Way to Grow offers one of the preeminent early learning programs in the Twin Cities, focusing on serving children during the most important stages of life — from prenatal to third-grade (or age 8). Urban Ventures seeks to “break the cycle of generational poverty” in south Minneapolis by offering programs to children, youth, and families that are focused on narrowing the achievement gap.
For over 20 years, both non-profit organizations have been holistically serving families in Minneapolis.
In January 2014, Way to Grow will open a parent-child program for preschool-aged children and their families, called PALS (Parent-Child Activities Lead to School Readiness), on the campus of Urban Ventures. Because Urban Ventures does not currently offer early childhood education, this partnership will “close a gap” in Urban Ventures’ programming and allow Way to Grow to extend a continuum of services to children ages 3 to 18 and their parents.
The partnership is the first collaboration between two organizations that have long admired each other’s work. “It is exciting to see two well-respected non-profits collaborate to leverage their respective resources and expertise in a new way,” said Mary Jane Melendez, Associate Director of the General Mills Foundation.
“To serve more families, it’s imperative that we develop strong community partnerships”, said Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director of Way to Grow. “We are so pleased to have the support of Urban Ventures and the Redleaf Foundation in launching this new program.”
Tim Clark, CEO of Urban Ventures, adds, “As both our organizations strive to serve families holistically, collaborations such as these are not just important; they are vital. By serving children during these critical early years, Way to Grow and Urban Ventures will lay the groundwork for success in school and life — ultimately helping to break the cycle of generational poverty in the city and create an educated work force.”