Community Engagement

Program pioneers.

Parent Aware is an independent rating system to help parents select high-quality child care and early education.

Working in partnership with a number of other public and private organizations, Think Small helped develop and implement the three-year pilot for Parent Aware.


Community Engagement

Celebrate Successful Communities

Around Minnesota, we are seeing innovative collaborations and initiatives working to increase the number of children in their community who start school ready to succeed.

Here are just a few examples:

Invest Early, Grand Rapids, MN

Invest Early started in 2005 with the mission:  "To deliver comprehensive wrap-around services to children and their families while evaluating the long term impact of the investment."

INVEST EARLY is a collaborative between four Itasca area school districts, KOOTASCA Head Start, Itasca County Human Services/Public Health, Itasca County Family YMCA, Itasca Community College and Bemidji State University. The Blandin Foundation has made a financial commitment to support this innovative, promising Early Childhood initiative.

White Earth Early Childhood Program, White Earth, MN

The White Earth Early Childhood Program works to provide high-quality, culturally based child development support, services, outreach and advocacy for children, families, child care providers and community on or near the White Earth Reservation to help our children succeed.

Northside Achievement Zone, Minneapolis, MN

The NAZ Promise Neighborhood is a collaboration of over 50 organizations and schools who work with children and families in a geographic area, or "Zone" of North Minneapolis to build a culture of achievement so that all youth graduate college ready. Families and children move through a "cradle to career" pipeline that provides comprehensive support from pre-natal through age 18, through three pillars of impact:

  • Pillar 1: Family Engagement and Opportunity Alignment
  • Pillar 2: Education Pipeline
  • Pillar 3: Whole-Family Wrap Around Support

Promise Neighborhood, St Paul, MN

The Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood is an effort to ensure all children succeed in school by engaging residents to develop cradle-to-career support. The Promise Neighborhood encompasses a 250-block area in the Summit-University and Frogtown neighborhoods in Saint Paul.