Greater Twin Cities United Way

Rallying for Minnesota’s Children – Advocacy for Children Day 2017

Rallying for Minnesota’s Children – Advocacy for Children Day 2017 960 638 Ivy Marsnik

Advocacy for Children Day celebrates early learning and gives parents, teachers, early care and education professionals, and communities from across the state an opportunity to stand up and be a voice for children. Led by the MinneMinds coalition, which Way to Grow is actively involved in, our staff and several families we serve are gathering at the capitol in support of equitable, child-centered, parent-directed, mixed delivery approaches to state policies affecting families and children. The 2017 policy agenda MinneMinds leads includes:

Ensuring Quality Care Through Parent Aware
  • Fully fund Parent Aware to continue the expansion of high‐quality early learning programs throughout Minnesota.
  • Support existing rated providers and grow from 3,000 programs to 4,400.
  • Ongoing support for rated providers and implementation of improvement strategies, with a priority on stronger recognition and incorporation of cultural competency.
Increasing Access to Quality Early Learning Through Scholarships
  • Increase funding and access of State Early Learning Scholarships for in need children birth‐to five to attend high quality early childhood development programs (Prioritize children with highest needs, including those facing homelessness and in foster care).
  • Complete efforts to fully‐fund scholarships for low‐income 3‐ and 4‐year‐olds to serve 7,000 new, at risk preschoolers.
  • Add funding for high priority groups for 0 to 2‐year‐olds (siblings, homeless, foster care, child protection) to serve 3,400 new, at risk babies and toddlers.
Assisting More Families In Need Through Home Visiting Programs
  • Increase access and funding for targeted home visiting programs to include 7,000 children in high poverty.
  • Provide community‐led solutions to high‐risk families to help stabilize them and give them a strong start.

What You Can Do

Attend the Rally

Join over 500 fellow early learning advocates as we fill the rotunda at the Minnesota State Capitol on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Activities for children begin at 9 am with the rally beginning at 9:30 am. From 11 am – 4 pm legislators will be available for visits.

Register Here

Submit a Letter and Children’s Art

Whether or not you are able to attend the rally, we encourage you to submit a letter to your senators and representatives and tell them why our state’s youngest learners matter to you. Greater Twin Cities United Way  will collect children’s artwork to accompany the letters submitted.

Mail your artwork to:
Lulete Mola
Greater Twin Cities United Way
404 S 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Download Letter Template

Meet with Legislators

Meeting with legislators can be easier than you think. Follow these simple steps:
1) Find out who your legislators are
2) Set up a time to meet
3) Identify your main message and a personal story supporting that message
4) Follow these tips for holding a successful meeting

Living United – Action Day 2015 provides 500 backpacks for Way to Grow children

Living United – Action Day 2015 provides 500 backpacks for Way to Grow children 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

Throughout the Twin Cities, volunteers gathered over lunch hour, taking part in the fifth annual Greater Twin Cities United Way Action Day with the goal of helping students (pre-K to college-bound) get on the right track to school success. Volunteers – including Way to Grow families and staff – joined in the fun, assembling back-to-school kits for children in need.

The event concluded with R.T. Rybak, Executive Director of Generation Next, sharing comments with the group. R.T. emphasized the importance of supporting our children in school, cheering them on every step of the way. With a huge round of applause, the crowd joined in an encouraging send off of the future leaders of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Throughout 2015, Greater Twin Cities United Way is celebrating 100 years of making a positive impact in the Twin Cities by setting a community goal of activating 100,000 volunteers in 2015. Visit their page for more ways you can be part of the #Next100.

Way to Grow would like to send a special thanks to SPS Commerce and Accenture for hosting backpack and school supply drives.

And, be sure to check out our fun event photos here!

 

Hey Twins Fans!

Hey Twins Fans! 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

Ever dreamed of throwing out the first pitch at a Twins game? Here’s your chance!

United Way is fielding an all-star team of 100,000 volunteers this year to strike out poverty in this community. Get off the bench and volunteer!

Sign up online between July 7-16 and you could win the chance to throw out the first pitch at the Twins-Yankees game on Sunday, July 26, as well as tickets for the game for you and three of your devoted fans.

Other great prizes for game day are a set of four seats in the Thomson Reuters Champions Club and 10 pair of tickets for other seats. There will be tons of fun Twins prize gear at the game for those who commit to volunteering on their mobile devices. There are a lot of winners in this game!

Volunteering through United Way is a winning experience, too. It’s fun, a great way to make personal and professional connections, and it increases your visibility and that of your organization. You can pick the projects that appeal to you and volunteering always hits a home run for our community.

Take a step toward the pitcher’s mound at Target Field: Commit to volunteering gtcuw.org/twins today!

Social Innovation Fund

Social Innovation Fund 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

Last year, Twin Cities Strive in partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way rolled out their Social Innovation Fund grant, dedicated to  focus on improving kindergarten readiness, 3rd-grade reading proficiency, 9th-grade readiness for upper-level math, four-year high school graduation, and post-secondary enrollment among low-income students in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area.

Twin Cities Strive in partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way has begun to transform the landscape of strategies aimed at improving educational outcomes for low-income Twin Cities children and youth at risk for academic failure through their local STRIVE Alliance collective impact initiative. With their Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant they have developed a strong portfolio of replicable, evidence-based programs designed to improve kindergarten readiness, third grade reading proficiency, ninth grade readiness for upper-level math, four-year graduation rates, and college enrollment rates for between 1,500 and 2,000 low-income youth each year.

Way to Grow has been honored to be included as one of six 2013 grantees committed to closing the achievement gap throughout the Twin Cities.  We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have expanded our reach to over 150 additional low-income families with children ages 3 to grade 3!  We’ll receive our program evaluation this fall, where we expect to see improved school readiness and increased academic proficiency of participating children.

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