Grow Our Own: Helping the Next Generation Find Success, is a collaboration between Pioneer Public Television and Southwest Initiative Foundation to raise awareness about the fact that one in six southwest Minnesota kids lives in poverty. You can watch it online, plus additional summit clips. The program aired Thursday, April 20 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 12:30 p.m. on Pioneer Public Television.
Many experts cited in the program agree that the American Dream is moving out of reach for children across the country-including those in rural Minnesota. The broadcast addresses what it will take to reverse these trends and give all our children a chance to succeed.
In December 2016, employers, community leaders, elected officials, educators and students gathered in Marshall, Minn. for a summit featuring nationally known experts like Robert Putnam, Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.
Putnam points out that people saying “our kids” used to mean all kids in the community, not just their own children, and we must get back to that in our society. “Our sense of ‘we’ has shriveled,” he said. “This is a big deal for all of us.”
The program airs during the Month of the Young Child, a time when communities across the nation recognize the needs and rights of young children and families. It also aligns with Pioneer Public Television’s launch of a new 24/7 PBS KIDs channel, available for free to families everywhere within range of broadcasting towers and via live stream.
“Pioneer has made a commitment to serving the children of working families with quality educational programming for more than 50 years,” said Pioneer General Manager Les Heen. “This partnership with SWIF in broadcasting this vital information is at the core of our mission.”
Additional videos, including full presentations from summit speakers, will be available online at www.pioneer.org/growourown after the broadcast.
“We’re excited to share the Grow Our Own message with the help of such great regional partners,” said Southwest Initiative Foundation President/CEO Diana Anderson. “These kids sit in our classrooms today and will come to work in and run our businesses tomorrow. They will need to fill the many roles that keep our communities strong and vibrant. We must give all kids the best possible start.”
About Pioneer Public Television
Established in 1966, Pioneer Public TV is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visit: www.pioneer.org.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Since 1986, this regional community foundation has contributed more than $73 million through its grant and loan programs. Southwest Initiative Foundation has helped more than 700 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 8,590 jobs; established 25 community affiliates and more than 100 school, donor-advised and other funds; 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions to support young children; and received 1,730 acres of farmland through our Keep It Growing farmland giving program. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To learn more visit: www.swifoundation.org.