October 2021 Volume 32; Issue 1

You can view the complete newsletter here.

 

From the Executive Director's Desk

October begins the agency’s new fiscal year. It is also the federal fiscal year which means we should have new budgets for services that begin on October 1st. Congress passed a continuing resolution which funds the government through December 3rd. A budget needs to be passed by then or another temporary measure will have to be agreed to. There are several things holding this up, including an infrastructure bill, the President’s long-term funding bill and increasing the federal debt limit. Eventually, all of these items will be agreed to in some form. Until that time, we assume that our budget numbers will be the same as the previous year.

We are still waiting for information on the national vaccine mandate. While details are not known it is likely that our agency will have to comply. As soon as more information is provided, we will be letting staff know the details. 

The fall season is a busy one for Mid-Sioux. Our Head Start, Early Head Start and Shared Vision services are in operation, LIHEAP applications are starting and holiday programs are well underway. This is in addition to the agency audit and the continuation of all our services. Special projects related to COVID-19 remain in effect with most ending on September 30, 2022.

The State of Iowa ended the last fiscal year with over a $1.2 Billion-dollar surplus. That will most likely trigger a call for tax reduction. I am assuming there will be discussions for more dollars in child care, infrastructure and education. 

The coming year will continue to provide opportunity for Mid-Sioux.

 

HOUSING/ENERGY SERVICES

Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) - October 1st marks the first day of the fuel assistance program for the elderly, disabled, and other households experiencing a crisis. All other households are invited to apply as of November 1st. This program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the Iowa Department of Human Rights/Division of Community Action Agencies and has been established to help qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay for a portion of their primary heating costs. To better assist persons, we are taking applications in the office, by phone, online, or by mail. Clinics sites are set up for November and December. Eligibility is based on 200% of the federal HHS 2021 income guidelines.

Amerigroup Bed Grant -  Amerigroup is providing funding for the purpose of purchasing beds for eligible Iowans with limited resources. Eligible households need to be at or below 200% of the federal HHS 2021 income guidelines. Although this is not a huge grant, it will provide bed frames and mattresses for several families in our area. This program will end September 10, 2022.

 

HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START SCHOOL READINESS RESULTS

Mid-Sioux Opportunity Head Start and Early Head Start program is dedicated to ensure all children and families are school ready. This is done by setting goals for children and families, and individualizing in the classroom. Teachers collect anecdotal notes on each child throughout the year in each of the categories: social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, and math. The following chart identifies the school readiness results for the 2020-2021 school year.

 

Social/emotional

Physical

Language

Cognitive

Literacy

Mathematics

Fall (2020)

60%

78%

62%

64%

43%

34%

Spring (2021)

82%

89%

82%

84%

69%

75%

 

Our program goal is to be above 80% in each category by the end of the school year. Individual child results are shared with parents, and school districts. Program data is shared with community partners and assists our program to identify professional development for staff. 

Our program serves pregnant women and children up to age five in all five counties. If you are interested in learning more about our program or interested in services, please call 800-859-2025.  

 

CHILD CARE RESOURCE & REFERRAL

Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) would like to welcome Dottie Roberts to the CCR&R of Northwest Iowa team! Dottie has accepted the role as the Regional Training Specialist. She has been married 17 years this October and has four boys ages 21, 16, 10, and 5. Dottie is familiar with CCR&R and the child care world as she did in-home child care for 16 years and then went on to work for Guardian Angel Daycare and Preschool in Le Mars and was an Assistant Teacher there for the last 5 years. Dottie said “I am excited to learn this new role and help do my part in getting quality training out for providers”. Please help us welcome Dottie to Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc! 

Did you know that CCR&R of Northwest Iowa has made a commitment to offer FREE high-quality, foundational professional development opportunities to child care providers in various settings? With that being said, did you know CCR&R offers a whole training package to help you obtain your Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. The CDA Credential is a nationally recognized credential earned by those working in the early child care and education field. The CDA credential is based on a core set of competency standards and includes an assessment process by the Council for Professional Recognition.

The CDA credential, a recognized part of child care regulations in Iowa and across the country, is a way to earn points on Iowa's Quality Rating System (QRS) and is part of achieving some accreditation standards. CDA credentials have been awarded around the country since 1971 and over 300,000 credentials have been granted. All CCR&R trainings correspond with the 8 CDA content areas. By earning this credential, QRS center staff and home providers could quality to receive WAGES! Learn more at on the CDA webpage

 

CHEROKEE COUNTY OUTREACH

Cherokee High School FFA recently held a Fill the Tractor Food Drive with some of the proceeds coming to our office. Pictured are some of the members of the FFA group delivering food to us. As a reminder, the Cherokee Mid-Sioux Outreach Office and Food Pantry are open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. We are currently taking names of those interested in being on our list for the Holiday Food Program. With this program we are able to provide a household with everything to prepare either a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. Give us a call if you or someone you know is interested!

We also have been working on the Holiday Gift Program. Letters have been sent out to families wishing to be sponsored for the upcoming holiday season. We are starting to see those coming back in to us. We are also getting letters back from community organizations, churches, and families in the community that wish to sponsor a family for the holidays. We are still accepting sponsors so if you know of someone that is looking to help others out this season, please send them our way! We always have such a great response for this program and we couldn't do it without the generosity of so many community members!

The Cherokee Police Department has again partnered with Mid-Sioux Outreach in Cherokee County to help provide a Christmas for children that would otherwise not have a Christmas. We have been collecting applications for that program. Families that are not able to participate with that program may still contact us to sign up for the Mid-Sioux Holiday program.

The Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) is in full swing. We will be taking applications by appointment for this program through April 30th. We also can take applications for LIHWAP. This is a new federally funded program where we can help households with water disconnections or disconnect notices.

For all program applications, please give us a call. We can tell you everything you need to bring to complete an application. Our phone number in Cherokee is 712-225-3322 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can always reach us the other 2 days of the week in LeMars at 712-546-6603.

Nicole Mier, Outreach Coordinator nmier@midsioux.org 

 

LiHEAP Clinics

Cherokee County

  • Marcus City Hall, 22 North Main St., November 3, 2021
  • Aurelia Community Center, 235 Main St., December 3, 2021
  • Quimby Community Center, Main St, Big Sign, December 8, 2021 - AM
  • Washta Community Center, Main St., December 8, 2021 – PM

Plymouth County

  • Akron Senior Citizen Center, 4th & Dakota, November 22, 2021
  • Kingsley City Office, Council Chambers, 222 Main St., December 2, 2021
  • Remsen Mid-Sioux Office, 418 S Marion St., December 2, 2021

Ida County 

  • First Presbyterian Church, 600 3rd St., Battle Creek, November 16, 2021 – AM
  • Cross Ridge Church, 117 S Main St, Holstein, November 16, 2021 – PM

Sioux County

  • Hawarden City Office, 1150 Central Ave. SE, December 14, 2021
  • Orange City Community Room, 125 Central Ave. SE, December 2, 2021
  • Rock Valley Main Office, Council Chambers, 1303 10th St, December 29, 2021

Lyon County

  • Larchwood City Office, 909 Broadway, December 8, 2021
  • George Chamber Council Office, 120 ½ S Main St., December 15, 2021
 
Written by

MidSioux

Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc. is a not-for-profit Community Action Agency established in 1965 to fight poverty at a local level by assisting low-income families in Northwest Iowa to become self-sufficient.

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