Events & News


Volunteers get hands dirty to benefit Missoula-area preschools

Sacajawea Park became a mini construction hub Saturday. Volunteers put together art centers, which will be donated to area preschools. It’s part of a multi-day effort to create and install projects at 14 Missoula County preschools.Healthy Start Missoula received a $10,000 grant from the Montana Preschool Development Grant, $4,000 of which went to these preschool projects. The other $6,000 supported the coordinator’s salary for year-round activities, said Healthy Start Missoula coordinator Anna Semple.

The Montana Preschool Development Grant comes from the $10 million U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Preschool Development Grant that the state received in December 2014, renewable for four years to total $40 million.

Montana is one of eight states that doesn’t fund preschool. The others include Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Indiana (though Indiana’s is currently in progress), according to the National Institute for Early Education Research.

The federal grant is intended to “strengthen state and local efforts to build, develop and expand high-quality preschool programs so that more children from low- and moderate-income families enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school,” according to HHS.

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The Missoula City-County Health Department has been delivering a home visiting program called Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) for our first time moms in Missoula County since September 2012. These first time moms are visited by their own nurse  from pregnancy until the baby is 2 years old. We will be having our first graduate from the program next month. It’s been a great experience here in Missoula for both the moms and nurses. It has been fun to watch all of our enrolled families grow. During a recent client survey our clients have said that their nurse helps them feel good about becoming/being a mother, helps them find ways to reach their goals, recognize their successes and helps  with the health of their baby. The nurses focus on our mom’s “heart’s desire”, or rather, their  “mom” goals and works with them to take the supportive steps together.

Check out this video featuring Nurse-Family Partnership of Missoula County, and contact them today for more information!  406-258-4263.