It occured to me that I've never added a link here to the Center for Early Education and Development, adminisrative home for early childhood activities of the Northside Partnership.
For some time, I've been interested in creating an office for CEED that is located directly in the area where we do our work; for many reasons, that points right now to North Minneapolis. My colleagues and I have always seen this as one part of creating a new basis -- and a new base -- for research, teaching, and outreach that truly engages community wants, needs, and priorities.
Over the years, we've had some small steps: temporary work places in some schools, ongoing relationships with some programs. But never, really, a place we might call "CEED."
As part of the University's growing commitment, as well as related discussions about a possible Educare Center and our work with Minneapolis Early Reading First, I've rekindled this effort of late. It's not easy, though -- how can we find a place to begin, but know that our needs and requirements will grow (somewhat unpredictably) over time? And how do we 'start' when the U is involved in a much larger discussion about space for many programs?
Recently, Roberta Englund at the Folwell Neighborhood Association was kind enough to provide a perfect beginning: She offered me deskspace in their offices! The desk is a 'floater' space, in the basement. The folks I've met at Folwell are doing exciting work, and they seem to be anxious to talk about ways to add some more 'early childhood' work to their program of activities.
It is wonderful to have a place to go, and I know the contacts I'll make at Folwell and as a result of this 'spot' will be invaluable. Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays I hope to spend time on the Northside, basing out of the Folwell offices. If I can just get my cell phone to work in the basement, all will be great!