highland Park and Wildwood Park, Mondays through Thursdays, while Tri-Valley’s program was headquartered at the Community Family Service Center/Head Start building, formerly Carman School, and served Monday through Friday.

Jami Lee, child nutrition services manager at Tri-Valley, tells the Times that 4,108 youth meals were served at the CFSC. She hadn’t calculated the number of adult meals served. The 2018 number marks an increase of around 500 meals served by Tri-Valley in the summer of 2017, Lee noted.

The Tri-Valley program implemented the “Farm to Early Care” initiative, she added, meaning that kids had fresh, local produce included in their meals.

“I am a firm believer that working together in the community to outreach and let everyone know of each other’s programs, we can make an impact on the community and reach out to those in need that may not know what services are available to them,” Lee said.

Catch T.H.E. Bus to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion on Friday, August 31

Posted by Mitch on August 22, 2018 11:54 AM in Uncategorized

Tri-Valley Transportation Programs is offering a convenient way to get to the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag, Minn. on Friday, August 31. T.H.E. Bus will be giving rides to the event from Crookston and Thief River Falls for only $10 round trip! T.H.E. Bus will arrive in Rollag at 10 am and depart at 4 pm. To reserve your seat or ask a question, please call 1-800-201-3432 (Option 4).

To learn more about the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion please visit

T.H.E. Bus is a curb to curb service and provides public transportation services to the general public in eight Minnesota counties, Polk, Red Lake, Norman, Marshall, Kittson, Pennington, Mahnomen, and Clearwater. Buses run through these counties on various days with various destinations. Our public transit buses are available with no age limits or income guidelines.

Brekken says the support of many made for a successful summer

Posted by Mitch on August 20, 2018 11:01 AM in Uncategorized

Courtesy of Mike Christopherson (Crookston Daily Times)

Crookston Public Schools’ Eat United Summer Food Service Program wrapped up its season on Aug. 9, and Crookston School District Food Services Director Anna Brekken reports that 4,725 meals were served at two sites, with 4,580 of those being free meals served to youth from birth to age 18 and 145 meals served to paying adults.

“It was fun to see all the new and familiar faces come out to both Highland and Wildwood parks,” Brekken said.

The program ran for 32 days over eight weeks, with one day at Wildwood Park being cancelled due to severe weather.

Many made this summer’s program a success, Brekken said.

She elaborates: “We had a great group of volunteers that helped serve the students daily from varying organizations which include Cathedral School, Crookston Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tri-Valley Foster Grandparent Program, Polk County Public Health, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, American Crystal Sugar, University of Minnesota Extension, Riverview Health, and the United Way of Crookston,” Brekken said. “It’s also important for me to recognize Scott Riopelle and the Parks and Recreation Department for allowing us to use their beautiful parks all summer to run this program. They did a wonderful job keeping the facilities clean and helped with any questions or concerns I had this summer. We could not have ran this program without the support of our volunteers and Crookston Parks and Recreation Department.”

An important component of the program is Tri-Valley Opportunity Council providing free transportation to and from the meal sites on T.H.E. Bus.

“This allowed students to participate in this program from neighborhoods outside of our service sites,” Brekken said.

A grant from the United Way of Crookston covered some of the labor costs this summer, she added.

The Summer Food Service Program is a nationally funded program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to Host Lunch & Learn at Tri-Valley on Tuesday, August 21

Posted by Mitch on August 14, 2018 10:08 AM in Uncategorized

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits will host a lunch and learn at Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. in Crookston (102 N. Broadway) on Tuesday, August 21 from 12 – 1:30 pm. There is no charge for this event and everyone is invited to attend.

This month’s topic is “Innovative Energy Efficiency Strategies and Tactics to use in the Nonprofit Sector” presented by Joel Anastasio from the Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC). Information that will be discussed includes, tactics that nonprofits can use to reduce their energy use, material and products that are available on the market and grants and other opportunities.

If you have any questions about the lunch and learn, please contact Ashley Charwood, Northwest Minnesota regional coordinator, at or 218-407-5202.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) was founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. It is the largest state association of nonprofits in the U.S. Through MCN, nonprofits join together across interest areas to work on issues of common concern to all.

Glencoe Center Holds a Mini Farmers Market for Children

Posted by Mitch on August 13, 2018 2:04 PM in Uncategorized

The Glencoe center held a mini Farmers Market for children on August 10 as part of the Farm to Early Care Initiative in celebration of National Farmer Market Week (August 5-11). Local produce was donated from the Farm of Minnesota located in Hutchinson, MN. The Farm of Minnesota is one of the local farms that will be supplying some of TVOC’s Head Start Centers with fresh, organic, and locally grown produce. Members of Glencoe’s fire department and police department came out to volunteer as well.  Tables were set up in the parking lot with samples of different fruits and vegetables. The children were able to walk around to each table and sample produce such as purple beans, peppers, squash, watermelon, raspberries, tomatoes and so much more.   Jami Lee, Child Nutrition Manager, also read stories about vegetables to the children after they finished with the Farmers Market.  All children were able to bring home a bag of corn on the cob and apples!

Boudreaux Receives Years of Service Recognition from MinnCAP

Posted by Mitch on August 10, 2018 10:25 AM in Uncategorized

Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. staff attended the Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) Annual Training Conference held on July 31 – August 2 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, 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 Cindy Boudreaux (Health Services Manager) was honored for her 25 years of work with Tri-Valley in Crookston.

(A short bio on Cindy from the event): Cindy started her Head Start experience as a Head Start child where she was introduced to new and exciting things she had never seen before. For the past 25 years, Cindy has undeniably impacted countless children and families through her work.

Cindy has been instrumental in providing high quality, innovative health services and health education to children and parents. Her team provides CPR training, educates Pregnant Women and performs Child and Teen check-ups, which generates income for the program. Admirably, while doing this, Cindy is a strong advocate for families and staff, displaying empathy and compassion in everything she does.

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

Tri-Valley’s Hedden and Young Graduate from UCLA’s Head Start Management Fellows Program

Posted by Mitch on August 10, 2018 10:22 AM in Head Start, Migrant Head Start, Uncategorized

Melody Hedden, (Family and Community Services Manager) and Christine Young (Identification and Recruitment Manager) at Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. in Crookston recently completed training at University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Head Start Management Fellows Program. They were two of 38 graduates from UCLA’s intensive leadership program.

“The Head Start Management Fellows Program played a vital role in moving me from a “shouldn’t have been to a look at me now.” I was a Head Start child who transitioned into a Head Start parent and later a Head Start staff person,” states Hedden. “Head Start has been loyal in supporting and encouraging my professional development, which led to applying to the fellowship program. Through the classes at UCLA, I developed and sharpened skills that will be vital in supporting children and families,” Hedden adds.

Throughout the program, participants are taught how to lead effectively and deliver developmental services in changing environments, secure funding, implement programs and network with other Head Start executives across the nation. Since the program’s inception, 1,560 executives have graduated with enhanced management and leadership abilities.

Designed from a strategic planning perspective, the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for Head Start executives to participate in a 12-day, intensive leadership and management development training session at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since 1991, the program has trained over 1,400 Head Start directors and managers who provide comprehensive services to nearly 1 million economically disadvantaged children and their families each day.

Photos L-R: Melody Hedden, Christine Young

The Le Center Community is Invited to Our Open House on August 10th

Posted by Mitch on August 6, 2018 11:55 AM in Uncategorized

(Le Center, Minn.)- One of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.’s Head Start, Child and Family Program’s Administrative Office is excited to now be located in the community of Le Center. For that reason, the Head Start office plans to hold an open house for the Le Center and surrounding communities on Friday, August 10th from 10 am – 7:30 pm. The office is located at 200 East Bowler Street and there will be cookies, refreshments and games.

Tri-Valley has been a part of the Le Center community since 2001. The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start serves Le Sueur County and was in Montgomery from 2001 to 2008 and moved to Elysian where it currently is since 2009. Tri-Valley Opportunity Council is contracted with the Minnesota Department of Education to identify and recruit students ages zero to under 22 that have not graduated and qualify for the Title I Part C Education of Migratory Children. The Head Start Program serves children 6 weeks to 5 years of age and pregnant women. Transportation, health services, education services, and family services are included in the Head Start Program that typically runs from May to November.

Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services are provided to 792 children, pregnant women, and families through center-based options in Minnesota and North Dakota.  The goal of the project is to provide comprehensive services to children and their families building upon successful operating practices already in place. Tri-Valley’s mission is to provide opportunities to improve the quality of life for people and communities.

Tri-Valley operates and manages a wide range of programs that fall under four divisions:

  • Community Services: programs include Child Care Resource & Referral, Community Assistance Programs (LIHEAP, SNAP, etc.).
  • Transportation Programs: provides public transportation services in eight counties in northwest Minnesota.
  • Senior Programs: programs include the Foster Grandparent Program and the Caring Companion Program.
  • Head Start, Child & Family Programs: programs the Region V Head Start and Early Head Start, Region XII Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and Early Head Start, Migrant Child Care Child Care, Title I Part C Recruitment and Identification, Title I Part C Health Services, and the Summer Food Service Program.

Local head start administrator graduates from UCLA management program

Posted by Mitch on July 23, 2018 2:30 PM in Head Start

Courtesy of the Le Center Leader.

Local Head Start executive Christine Young completed some training that will ultimately benefit children and their families from the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc., in Le Center, MN.

Young is one of 38 graduates of the 2018 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Head Start Management Fellows Program. This program is an intensive 12-day leadership and management development program, conducted at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

“Head Start creates the foundation for a wonderful future for children and their families,” said Yasmine Daniel-Vargas, director of the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations.

The program was developed in 1991 to strengthen the management and leadership skills of Head Start administrators and is currently funded by the Head Start National Center on Program and Management and Fiscal Operations.

Throughout the program, participants are taught how to lead effectively and deliver developmental services in changing environments, secure funding, implement programs and network with other Head Start executives across the nation. Since the program’s inception, 1,560 executives have graduated with enhanced management and leadership abilities.

“Graduates of the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program have introduced successful community initiatives that make a lasting impact on the health, nutrition and school readiness of the children they serve,” Daniel-Vargas said. “The commitment of the UCLA Anderson School of Management to teaching excellence is a hallmark of the program’s enduring success.”

Head Start programs provide comprehensive developmental services to low-income preschool children and their families. Head Start also provides a range of medical, dental, mental health and nutrition care as well as parent involvement services.

Program directors supervise nearly 259,000 paid staff and more than one million volunteers nationwide. In 2016-17, Head Start programs served 1,070,000 children ages birth to five and pregnant moms, making a total of more than 35 million since its inception in 1965.


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