Currently, our Foundation supports 25 Early Childhood Coalitions (ECI). Each community commits to three stages of involvement: community visioning, project implementation, and sustainable operation. The ECI receives coalition support and project implementation grants. ECI communities are selected through an invitation-only application process. Interested communities may contact Teri Steckelberg, Early Childhood Director, at 507-455-3215 or


New Prague Area ECI

Healthy families with active children is an area that is heavily focused on in all of SMIF's ECIs. The New Prague Area ECI is making a difference and helping families stay active in one of the hardest seasons to do so: Winter. By having an open gym time every Saturday, families can come together to have fun and stay active when the Southern MN weather makes it hard to play outside. With the help of a local church's gym space and funding to buy gym equipment, the New Prague ECI is making leaps and bounds to make sure their area's families have a safe place to stay active.

SMIF-Supported Early Childhood Initiative Communities

Blue Earth Area
Brown County
Fairmont Area
Fillmore County
Greater Mankato Area
Houston County
Lake Crystal
Martin County
New Prague
Red Wing
Saint Peter
St. Charles Area
Waseca County
Waterville Elysian Morristown
Watonwan County
Thrive Initiative (mental health focus): Freeborn County



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