Work continues at the Capitol with committee meetings and floor sessions. I’m also continuing to meet with members of the community who are visiting the Capitol. Yesterday, folks from the local YMCA stopped by for a meeting.
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been appointed to the Board of Directors of ServeMinnesota. ServeMinnesota is the state's Commission on National and Community Service and oversees the state's AmeriCorps programs. AmeriCorps is a federal program that offers people of all ages an opportunity to do a year or two of national service in our local communities. I’m a former AmeriCorps member myself, having served in the True North AmeriCorps program.
Minnesota's AmeriCorps programs have successfully competed for federal AmeriCorps funding. In fact, Minnesota received the most federal competitive AmeriCorps funding of any state. That is due in large part to the quality of our programs and the fact that Minnesota programs stress the importance of evidence-based practices when designing their work.
The Minnesota Reading Corps is a good example. Minnesota Reading Corps provides a valuable resource, serving 30,000 students age 3 to grade 3 who are at risk of missing that important benchmark of 3rd grade reading proficiency. Because of the success of the program, schools and pre-k programs across the state are asking for more Reading Corps Literacy Tutors than we have resources to fund. I currently work with members of the Minnesota Reading Corps serving children ages 3 through 5 at a local Community Action agency. Those volunteers are vital to ensuring kids are getting a head start and developing a lifelong love of reading.
Protecting Seniors from Scams
A bipartisan bill is advancing that would implement a statewide education and outreach program to protect vulnerable adults, seniors and caregivers from financial exploitation.
Financial fraud and exploitation cases against senior citizens are on the rise nationwide. According to the Investor Protection Trust, one out of every five persons over the age of 65 has been victimized by a financial swindle.
The statewide education and outreach program would include public service announcements via television, print and other media, and training and outreach to senior living facilities. The Minnesota Department of Commerce cites similar senior outreach programs in several other states.
Please stay in touch with your input and questions about issues which matter to you. You are welcome to call or email me anytime.