The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has approved a grant of $180,000 over three years to strengthen efforts to increase health equity in early childhood care and education in northeastern Minnesota. Through its Pathways to Quality Early Care and Education initiative, the Northland Foundation will continue to help licensed child care programs gain, maintain, or increase their Parent Aware rating. This initiative will also increase training for informal family, friend, and neighbor child care providers, strengthen connections between early care and education providers and early elementary teachers, and enhance partnerships to improve service coordination to promote school readiness.
“We are pleased to support the great work of the Northland Foundation, a community partner that is truly making a difference in early childhood health and education. The benefits of this work will last a lifetime, promoting health in adulthood and helping prevent disease,” said Carolyn Link, President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.
The Northland Foundation is one of seven grants made to Minnesota nonprofits working to advance health equity through investments in crucial early years of life. The projects all focus on creating greater access to quality early childhood care and education, helping to set up children for a lifetime of good health. A total of more than $1 million was awarded.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. This investment will help ensure more families with young children have access to quality early care and education opportunities,” stated Lynn Haglin, Northland Foundation’s Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director.
A $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Power Foundation will provide critical funding support for the KIDS PLUS Youth In Philanthropy Program during the 2018-2019 program year. Minnesota Power has been a longstanding partner of the Youth In Philanthropy Program since its inception in 2000.
Youth In Philanthropy is a unique program that engages students in grades 7-12 from communities throughout northeastern Minnesota, as well Superior, Wisconsin, guided by volunteer adult mentors, to make real-life grantmaking decisions. Each year the board awards $25,000 in funding to community, school, and nonprofits to support projects that are developed by young people such as afterschool enrichment experiences, environmental learning, community beautification, and much more.
“Thanks to the Minnesota Power Foundation’s steadfast support, children and youth from all across the region have the opportunity to make a positive difference in their schools and communities,” stated Tony Sertich, President of the Northland Foundation.
The Family Service Collaboratives of St. Louis County has recently approved $30,000 in funding to the Northland Foundation. The award will support trainings focused on social-emotional development through the Foundation's early care and education initiatives.
“This critical funding from the Southern St. Louis County Family Service Collaborative will help to increase the knowledge of professionals who work with young children and their families, including child care providers, early education specialists, public health and mental health providers, social workers, and others,” said Lynn Haglin, Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director at the Northland Foundation.
“Nurturing children's social emotional growth is absolutely key to creating a healthy foundation for life, and we are deeply grateful for the support to further this work,” concluded Haglin.