Weather Forecast


Wadena County Early Childhood Coalition is established

The Wadena County Early Childhood Coalition held its first training session with members representing various aspects of the county including early childhood education, faith community, parents, K-12 educators, school administrators, elected officials, non-profits, health care and business. The coalition has been made possible through a $10,000 grant from the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls.

As part of the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative, its mission is to ensure that all children have the best possible start to a healthy life of learning, achieving and succeeding. The coalition will help build relationships in the community, increase public awareness about issues in relation to early childhood, as well as strengthen local infrastructures to support young children and their families.

Leanne Ries has been hired to serve as coordinator of the Coalition. Ries is also an ECFE parent educator at Wadena-Deer Creek schools.

"I am excited about being part of the coalition," Ries said. "It is a wonderful opportunity for Wadena County."

The first step in the process of determining priorities is through a Community Perception Survey. The Coalition is asking as many Wadena County residents as possible to complete the survey to get a good overview of what people perceive to be in place or needed in relation to early childhood issues.

Members of the coalition will participate in another training event on Feb. 18 at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls. If you are interested in becoming a member of the coalition, contact Ries at (218) 632-5903 or by e-mail at