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Community Needs and Assets Assessment to be Presented

Posted by Jenna Ray on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014

Event Date/Time: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 10:00 am
Location: Morris Area High School (151 South Columbia Avenue, Morris, MN 56267)

Having spent the last year conducting a community needs and assets assessment, the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Community Engagement (OCE) will present its results on Monday, August 18, at Morris Area High School (151 South Columbia Avenue, Morris, MN 56267) from 10–11:30 a.m. (English) and from 12:30–2 p.m. (Spanish). All are invited to attend.

The assessment team was led by AmeriCorps VISTA Keni Zenner ’12. She has worked with Cristina Ortiz, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, Oscar Baldelomar, assistant professor of psychology, several Morris students, and community partners to determine how the Morris Area School District can ensure that a student’s first language does not become a barrier to his or her educational success. This study will serve as the first step in establishing the Morris Intercultural Educational Initiative, a collaborative effort that will continue in years two and three of the VISTA project and beyond.

The study includes the following components:
-a comprehensive list of the partnering organizations and programs that have been involved in the Morris Intercultural Education Initiative
-visions of an inclusive school from stakeholders
-statistics from publicly available data and data shared by stakeholders
-summaries of three key research studies focusing on youth, educators, and parents as well as a list of assets collected in an earlier study
-recommendations for next steps and
-appendices including resources and best practices related to some of these recommendations.

The presentations will include an opportunity for reactions and dialogue. All attendees can enjoy a complimentary lunch from 11:30–12:30 p.m.

The study will be available after the presentations at For more information, please contact Argie Manolis, OCE coordinator, at

Pictured above: Office of Community Engagement student volunteers lead literacy activities with preK–12 students from the Morris area.

The University of Minnesota, Morris is a public liberal arts University that provides a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education, preparing its students to be global citizens who value and pursue intellectual growth, civic engagement, intercultural competence, and environmental stewardship.