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2016 Annual Report

Improving School Success

Kids goofing around

School success is a big part of family life and Extension Family Development continues to work on issues of school disparities in Minnesota, in part, through three grants from United States Department of Agriculture’s Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR).

Partnering for School Success CYFAR Project (PSS CYFAR)

PSS CYFAR centers on a partnership among Extension and Triton (Dodge Center) and Faribault middle schools. The project focuses on two of the major factors related to academic achievement for Latino families — family and school environments — and what each can do apart and together to improve school success. For more information, see Partnering for School Success CYFAR Project (PSS CYFAR).

Fostering Achievement and Connection to Engage Students (FACES)

Family Development is part of a collaboration among schools, after-school programs, youth, families, and communities to provide youth at risk with the skills needed to achieve success in school and in everyday life choices. The Fostering Achievement and Connection to Engage Students (FACES) program helps youth cultivate positive relationships with caring adults and practice problem-solving skills in three areas: academics, health and nutrition, and finances. FACES is a collaboration of the University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Working with Dr. Joyce Serido, Family Social Science, our Extension educators helped shape an important element of the FACES program, a financial literacy education plan. Educators developed the plan with input from each community, including youth from Bolder Options in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester, as well as the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School and the Cloquet Middle School in Cloquet. For more information, see Fostering Achievement and Connection to Engage Students (FACES).

U Connect

Through collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Kentucky State University, and Tennessee State University, U Connect addresses the critical concerns of middle school aged children in historically vulnerable and marginalized populations. Youth meet weekly with a mentor, as part of an existing afterschool program to engage in active learning opportunities based on the curriculum offered by the University of Minnesota's Check & Connect. Youth also receive STEM education and nutrition education weekly. Under the leadership of Dr. Jodi Dworkin, UMN Family Social Science, two cohorts of youth participated in the U Connect program at Kwanzaa 21st Century Learning Academy in Minneapolis and West 7th Community Center — Keystone Community Services in St. Paul. For more information, see U Connect.

Related Resources

Research on School Success — Review the research on factors for school success and more.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Learners — CYFC is engaging in a participatory partnership with Bruce Vento Elementary School in East Saint Paul to develop engaging learning environments that enhance student learning and wellness.

Historical Trauma and Cultural Healing — Find resources on the importance of considering historical trauma and cultural healing when working with families and communities.

Cultural Providers Network (CPN) — A unique coalition of providers for children and families of color, institutions of higher learning, and Minnesota policy professionals, CPN welcomes new attendees. CPN meets monthly with a goal of improving services for children by sharing best practices, networking with other professionals, and building bridges between science and practice.

Tough Conversations: Issues Facing Transgender Communities — CYFC staff and our scholar in residence are teaming up to share important insights on research and community work happening in the trans community.

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