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PRESS RELEASE: Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives Receives Major Grant Awards

For Immediate Release

September 19, 2006

SUMMARY: The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives, a coalition of 45 schools and agencies in northwestern Minnesota, is proud to announce receipt of two major grant awards.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
BRENDA ANDERSON, NORTHWESTERN MENTAL HEALTH CENTER – 218-281-3940
DAWN GANJE, FACILITATOR, NW MN COUNCIL OF COLLABORATIVES – 218-784-3790
COLLEEN MACRAE, TECHNICAL ADVISOR, NW MN COUNCIL OF COLLABORATIVES – 218-281-3940

The Emergency Response Crisis Management (ERMC) grant for $399,627 is an 18-month grant designed to improve the ability to develop and sustain a full network of prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities inclusive of multiple hazards in schools and communities.  Twenty school districts, special education districts, public health agencies, mental health agencies, law enforcement, homeland security, county emergency operations, county social services and Community Action Programs in 5 counties in northwestern Minnesota will develop plans for emergency preparedness.  The Stephen-Argyle School District is the fiscal host on behalf of the grant partners.

The "Our Children Succeed Initiative" was awarded a 6-year $7.5 million grant to develop a comprehensive spectrum of mental health and other necessary services which are organized into a coordinated network to meet the multiple and changing needs of children and their families.  This grant incorporates the participation of the full membership of the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives.  Polk County is the fiscal host for the grant, providing support for activities slated for 6 counties – Kittson, Norman, Mahnomen, Marshall, Polk and Red Lake – in northwestern Minnesota.  The Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston is the programmatic host for the grant.

The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives is a coalition of 45 partners in 5 counties in northwest Minnesota – Kittson, Norman, Marshall, Polk and Red Lake.  The affiliation began with discussions in late 2000.  The initial premise was to hire a regional grant writer. That premise expanded during the formative stages to define the primary goal of the project - to improve the ability of the partner agencies to prevent the emergence of, or reduce the impact of problems experienced by children and families. 

The Council began by developing Principles for Cooperation that all member agencies abide by.  These principles demonstrate a high level of trust and cooperation between all partners.  The second step was to address the need for a strong, accessible communication system.  A grant from the Northwest Minnesota Foundation helped to launch the website of the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives. The site, www.councilofcollaboratives.org boasts 3,700 unique users per month.  The public portion of the site includes articles and links to sites for information addressing school safety to children's mental health to disaster relief/preparedness to agriculture.  The site has become so popular, that a second site, www.nwmnconnections.org was launched.  Both sites offer a weekly news digest which automatically sends weekly updates related to new information posted on the site.

The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives has continued to find new ways to provide services to children and families living in northwest Minnesota.  At a time when funding from state and federal government has declined, the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives has secured over $15.5 million in new or expanded services through its collaborative efforts.  Since 2000, the Council of Collaboratives has secured 2 three-year Safe Schools grants, each for $3 million, a three-year Carol M. White Physical Education grant for $1.5 million, the Emergency Response and Crisis Management grant for $400,000 and the six-year, "Our Children Succeed Initiative" for $7.5 million.

"We are proud of the efforts we have made to provide new and expanded services for children and families living in northwest Minnesota.  The collaborative efforts are truly unique and provide an opportunity to serve the whole child," stated Al Foley, Superintendent of the Red Lake Falls Public Schools and Chairman of the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives Governing Board.  "As a partner agency who serves youth, I look forward to the continued success that collaboration brings."

The mission of the Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives is a coalition of public and private agencies working together to improve the lives of children and families in northwest Minnesota. The Council has sustained a unique network of 45 agencies, coordinated with the work of local county Family Service/Children's Mental Health Collaboratives. Those agencies include:

Area Special Education Cooperative, Inter-County Community Council, Kittson County, Kittson County Social Services, Marshall County, Marshall County Corrections, Marshall County Social Services, Norman County Social Services, Norman-Mahnomen Public Health, North Valley Health, Northwest Community Action Agency, Northwestern Mental Health Agency, Northwest Regional Inter-District Council, Polk County, Polk County Social Services, Polk County Sheriff, Polk County Public Health, Red Lake County Social Services, Kittson County Central School District, Warren Alvarado School District, Norman County East School District, Tri-County Public Schools, Norman County West Public Schools, Greenbush Public Schools, Stephen-Argyle Public Schools, Ada-Borup Schools, Lancaster Public Schools, Marshall County Central Public Schools, Grygla Public Schools, Climax Public Schools,  Crookston Public Schools, Fertile-Beltrami Public Schools, Fisher Public Schools, Fosston Public Schools, Oklee Public Schools, Plummer Public Schools, Red Lake Falls Public Schools, Win-E-Mac Public Schools, Tri-County Community Corrections, Tri-Valley Opportunity Councils, Kittson County Collaborative, Children's Collaborative Serving Norman County Families, Marshall County Collaborative, Polk County Collaborative, Red Lake County Children's Initiative and Family Service Collaborative.

The Northwest Minnesota Council of Collaboratives has become a state and national model demonstrating successful collaboration and service integration and delivery.

 

Council of Collaboratives | P.O. Box 603 | Crookston, MN 56716 | (218) 281-3940 | Fax (218) 281-6261