You are browsing the archive for United Front Blog Archives.
Building Bridges with Career Pathways Courses
By Janet M. Paulovich
Over the past year and a half, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with a national team of educators and employers, along with a design team from Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI) and The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), to develop an innovative online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Readiness course in an open educational format. The course is designed to strengthen “key skills” for workers who are retraining in new STEM Careers, and it is meant to quickly refresh basic skills in math, critical thinking, workplace communication and professional skills. Our team was able to work closely with a number of employer partners to help us design the course modules as realistically as possible. Students taking the course practice dealing with a variety of problems and situations that they will encounter on the job. The STEM Readiness course is currently available on Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative website for anyone to use and would be appropriate for a wide variety of learners, not just those interested in STEM Careers. READ MORE
Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate
Reposted from the National Network to End Domestic Violence Blog
We feel safer when we think domestic violence happens somewhere else to someone else.
In reality, domestic violence occurs in our neighborhoods and in our families. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic status. Abusers control and terrorize our daughters, bosses, sisters, friends, and even our sons – who are most often abused by their male partners and sometimes their female partners. While I work to end domestic violence for so many reasons and in honor of so many people, rarely a day goes by when I don’t connect the work I do to the life and experiences of my aunt; a highly respected doctor and beloved mother. READ MORE
American Student Learns Valuable Lessons
by MaryBeth Zins
As the summer draws to a close and I prepare to return to finish my last year of undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, I reflect on a great opportunity that I had this summer as part of a three-week volunteer trip to India. I know not all young people and children around the world are returning to the same circumstances as me – not all schools are created equal, but witnessing first-hand the vast inequalities around the world is eye-opening and enlightening.
During my visit I very quickly learned the first rule of India: there is always more. There is always more room, more time, more people, more food, more prayer. But sadly, for Indian school children, there may not be more school supplies, more seats in the classroom, or more teachers to teach them. Three other female volunteers and I were placed to teach English in Little Angels Public School in Faridabad, 25km south of New Delhi. The 15-minute walk to school from our home stay was an adventure in itself as we sidestepped cows, bicycles, burning piles of trash, stray dogs, and bathing men and children. READ MORE
Thanks to you, we made a huge impact during the second annual United Way Action Day! We’re so grateful to everyone who volunteered downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the teams who raced at Mall of America and those who donated to our Back to School drive.
14 ways YOU made a difference:
- Serving breakfast to 300 people in the early morning hours
- Granting $7,200 to deserving United Way partner agencies
- Joining over 775 volunteers for the largest speed volunteer event at the Mall of America
- Creating 130 blankets to keep kids warm
- Doing 14,000 loads of laundry for families in need with 7,000 laundry kits
- Teaching kids and adults healthy oral care habits with 5,030 dental kits
- Feeding 4,000 kids who can’t afford lunch with snack packs
- Assembling 600 early education kits to make learning fun for 600 pre-K children
- Helping 200 seniors stay active with exercise kits
- Providing kits to help 300 individuals find job search success
- Encouraging activity for kids with 200 fitness kits
- Finding a new way to re-use donated T-shirts by constructing T-shirt bags
- Designing hand-crafted flash cards for students
- Putting together 40 essentials kits for homeless individuals
Or check out Action Day news coverage on:
The nearly 300 children in CPC programs in MN had their last day of school in early June, and are on their way to enjoying summer vacation. The CPC Expansion project has had several achievements and challenges this year. One challenge has been building the CPC culture in schools new to the model. READ MORE
Early Learning Challenge
In May, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius announced the appointment of Melvin Carter III as the new Director of the Office of Early Learning. As director, Carter will oversee a coordinated effort with the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, including overseeing the Race to the Top – Early learning Challenge Grant and resulting state plan. READ MORE
Northside Achievement Zone
Today, about one quarter of children living in our Zone start kindergarten ready to learn—marking the beginning of the achievement gap. In 2012, we hired a NAZ Early Childhood Navigator who specializes in ensuring families get the right resources for their children. NAZ has already used Scholarships funded through the Early Learning Challenge grant to support young children in the Zone in attending three-and four-star Parent Aware rated early childhood centers. READ MORE
Enjoy a Day of Fun, Service & Community
In the greater Twin Cities area, more than 116,000 children live in poverty. These children live in families that are barely able to afford basic needs much less school supplies. The goal of this campaign is to raise donations, both monetary and physical, for much needed school supply items to make a difference in a child’s life by giving them a great start to the school year.
The third annual Action Day Supply Drive & Volunteering activities include putting together snack-packs, laundry and dental kits, plus so much more that will benefit 15 United Way agencies. REGISTER
Can’t make it on Aug. 14, but still want to get involved? Donate now to our school supply drive. Or visit our booth in the Mall of America rotunda Aug. 10-14 to drop off an item to help a child learn. All school supplies will be donated to Project for Pride in Living and Keystone Community Services.
Presented by: Land O’Lakes
Event Sponsors: The Mosaic Company and Wells Fargo
Additional support by: Cobornsdelivers.com, cmoto, Ecolab, Inc., Kellogg Company, LDI, Mall of America, Nemer Fieger and UPS
On the same day that Governor Dayton signed the E-12 education bill into law, Greater Twin Cities United Way, in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, is excited to announce the launch of LearnTogetherMN.org.
The new site, hosted here on United Front, will allow Minnesota’s education community to track progress on local initiatives that receive federal funding, as well as access information and resources. By sharing our grants partners’ work, our hope is that lessons learned and resources created will be put to use by other programs throughout our community, for the immediate benefit of children and families.
The U.S. Department of Education has invested $90 million dollars to support these grants:
- State of Minnesota’s Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge
- Human Capital Research Collaborative’s Investing in Innovation (i3)
- Northside Achievement Zone’s Promise Neighborhood
This investment, along with the state’s new allocation of $20 million in the E-12 bill for the statewide expansion of Early Learning Scholarships, will ensure that children in our community have the opportunity for a brighter future.
If you’d like to get quarterly grant progress updates from LearnTogetherMN, sign up here.
According to data collected on the cost of Minnesota education, the average student loan debt is $29,793 – the third highest average debt in the country, especially when 58% of the open jobs in Minnesota don’t require any education beyond high school. So, what do you think?
Is college really worth the expense?
LOGIN NOW and Comment
Talking About Barriers to Employment, a conversation exploring the various employment obstacles facing Minnesota’s would-be job seekers.
United Front is pleased to announce the launch of a new online caregiving community, CaregivingNOW, A Network on the Web for MN Caregivers. Meet some of the CaregivingNOW members who are sharing their stories and caregiving journies and learn more about the community here. If you know someone who would be interested in joining, download this CaregivingNOW flyer or email email@example.com.