Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation's (SMIF) AmeriCorps LEAP (Learning Early Achieves Potential) Initiative is accepting placement site applications from PreK education providers in its 20-county region. AmeriCorps LEAP members serve in early childhood education settings and work with children on social-emotional skill development to prepare southern Minnesota preschoolers for kindergarten.

Thanks to funds provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), 14 local food businesses will get to jump start their company through Feast! Smart Start Initiative. This new program designed by Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with Renewing the Countryside, will give individuals advanced business training over a two-day period starting in April.

Think you need to travel to the Twin Cities for global goods and ethnic food? Think again! This coming Saturday, April 8, Mankato will host a Global Goods Bazaar from 11 am to 5 pm in the Ridgley Building (227 E. Main Street). At this Festival of Nations style event, shoppers can discover the amazing products being produced by local vendors of various ethnicities in southern Minnesota.

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