Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lakes & Praires shares in Best Practice Award presented to West Central Initiative

Nancy Straw, President, West Central 
Initiative receives the Best Practice award
presented by Steve Nagle, Executive Director
of West Central MN Communities Action
Leadership Academy participants and Community Action
staff from  the 4 CAPs listen as award description
is presented by Catherine Solheim, Associate Professor 
Family Social Science, 
University of Minnesota College of Education & Human 

Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership shared in the "Leadership Academy -- Best Practice" award presented in St. Paul on February 15th.  Nancy Straw, President, West Central Initiative received the award for WCI's leadership in facilitating and providing support for the project.  Lakes and Prairies had 4 participants last year and will be sending 7 new Leadership Academy participants this spring.  Other CAP agencies sharing in the award were Mahube Community Council, Otter Tail-Wadena Community Action Council and West Central Minnesota Communities Action.

The Practice:  Too often, the full potential of leaders goes untapped.  The Leadership Academy helps previously undiscovered, low income leaders realize their power and take more active roles in building their communities' future.  The Academy provides a space and structure for people to acquire and practice competencies that result in becoming more effective leaders.  The Impact:  Preliminary results are pomising, indicating that participants have become more involved in their communities, are accepting formal or informal leadership positions and have become more effective community advocates.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lakes & Prairies Receives Promising Practice Award

Staff, volunteers, board members and program participants
came forward to receive the award.
Brenda Maaninga, Lakes & Prairies Tax Site
Coordinator  accepts award on behalf of volunteers
and staff who worked together for the success
of this effort.

The  "Banking the Unbanked" through our VITA Tax Siteproject received a Promising Practice award at the Minnesota Community Action Partnership Best Practice ceremony held on February 15th in St. Paul.

The Practice:  Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership has incorporated pre-paid debit card services as a method to provide low cost banking services to the previously unbanked. 

Households utilizing VITA Tax Site services were offered the opportunity to sign up for a pre-paid debit card to deposit their refund.  The Impact: The pre-paid debit card provides the households the ability to build savings, avoid predatory lending practices and work toward financial security.The debit cards are FDIC insured, very low fees, and protect against the possibility of overdraft.