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					                                                  A voice for Minnesota’s youngest citizens

                                                             Annual Report

              OUR MISSION
To ensure that every young child
in Minnesota enters kindergarten
encouraged, supported, and fully
prepared by his or her
community for learning success.
                                                Dear Friends and Supporters
                                                In 2009, Ready 4 K and its           “glue” that the Ready 4 K team       members who attended. This is
                                                supporters continued to make         provides for the early childhood     the first such initiative in the
                                                steady progress on behalf of         movement.                            nation.
          Board of Directors                    Minnesota‟s youngest citizens,       At the strong encouragement of       The Ready 4 K Board continued
                                                even in the face of severe           our Board of Directors at its        to play its important role as both
 Board Chair
 Andy Overman, Professor                        economic and political               January retreat, our policy and      overseer of the management of
 Macalester College
                                                challenges. Despite the worst        civic engagement staff ably
 Vice Chair
 Jacqueline Cross, Director                     economic downturn since the          convened other groups who
 Anoka / Washington County Head Start
                                                Great Depression with resulting      lobby at the legislature on behalf
 Malcolm McDonald, Retired                      massive fiscal challenges for the    of early care and education to          ...legislative leaders
 Space Center
                                                state of Minnesota, Ready 4 K        begin the process of forging a          elevated early care
 Elaine Salinas, President                      held firm and worked effectively     common agenda that came to be           and education as a
 MIGIZI Communications, Inc.
                                                to advance policy and parent         called Minnesota‟s Future. This is
 Ada Alden, Education Consultant
                                                empowerment.                         a singularly important                  priority.
 Andre Dukes, Pastor
 Engagement Director Northside Achievement                                           accomplishment, since with unity

 Chad Dunkley, Chief Operating Officer
                                                Our public policy and civic          comes strength. Our staff
 New Horizon Academy                            engagement continued to move         deserves praise for this             the organization and as public
 Matt Grose, Superintendent
 Deer River Schools
                                                forward, most notably in             collaborative and effective effort   spokespeople for the cause of
 Lynn Haglin, Vice President
                                                resisting cuts to early childhood    to bring policy to a new level of    school readiness. A Development
 Northland Foundation                           programs in the face of a multi-     impact.                              Committee was formed which
 H.B. Bud Hayden, President
 Hayden Enterprise
                                                billion dollar deficit. It is a                                           has actively supported our fund-
 Peter Heegaard, Retired
                                                testament to the steady progress     The Ready 4 K Parent                 raising, including a highly
 Wells Fargo Bank                               we have made with our allies that    Empowerment project, including       successful event in November at
 Jim Hoolihan, President / CEO
 Blanding Foundation
                                                legislative leaders elevated early   the Hmong Project and the Cross      the Minneapolis Club featuring
 Keith Lester, Superintendent
                                                care and education as a priority.    -Cultural Leadership Action          Board member Dr. Art Rolnick
 Brooklyn Center Schools
                                                We are deeply grateful to our        Program (CLAP) continued to          and Regents Professor Megan
 Molly O’Shaughnessy, Executive Director
 Montessori Training Center
                                                leaders in the Minnesota House       grow in 2009 as well. With a         Gunnar.
 Al Quie                                        of Representatives and Senate, as    very lean staff we have managed
 Governor of MN ’79-‘83
                                                well as to the Governor. More        to continue growing awareness        The finances of Ready 4 K have
 Arthur Rolnick, Retired
 Federal Reserve Bank                           details of our policy progress are   and support in the important         been handled with frugality and
 Fred Storti, Executive Director                found later in this report.          Hmong community, and to              vigilance. We started the year
 MN Elementary School Principal’s Association
                                                                                     broaden the base of school           with net assets of $550,479
 Amy Susman-Stillman, Co-Director
 CEED, University of MN                         Our staff is frequently asked to     readiness awareness and civic        ended the year with $428,481,
 Neal Thao, Professor                           be a source of information and       engagement to include Somali,        spending well under the
 Metro State University
                                                advice for a                                     Latino, and African-     budgeted amount. Given the
 Ruth Usem
 Philanthropist and Community Leader            number of                                        American and             extreme nose-dive of the
 Robert Zeaske, Executive Director              organizations and                                American Indian          economy which began at the end
 Second Harvest Hearthland

 Directors Emeritus
                                                people who are                                   participants in          of 2008, we are gratified that we
 Blanton Bessinger, M.D
 Margaret Boyer, Alliance of Early Childhood
                                                working on                                       addition to those from   could end the year as solidly as
 Don Fraser, Former Mayor of Minneapolis
                                                various aspects of                               Southeast Asia. The      we did.
 Nancy Johnson, Caring for Kids Initiative
 Ann Kaner-Roth, Jewish Community Foundation
                                                improving school                                 graduation ceremony
 of Mpls.
 Jim Koppel, Children's Defense Fund MN
                                                readiness in our state. Often that   in the summer of 2009 of the         Much remains to be done. We
 Steve Young, JD, Caux Round Table              important work goes                  CLAP program was truly moving        will continue relentlessly to fight
                                                unrecognized, but it is a kind of    for the 150 graduates and family     for a policy, parent
Page 2                               Annual Report                                                                              Annual Report

 empowerment, and public             narrowing the achievement gap.         accomplishments, we are far
 awareness agenda that will          It is crucial to achieving the         from satisfied. We will not
 significantly increase the number   strategically important goal of        be content until Minnesota
 of children who are fully           literacy by the end of third grade     reaches the goal we have
 prepared to thrive in               for all young Minnesotans.             encouraged and that the
 kindergarten. Early childhood       Our myriad of activities and           legislature has embraced: all
 remains the foundation for all      actions are helping, but while we      children fully prepared for
 later learning and a key to         are proud of our                       school success by 2020.

 Keeping up the fight: Ready 4 K continues leadership on early childhood policy
 Progress continues in 2009           small but significant progress that    education programs and services.      requires state departments to
     legislative session              improved Minnesota‟s early             Legislators in the House and          determine a common set of child
                                      childhood system through               Senate agreed, and showcased          outcome and program standards,
  “Tough economic times are           strategic policy initiatives.          their support by holding an Early     develop a plan to link and realign
  exactly the wrong time to           Emphasizing the substantial            Childhood Summit in the               future early learning and care
  eliminate the best earning          return on investment that quality      opening days of the session, and      state funding to the QRS
  stock in the state’s portfo-        early childhood care and               more importantly, by not              framework, and track progress
                                      education provides, Ready 4 K          approving any cuts to early           toward statewide access to high-
                        Todd Otis,    and its allies put forward a           care and education                    quality early learning and care
              President of Ready 4    legislative agenda to support          programs.                             programs. Echoing the
                                      parents, promote quality, increase                                           recommendations made by Ready
                                      access and build supports for a        Another significant victory was       4 K and our allies, the legislature
 Despite tough economic
                                      coordinated early childhood            the passage of legislation to         also allocated $26 million in
 challenges and partisan conflict
                                      system. Above all, Ready 4 K           establish a standards-based           federal stimulus (ARRA) funds to
 between the Republican
                                      sought to maintain current             Quality Rating System (QRS).          support quality initiatives in the
 Governor and DFL Legislature,
                                      investments in early care and          The QRS framework championed          childcare system.
 2009 marked another year of
                                                                             by the Early Childhood Caucus

 Minnesota’s Future:
 Forging a path of consensus                                                     Minnesota’s Future recommends that the next Minnesota
 In March 2009, Ready 4 K             the five key policies that the next            Offer home visits and parent education to every first-
 convened a meeting of the Boards     Minnesota governor should                       time parent to help get their children off to a great start.
 and staff of the key statewide       implement. The development of                  Double the number of at-risk children who participate in
 early childhood advocacy groups      the Minnesota’s Future agenda                   high quality early learning opportunities.
 at the McKnight Foundation to        marks a significant step in the                Implement a statewide quality rating and improvement
                                                                                      system for early learning programs.
 determine how we might work          level of coordination and
                                                                                     Create community partnerships to coordinate and
 more closely together. The           collaboration among the primary                 leverage investments in children’s and families’ success.
 result of the meeting was the        early childhood advocacy
 formation of the “early childhood    organizations. The Allies
 allies” group that continued to      include: Child Care Works,
 meet throughout 2009 to develop      Minnesota Association for the
 a common set of policy proposals     Education of Young Children/           Association, Minnesota Child Care        and Ready 4 K. More
 to deliver to the next governor.     Minnesota School Age Care              Resource & Referral Network,             information is available at
 In December, the allies revealed     Alliance, Minnesota Association        Minnesota Coalition for Targeted .
 the Minnesota’s Future early         for Family and Early Education,        Home Visiting, Minnesota
 childhood agenda, which outlines     Minnesota Child Care                   Community Education Association,
                                                                             Minnesota Head Start Association,
Annual Report                                                                        Annual Report                                      Page 3

 Growing Community Support
 The Hmong Project was created      ganizations serving pre-school        leaders
 by Ready4K five years ago to       children, childcare providers and     were
 generate awareness and commu-      parents. The live radio has           trained
 nity organizing in the Hmong       reached out to over 20,000 lis-       and en-
 community that supports policy     teners according to the radio         couraged
 change. To understand the state    owners. Topics discussed a vari-      to repli-
 of Hmong children and move         ety of issues including health and    cate simi-
 along a continuum of advocacy,     dental care, child development        lar work-
 Ready 4 K‟s Hmong Project initi-   and their critical domains, civic     shop in the Hmong community.        to identify, access, network, take
 ated the Hmong research project    engagement, access to quality         The last major accomplishment       action, and be part of the greater
 that published the Hmong report    programs, nutrition, child safety     was the outcome of the Hmong        community around system
 entitled “What Helps and Hin-      and emergency responses, child        Early Childhood Summit where        changes.
 ders Hmong Pre-                    abuse and neglect and family          Hmong educators, parents, day-      Ready 4 K convened over dozen
 Kindergarteners‟ School Readi-     literacy. The Hmong Project also      care providers, business owners,
                                                                                                              meetings of the advisory and coa-
 ness: Learning from and about      trained 43 caregivers using the       community leaders, and early
                                                                                                              lition groups to plan, prepare and
 the Hmong in Saint Paul, Minne-    Hmong FFN curriculum – a six          childhood professionals attended
                                                                                                              implement initiatives including
 sota”. The Hmong Project has       module curricula emphasizing the      the summit to create a five-year
                                                                                                              community events, public rela-
 been hosting two radio talk        whole child, their developmental      action plan entitled “Road map
 shows on early childhood educa-    domains, pre-school period, basic     for school readiness in the         tions, best practices, connect
 tion and parent involvement in     readiness skills, and school age      Hmong Community”. This plan         parents to service providers, and
 partnership with five other or-    period. Hmong clan and lineage        will help the Hmong community       leadership that influence academic
                                                                                                              success as well as social changes.

Engaging Communities to support our youngest citizens
In 2009, Ready 4 K continued to     signed to increase awareness of early care and education and build       early childhood coalitions in the
build a broad base of support for   public support for increased investments in early learning programs.     Minnesota Initiative Foundation
early care and education in com-                                                        The Kitchen          regions in greater Minnesota.
munities around the state.                                                              Table Initiative     These staff held advocacy train-
Through regular newsletters,                                                            includes a discus-   ings, gave legislative updates and
updates and action alerts we                                                            sion kit designed    hosted Kitchen Table conversa-
worked to educate and mobilize                                                          to lead partici-     tions. As Ready 4 K‟s eyes and
our advocates to engage with                                                            pants through a      ears in greater Minnesota, out-
their elected officials and be a                                                        series of ques-      reach staff help to make the link
voice in their communities for                                                          tions led by a       between public policy and the
our youngest Minnesotans. Ready                                                         host. The guided     dedicated work on behalf of
4 K also worked to raise aware-                                                         conversation is      young children in communities.
ness in the broader community                                                           intended to be
by sponsoring a series of newspa-                                                       held in diverse
per ads targeted to legislative                                                         contexts with        A big focus in 2009 was expand-
leaders thanking them for their                                                         business people,     ing our use of social media and
continued investment in our                                                             faith groups,        our presence in online organiz-
youngest citizens.                                                                      educators, policy    ing. Building on our blog, Ready
                                                                                        makers or other      4 K started a Facebook group
                                                                                        community            and a Twitter account. These
In 2009, Ready 4 K rolled out                                                           members.             tools added to our communica-
the Kitchen Table Initiative and                                                                             tions toolbox and increased the
held dozens of conversations                                                                                 number of people we are able to
around the state. The Kitchen                                                           For the second       engage on our issues.
Table Initiative is a project de-   year, Ready 4 K contracted with six outreach staff connected with
Page 4                                 Annual Report                                                                           Annual Report

Broadening Support in Diverse Communities
Parent Empowerment works to           Our Cross-Culture Leadership          importance of supporting a quality
build the understanding,              Action Program (CLAP) has been        early childhood education for
leadership, and advocacy capacity     working with facilitators and         every young child in Minnesota.
of parents in the multiple diverse    coaches in the five cultural          The nine-module curriculum
communities in Minnesota. It is       communities (African American,        includes: school readiness,
the umbrella name for the Cross-      American Indian, Latino, South        cultural competency, media and
Culture Leadership Action             East Asian and Somali) to carry       public relations, research, early
Program and the Hmong Project,        out the workshops and training.       childhood education across
which create awareness, increase      CLAP successfully trained 106         culture, community organizing,
the knowledge and skills of                                                 public policy and health.
                                      parents, caregivers and
parents in school readiness and
                                      community leaders with the nine-
advocacy, and support policy                                                From information gathered from
                                      module curriculum and
investment in early childhood                                               our 2009 program graduates, over
                                      distributed materials to support
education and quality care for our                                          1,000 children were positively
                                      their understanding and the
youngest citizens.                                                          impacted.

Creating a more effective and coordinated early childhood system
In 2009, under Ready 4 K‟s           system. Build and MECCS               geography (Wilder Research,           Build staff and stakeholders also
leadership, the Minnesota Build      collaborated on compiling             2009).                                participated in a two day national
Initiative (Build) continued a       indicators and strategies for an                                            conference sponsored by
strong partnership with the          early childhood system in the         Throughout the year, Build and        Grantmakers for Children, Youth
Minnesota Early Childhood            report, Early Childhood               MECCS extensively promoted            and Families, national Build, and
Comprehensive Systems                Minnesota (Wilder Research,           the use of the “four ovals”           the McKnight Foundation on FFN
(MECCS) project at the               2008) and in the subsequent           framework. Sixteen members            care. Bringing our state expertise
Minnesota Department of              report on disparities, Early          of the Build Statewide Advisory       in outreach and legislation around
Health to promote the creation       Childhood Minnesota – Spotlight       Team participated on the              FFN care to the table at this
of a more effective and              on disparities in income, race, and   Governor‟s Early Childhood            conference was a highlight for
coordinated early childhood                                                Advisory Council and its              participants. Funding to Ready 4
                                                                           committees. At the Council,           K for management of Minnesota
                                                                           Build stakeholders supported          Build Initiative ended in
                                                                           the use of the Build indicators as    December 2009. The national
                                                                           accountability measures.              Build Initiative is now
                                                                                                                 coordinating a series of meetings
                                                                           Build staff also participated in
                                                                                                                 with a small group of key
                                                                           the development of a strategic
                                                                                                                 stakeholders to develop a shared
                                                                           plan for Family, Friend and
                                                                                                                 consensus agenda. Todd Otis,
                                                                           Neighbor (FFN) care led by the
                                                                                                                 President of Ready 4 K, is
                                                                           Minnesota Department of
                                                                                                                 participating in these meetings on
                                                                           Human Services. In addition,
                                                                                                                 behalf of the Minnesota‟s Future
                                                                           Ready 4 K worked in the 2009
                                                                           legislative session to secure
                                                                           funding to continue outreach
                                                                           grants to FFN caregivers.
Annual Report                                                                 Annual Report                                Page 5

               Financial Support
                                                                    Kay Fredericks                 Uri Neren
                                                                    Steven Foldes                  Richard & Joan Niemiec
   Ready 4 K appreciates the generosity of the donors who help      Don & Arvonne Fraser           Richard & Kristine Oscarson
    sustain our work and partner with us as champions for
                Minnesota’s youngest citizens.                      Thomas Fraser                  Todd Otis
                                                                    Brent & Gayle Gish             Andrew Overman
 Foundations & Corporations       Individuals                       Garrity Family Giving          Nan Owen & John Lavander
 Blandin Foundation               Mark Abeln & Monica Little
                                                                    Growth & Justice               Tim & Rosie Owens
                                  Advance Consulting LLC
 Otto Bremer                                                        Reid & Lynn Haglin             Joey Page
                                  David & Ada Alden                 Eric Hansen                    Gary Pedersen
 Blue Cross &Blue Shield
 Foundation of Minnesota          Chace Anderson
                                                                    Sarah Harris                   Taylor Phelps
                                  Doug & Julie Baker
 Boston Scientific Foundation                                       Beckett Harrison               PSS Enterprises, Inc.
                                  Baltins Family Fund of the        Eric Haugee                    Albert & Gretchen Quie
 BUILD                            Minneapolis Foundation
                                                                    H.B. Bud & Carol Hayden, Jr.   Arthur Rolnick
                                  Rebecca Beane
 Buuck Family Foundation                                            Hayden Family Fund of the      Mark & Rebecca Roloff
                                  Tim Bell
                                                                    Minneapolis Foundation         Graham & Mariesa Ryan
 DeCare International             Shayna Berkowitz & Phyllis        Peter & Anne Heegaard Fund     St. David’s Center
                                  Weiner, Still Ain’t Satisfied—A
 Ecolab Matching Funds                                              of The Minneapolis Founda-
                                  Foundation with Attitude                                         Elaine Salinas
 Grotto Foundation                Dr. Blanton & Bonnie                                             Mark Scally
                                                                    David & Brenda Heim
 Learner Foundation                                                 Shelly and Matthew Hendricks   Jono & Susan Seltzer
                                  Janet Bisbee
                                                                    Michael and Christina Huck     Fred Senn
 Lenfestey Family Foundation      Jeannie Buckner
                                                                    Walter & Harriet Johnson       Brian Siverson-Hall
 The McKnight Foundation          Mary Ann Burrows-Wark
                                                                    Karen Kingsley                 Jim & Cindie Smart
                                  Elizabeth Byrne
 Oscar G. & Elsa S. Mayer                                           Suzanne Koepplinger            Fred & Dianne Storti
 Foundation                       Mary Cecconi
                                                                    Mark & Joan Kopesky            Kristine Stueve
                                  Nancy Christensen
 Robins, Kaplan, Miller and                                         George Latimer                 Mary Tamborino
 Ciresi Fund of The               Richard & Jean Clarke
                                                                    Ann Lee                        Steve Thomas & Milagros
 Minneapolis Foundation           Sage & John Cowles                                               Santiago
                                                                    Janet Leslie
 The Minneapolis Foundation       John & Page Cowles                                               Mary Staples Thompson
                                                                    James Lockhart
                                  Scott Croonquist                                                 Emily Anne Staples Tuttle
 Mortenson Family Foundation                                        Scott McConnell
                                  Jacqueline Cross                                                 Fund Minnesota Community
 Jay & Rose Phillips Foundation                                     Ann McCully                    Foundation
                                  Jill Davis
                                                                    Judy & Malcolm McDonald        Twin West Chamber
 The Sheltering Arms              Mary Lee Dayton                   Fund of Fidelity Charitable    David & Robin Sternberg
                                  Chad Dunkley                      Gift
                                                                                                   Freddie & Frieda Weisberg
 St. Paul Travelers Foundation    John Eisberg & Susan Kline        Macalester College
                                  Fund of The Minneapolis                                          United Way
                                                                    William Mahlum & Donna
 United Way Greater Duluth        Foundation                                                       Williston Group—Chuck
                                  Bill & Karen Erickson                                            Slocum
                                                                    James & Sara Martineau
                                  Helen Etnier                                                     WME Fox
                                                                    Alida Messinger
                                  The Karen and Richard Evans                                      Barbara Yates
                                                                    David & Kate Mortenson
                                  Foundation                                                       Robert Zeaske
                                                                    Joseph Nathan
 A voice for Minnesota’s
 youngest citizens
                                                                                    Support and Revenue:

2233 University Avenue, Ste. 345                                                    Foundations / Corporations                     $          746,000

Saint Paul, MN 55114                                                                Individuals / Business Donations                           67,574
651-644-8138      FAX: 651-644-0733                                                 Interest Income                                             4,646
Visit us on the web:                                                Other Income                                               29,874
                                                                                         Total Support and Revenue                            848,094

                                                                                                Program Services
                                                                                    Policy / Organizing                                       317,796
                                                    Policy / Civic                  Parent Empowerment                                        189,665
                                                    Engagement                      Early Childhood Systems                                    98,407
                    11%                             Parent                          Communications                                             84,050
                                                    Empowerment                            Total Program Services                             689,918
             15%                         34%
                                                                                                Support Services
                                                    Management                      Management and General                                    105,785
             11%                                    and General
                                                                                    Fundraising                                               139,552
                                                                                           Total Support Services                             245,337
                   9%              20%
                                                    Early Childhood
                                                                                    Total Expenses                                            935,255
                                                                                    Change in Net Assets                                      -87,161
                                                                                    Net Assets - Beginning of Year                            774,142
                                                                                    Net Assets - End of Year                      $           686,981

             Board of Directors
                  As of 1/1/09                 Brent Gish, Interim Superintendent                 Fred Storti, Executive Director
                                               Red Lake School District #38                       MN Elementary School Principal‟s Association
 Board Chair
 Peter Heegaard, Retired                       H.B. Bud Hayden, President                         Neal Thao, Professor
 Wells Fargo Bank                              Hayden Enterprises                                 Metro State University

 Vice Chair                                    Jim Hoolihan, President / CEO                      Robert Zeaske, Executive Director
 Lynn Haglin, Vice President                   Blandin Foundation                                 Second Harvest Heartland
 Northland Foundation
                                               Malcolm McDonald, Retired                          Directors Emeritus
 Treasurer                                     Space Center                                       Blanton Bessinger, M.D
 Scott McConnell, Director
 CEED, University of Minnesota                 Andy Overman, Professor                            Margaret Boyer
                                               Macalester College                                 Alliance of Early Childhood Professionals
 Secretary                                     Al Quie
 Elaine Salinas, President                                                                        Don Fraser, Former Mayor of Minneapolis
                                               Governor of MN ‟79-„83
 MIGIZI Communications, Inc.
                                                                                                  Nancy Johnson, Caring for Kids Initiative
                                               Arthur Rolnick, Retired
 Ada Alden, Education Consultant               Federal Reserve Bank                               Ann Kaner-Roth,
 Jacqueline Cross, Director                                                                       Jewish Community Foundation of Mpls.
                                               Rebecca Roloff, CEO
 Anoka / Washington County Head Start          Minneapolis YWCA                                   Jim Koppel, Children's Defense Fund MN
 Chad Dunkley, Chief Operating Officer         Ruth Solie, Executive Director
 New Horizon Academy                                                                              Steve Young, JD, Caux Round Table
                                               Northern Lights Library Network

Ready 4 K is grateful for the work of our volunteers who help advance the cause of school readiness in Minnesota.

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