West Central Blogger

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Taking the Fear Out of Tax Time

Just the thought of compiling one's taxes can be daunting to a lot of people. Luckily, there are free services and tax-savvy folks who are volunteering their time to help individuals and families of low to moderate income (generally $39,000 and below) make the most of their tax returns.

Here's a list of tax aide sites throughout west central Minnesota.

Learn more about Earned Income Tax Credit. More than $13 billion (that's right, billions!) went unclaimed in the U.S. last year with only one in four people qualifying for EITC actually filing for the credit.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A Frosty Fergus Falls Morning

The trees and prairie grasses around West Central Initiative were gorgeous in their frosty finery Monday morning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Think oral health is just about brushing your teeth? Guess again.

In 90 minutes, dental care professional and instructor Becky Lommen can have you swabbing your baby's gums after each meal and thinking twice about a can of pop.

Eleven teaspoons in 12 ounces of Mountain Dew (even more in Orange Slice)? It's possible to spread your own cavities to your child? Poor oral health in young children can lead to overall health problems into adulthood?
Lommen gives many such facts in her presentation, "Learn How to Talk ‘Tooth’ When You’re Not a Tooth Professional," a 90-minute oral health training session open to all parents, child care providers, early childhood teachers, healthcare providers and anyone who works directly with young children or their caregivers.
It is part of the Early Childhood Dental Network’s free oral health training sessions throughout west central Minnesota during the months of Feb. through April.

The free training includes dental care supplies and door prizes. In some locations meals will be provided.

To learn more, or to sign up to attend one of the "Learn How to Talk ‘Tooth’" training sessions, register online or contact Marsha Erickson at West Central Initiative, 800-735-2239. Continuing education credit and clock hours for health professionals and care providers are available.

The oral health training sessions are funded by Bremer Foundation, Dakota Medical Foundation, the McKnight Foundation’s Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative and West Central Initiative. It is a project of The Early Childhood Dental Network, a nine-county multi-disciplinary collaborative project designed to increase awareness and education to all children about the importance of oral health, and increase access to dental care, specifically to those ages 0-5 who are on Minnesota Health Care Programs or are uninsured.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ashby proud of its PreK education

The billboard off of Highway 94 between Alexandria and Ashby proudly announces that the stellar education system in Ashby includes pre-Kindergarten. Ready 4 K, a nonprofit group that works to provide our youngest citizens with a strong start in life, recently wrote and posted an article about Ashby on its Web site.