Home & Family
A child’s parent or primary caregiver is their first and foremost educator. At Way to Grow, our job is to support this role as families learn and grow together. Our holistic program provides regular home visits with a certified Family Educator. We work culture to culture, language to language to ensure that all families in our community can be supported in a way that celebrates their family and helps them thrive. Together we create a culture of learning at home.
Whether it is helping parents achieve their personal goals or modeling ways to learn while playing at home, our highly-trained and experienced Family Educators customize every visit to meet the needs of the family. To help stabilize families, Family Educators provide them access to resources such as housing, employment, education, health services, and whatever else they may need.
We also know that being a parent can feel isolating and we all do better when we are part of a supportive community. That’s why we provide monthly parent groups to bring families together to learn, play, and support one another. We especially work to support our youngest parents through our Dream Tracks Teen Parenting program, specially designed for parents ages 15–22.
We know that early education is a game changer for children and their families. By starting early, we set children up for a lifetime of success. Through regular home visits and personalized support, we work with parents as they navigate their lives as caregivers, and help the entire family become lifelong learners.
Way to Grow Family Educators partner with families to teach them about every stage of their child’s development and provide tools to support learning at home. Using our specialized curriculum, we provide education during all three trimesters and review the stages of prenatal development so parents know what to expect and feel empowered in their journey. During home visits, Family Educators model techniques for playing and learning, and parents can ask questions and receive personalized support. This individual support is crucial for new and experienced parents alike. When families better understand pregnancy, birth, and the ways a child will change their lives, they are providing their child with the strongest start possible.
Great By Eight: Early Education
We know that early education is a game changer for both children and their families. By starting early, we set children up for a lifetime of success. We also understand that raising a family is hard work. Through regular home visits and personalized support, we we are there for parents as they navigate their lives as caregivers and help the entire family become lifelong learners.
Way to Grow Family Educators partner with families to teach them about every stage of their child’s development and the ways their growth can be supported at home. During home visits, Family Educators model techniques for playing and learning, and parents can ask questions and get personalized support.
When it comes time to start thinking about pre-K and Kindergarten, our Family Educators are there to help. They walk parents through the enrollment and selection process of high-quality early learning programs and guide families through the child screening process. We are there every step of the way to make sure families feel empowered to make the best choices for their children.
Great By Eight: Elementary Education
When kids go off to school, they are introduced to a whole new world of education and experiences. It can also mean more questions, complicated systems, and major changes at home. Our elementary program works with families with children ages 5–8 (or through third grade) to help guide them through the this new stage of family life.
Even if a child is ready for Kindergarten, we can’t let them fall behind once they are in school. Our Family Educators help families understand their options and feel empowered during the school selection process. They also act as a bridge, connecting parents with teachers and administrators to build a network of support for each child. At home, we help families set up schedules and set expectations, and we make sure students have what they need to learn and grow. As part of our work with this age, we also provide academic support for children in all areas of schooling including literacy and STEM.
Our My Voice Matters initiative is another important way for families to be engaged in their child’s education. Throughout the year, Way to Grow families have the opportunity to participate in parent advocacy trainings and events including meeting local leaders and making their voices heard at the school, city, and state levels.
Health & Wellness
A strong start happens in a healthy home. Through our Growing Strong program, we work with families in the home, teaching parents about the importance of whole-family health, child safety, and healthy eating. Customized for each family, our curriculum incorporates all the essentials for family wellness including prenatal care, nutrition, home safety checks, and healthy habits. Another important part of our work is helping families navigate the healthcare system and assisting getting their children immunized, and to well-child checkups to ensure all children are healthy and prepared to learn.
To ensure all families have access to medical providers, we parter with numerous community organizations to find close, affordable healthcare. When necessary, our staff readily refers families to health, mental health, and dental care partners. Outside the home, we partner with local agencies to provide an annual Health and Nutrition Fair, as well as several cooking and nutrition courses for families on a budget. Throughout the year, we also work to ensure families have car seats and host car seat training courses. Finally, as we know that safe sleep is a critical component for new parents, our highly-trained Family Educators instruct parents on safe sleep practices.
Way to Grow operates a high-quality, center-based preschool, Preschool Pals, for enrolled families with children ages 3–5. Preschool Pals is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has been awarded a four-star rating by Minnesota Parent Aware. Programming is centered around the interest of the child and the developmentally appropriate practices of our highly effective preschool staff. Unique from other early learning programs, our preschool offers monthly parent-child classes and field trips. Preschool Pals fosters the positive relationship between family and school, and provides a fun learning environment for families in Minneapolis.
Parental involvement is a vital part of our preschool programming. Parent-child classes are a regular and required part of the curriculum. Not only are they fun and educational, they allow parents to meet one another and develop a community all their own.
The families of all children enrolled in Preschool Pals are also enrolled in our Great By Eight programming. This means their families receive regular home visits, they are encouraged to participate in family events and parent groups, and they are supported by a Family Educator.