Way to Grow

“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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Staff Voices: Representing Native American Identity

At the age of 16, I ran away from the city to move to the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. I always loved it up there. As children, we’d go every summer, and just about every weekend in between, to spend our days canoeing, ricing, and berry picking at my grandfather’s. We’d visit with […]

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2014 In Review

In 2014, we: Had 88% of all Way to Grow preschoolers pass kindergarten readiness assessments for the second year in a row. Opened our second preschool in South Minneapolis (Preschool P.A.L.S) at Urban Ventures, with a focus on educating both preschoolers and parents. Celebrated serving our first cohort of third graders completing our Great by […]

Mayor Hodges, Cradle to K Cabinet Announce Cabinet Will Issue Report with 2015 Recommendations

October 10, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Mayor Betsy Hodges announced Thursday that her Cradle to K Cabinet is working on a year-end report which will outline policy, legislative, and collaboration recommendations for 2015. The Cabinet has been meeting since spring, when Mayor Hodges convened the full first meeting of the cabinet. “The members of my Cradle […]

The support of the General Mills Foundation has impacted over 66,000 Way to Grow children and parents (21,517 families) since our launch 25 years ago. Families that may otherwise have been forgotten have received resources and the tools for a healthy start in school and life.

A Very Special Delivery

Yesterday, we received a very special delivery: a collection of bilingual board books in Spanish and Somali! The books were purchased with funds raised through our yearly Santa Claus appearance at Magers and Quinn Booksellers in Uptown, Minneapolis. Pictured above: Gary Mazzone, ‎Outreach & Sales Director at Magers and Quinn Booksellers; Elizabeth Fields; Jenny Donovan; Carolyn […]

Talking to Your Baby Early and Often

A recent Associated Press article highlights the importance of the work that our Family Educators have been doing for years. During home visits, Way to Grow’s Family Educators work to encourage our parents to talk to their children (regardless of their age) throughout the day. This exposure to words and conversations has a tremendous impact […]

Student of the Month!

We’re excited to share this incredible Way to Grow success story! This is Family Educator Collette Fredrickson reporting: “On Monday morning, Osemwivie, kindergarten student and Way to Grow participant, was named Student of the Month at her school! Last August, Osemwivie was unable to read a single word and refused to even try out of fear of failing. […]

Beyond School Hours

Next week, Way to Grow’s Executive Director, Carolyn Smallwood, and Director of Early Education, Carrie Zelin Johnson, will travel to Atlanta to give a presentation on our home visiting model to attendees of the Beyond School Hours conference. Now in its 17th year, the Beyond School Hours conference is one of the nation’s largest and […]

A Very Special Visitor

This week, we had a surprise visit from Beverly Propes. Ms. Propes was a member of the team at the Greater Twin Cities United Way that was instrumental in helping launch Way to Grow 25 years ago. A licensed school nurse, she is now a wellness consultant with Minneapolis Public Schools and a member of […]