Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Awards $40,000 in Grants to Home Visitation Programs

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is pleased to announce that four programs in the 20-county region have received awards through its annual granting process for Home Visitation services. A total of $40,000 was awarded to enhance or expand existing Home Visitation Programs.

SMIF's Home Visiting Grant Program is designed to support children's social-emotional readiness. Grants for Home Visiting programs are available through SMIF's Youth Trust Fund, an endowed fund started in 1998 by Founding Cornerstone contributors: IBM Corporation, Mayo Clinic, Red Wing Shoe Company, and Wells Fargo Bank.

Through home visiting programs, families that are expecting a child or have an infant voluntarily meet with a trained professional. The Home Visitor provides information about the child's development, parenting support, and connects families to community resources. Measurable results of effective home visitation programs may include increased immunization rates, increased enrollment in early learning classes and fewer incidences of abuse and neglect.

The following home visiting program received $10,000 grant awards:
Freeborn County Public Health-Healthy Families
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Early Childhood Family Education
Watonwan County Human Services/Public Health
Youth First/Fairmont Early Childhood Initiative

"We want to make certain all children enter school fully encouraged, prepared, and supported for learning success," notes Tim Penny, SMIF President/CEO. "A key ingredient of that goal is making certain children and their families are safe, healthy, and connected to community resources. One way to support families and meet the crucial needs of young children is through home visitation."

As part of its strategy to invest in economic growth here in southern Minnesota, SMIF has supported early childhood efforts to make certain all children enter school fully encouraged, prepared, and supported for learning success. Over the past eight years, SMIF has invested more than $1.2 million annually for early childhood development initiatives. For more information about SMIF's early childhood programs, contact Teri Steckelberg at or 507-455-3215.

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