Brainerd Lakes Area
The Brained Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition represents the Brainerd Public School District (ISD #181). The majority of the students in this area reside in the cities of Brainerd or Baxter, therefore nearly all of the activities, events and programs are located in Brainerd or Baxter. The Coalition felt that young children in the district's outlying areas — in the communities of Garrison, Nisswa/Lake Shore, Merrifield, Barrows/Fort Ripley, and Pine Center — may be under served. So, the goal of the Outlying Areas Team was to develop ways of providing easier access to ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) events and programs to these neighborhoods within the Brainerd Lakes region.
For example, a Nisswa Family Pizza Night was sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition, in partnership with the Nisswa PTO, at Nisswa Elementary School in an effort to deliver a family-friendly event for residents in Nisswa, Lake Shore and Merrifield. The event attracted dozens of families. The school's gym and library were made available, as well as a craft room, after the families enjoyed a pizza dinner.
To determine the needs and wants in each of the outlying communities noted, a postcard survey was created and distributed. (postcard front and back below)
The results of this survey mailing, though, did not produce suffient information for planning purposes. Therefore, this Team is no longer active. An extra effort is being made by the Brainerd ECFE to ensure that publicity of its classes, events and activites are promoted and made available (when possible) in these outlying areas.