Way to Grow
Parents as Teachers

Way to Grow Joins Parents as Teachers (PaT) Network

Always striving to improve our services and the Minneapolis community, Way to Grow’s Family Educators have participated in a week-long training, and we have now become a part of the Parents as Teachers (PaT) network as an affiliate. PaT promotes optimal early development, learning, and health of young children by engaging and supporting their parents […]

Giving Parents a Voice

On September 26, Way to Grow launched the first in a series of parent engagement workshops designed to equip parents with the necessary resources and information to advocate for their children’s education and ultimately impact long-term educational outcomes.  My Voice Matters, an innovative initiative developed in collaboration with several of our community partners, will provide […]

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Way to Grow announces its participation in the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program

MINNEAPOLIS—July 26, 2017—Way to Grow, the Twin Cities’ preeminent leader for early childhood and K-3rd grade education has announced today that it is participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and has begun to serve meals at no separate charge to children enrolled at Way to Grow Preschool Pals (Center for Families), […]

“We believe fostering a child’s learning beginning at birth increases that child’s chance to succeed in school and life.” – Carolyn Smallwood

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Mayor Hodges Visits Way to Grow as City Launches Talking is Teaching Initiative

Last week, Way to Grow teamed up with Mayor Betsy Hodges and TPT to launch and promote the City’s “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” campaign. The Talking is Teaching campaign is the first initiative to come out of the Mayor’s Cradle to K cabinet, formed in 2014. Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director of Way to Grow […]

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Parent Education – Our Message to Parents

Way to Grow Partners with Local Newspaper in Launching Parent Education Section Way to Grow is happy to announce our partnership with the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. As a contributing partner to the new parent education section, Message to Parents, we will focus on the most critical issues affecting the communities we serve. In order for parents to fulfill […]

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Education – Where the Candidates Stand

With the primary election in full swing, we’ve heard a lot of talk from the candidates on other pressing issues, but what are their views on education? No matter who you support, or which party you belong to, education affects the prosperity of us all as individuals, as communities, and as a nation. Here’s where […]

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ESSA – Three Things to Know

Eight years after No Child Left Behind (NCLB) went into effect, congress has passed a revision to the bill to allow states to reclaim control over much of their education policies. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law on December 10, will take full effect at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. […]

Minneapolis Mayor and Cabinet Release Cradle to K Plan

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and her Cradle to K Cabinet released a final report detailing a plan to eliminate disparities for children in Minneapolis from birth to three years old.

Hodges campaigned on her Cradle to K idea to close what she saw as a public health epidemic of children unprepared for kindergarten.

“It’s a big day for a mayor who had an idea, saw it come to fruition with the cabinet and now we have these ideas and can move into implementation,” said Hodges. “But really it’s a big day for Minneapolis, big day for the kids and the families in the city of Minneapolis because we have an even better idea of how we can move forward to make sure our children thrive.”

Hodges and her cabinet met with over 200 community members in March and received considerable feedback on how to implement the plan. The nearly 50-page report outlines three main goals.

First, to make sure every child has a healthy start, by boosting home visits, early childhood screenings, and mental health services. Secondly, after public feedback, Cradle to K will make sure safe and stable housing is another top priority. Last, the group will work to bring more access to high-quality childcare. All the goals are supported by current research and prevailing best practices, along with policy and legislative recommendations to make the strategies reality.

“The beautiful thing about this report it acknowledges that children don’t come in pieces and that we need to ensure that family systems are included when we talk about outcomes for children,” said Peggy Flanagan, Cradle to K Co-Chair and Children’s Defense Fund Executive Director.

Carolyn Smallwood, Cradle to K Co-Chair and Way to Grow Executive Director spoke about the efforts to reach out to family networks.

“Family, friends and neighbors are cornerstones of our services in Minneapolis and that’s where the majority of our children are being cared for so the city has to come up with a strategy that would align those two,” said Smallwood.

Outreach will extend to pregnant women and families with young children as Cradle to K works to leverage existing services of Way to Grow, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics, Generation Next, among other organizations.

“That access and those resources, and mostly the need for those additional resources are not determined by income, by race and are not determined by zip code,” said Hodges.

Hodges stressed the city is at a critical juncture with the disparities young children face, pointing out 80 percent of brain development occurs by three years old.

The recommendations in the Cradle to K report will be tracked beginning in 2016.

This post by Lindsey Seavert originally appeared on KARE 11.

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Cradle to K Cabinet Releases Final Plan to Address Early Learning Disparities in Minneapolis

Mayor Hodges and the Cradle to K Cabinet released the final Cradle to K report outlining policy, legislative and collaborative recommendations for 2015 and beyond. “As much as possible, these recommendations are based on research and the prevailing best practices in the field and in our community.  We want to focus on what works.” -Mayor […]