In addition to funding the Precious Minds, New Connection grants to these agencies, the Foundation supports the agencies in some creative ways that help ensure the success of the Initiative. .
Network of parent educators. The Foundation sponsors educator forums 3-4 times annually which bring educators together for professional education and networking. Educators need to be supported with new ideas and need to be part of something “bigger” than a single parenting program. Through regularly scheduled forums, the educators develop their own sense of mission and importance to changing the face of our communities’ future. The resulting network has facilitated: 1) programs being able to call upon each other for assistance (substitutes) if an educator is ill; and 2) educators being able to meet regularly to brainstorm, problem solve and share ideas. The development of the network has been a significant factor in the excellent retention of educators by the agencies, a common issue faced by parenting programs. Retention of educators reduces training costs and improves participant retention.
Marketing and Public Awareness. The Foundation is active in making presentations and otherwise making referring agencies (i.e. Child Protective Services, judges, etc.) and the general public aware of the quality and availability of parenting classes and in home instruction. In addition, the Foundation maintains a Classes Available section on this website where anyone can locate available classes by zip code, start date, agency or being provided in Spanish. All of the programs are now using the name Precious Minds, New Connections in their names and in their own promotion materials to help establish name identification throughout the four counties.
Precious Minds, New Connections Database. The Foundation has developed a web-based database which the agencies use to record participant data, classes, attendance, home visit information, satisfaction surveys, evaluation data and quarterly budget and actual financial data. The agencies can print class rosters, contact lists, attendance sheets, and many reports useful in managing and evaluating their programs. The Foundation extracts quarterly and annual progress, financial and other reports needed by it in the monitoring of the programs during each year of operation. This ready availability of data also allows the Foundation to prepare 85% of the annual renewal grant application minimizing agency clerical work on the annual applications.