Insight News

Sep 02nd


Celebration time – c’mon! The back to school season has begun

Celebration time – c’mon! The back to school season has begunIt’s time for my favorite annual holiday – which technically isn’t an “official” day, but actually several weeks leading up to one BIG day. YOUR day may not be the same as mine. But trust me, it’s the one holiday most seasoned parents look forward to more than all the others combined. It’s the Back to School Season, and yes, I am so glad it’s finally HERE! I’ve got my Mardi Gras beads on, I’ve hung celebratory colored lights on the bushes and trees outside my front door; and I have prepared a monumental feast with all the trimmings that we’ll still be talking about come Thanksgiving. All in celebration of the fact that my son goes BACK TO SCHOOL (also commonly referred to as the “I Survived a Summer with a Teenager in the House” holiday).

One of the great things about working for The Nielsen Company, the world’s largest market research company which provides measurement services for industries like media, online, mobile and consumer packaged goods, is that we conduct all types of great studies. Nielsen recently released a Back To School Forecast based on more than 110,000 UPCs in the school supply category, and more than 400 million school supply transactions at U.S. food, drug, mass merchandiser stores (including Walmart), dollar, club stores and online sales. We forecasted a modest increase in dollar sales on Back to School items, up 1.7 percent to $2.6 billion. The Forecast makes a few relevant observations including this one:

MPS Student Placement Services Center to extend registration hours

If you are new to Minneapolis or have recently moved, the Minneapolis Public Schools Student Placement Services Center will help you find the school that is right for your child. Student Placement Services is located at 1250 W. Broadway in the lower level of Broadway School.

Families whose first language is not English should visit the New Families Center for help with school placement. The New Families Center is located at 3345 Chicago Ave. S.

Service hours at both sites are as follows:
•    Regular hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
•    Extended hours: August 23-31, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Seats are still available, so register your child today.

The first day of school is August 30 for students in grades 1-12 and September 1 for high five and kindergarten students.

September Technology programs at Hennepin County Library

Back-to-lifelong-learning programs for all ages are scheduled in September at Hennepin County libraries, including storytimes, computer classes, job and small business programs, multicultural programs, author talks, programs for aspiring writers, and other events.  All programs are free.

Hennepin County Library offers access to about 5 million books, CDs, DVDs, electronic resources, and other items in more than 40 languages, plus 1,775 public computers. 

The following technology programs are scheduled in September at local libraries.  For Hennepin County Library's complete program schedule, go online to

Hennepin County Library - East Lake
2727 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 952-847-8425


Local and National Parent and Community Coalitions urge Congress to support new plan for “Turnaround” schools

Coalition plan details successful, sustainable reform that will strengthen America’s schools

Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) recently joined with Communities for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS), a new national coalition of community-based organizations composed of parents and students in low-income communities from across the country, to unveil a new comprehensive plan for successful, sustainable reform of the nation’s chronically underperforming schools and a report on schools that are eligible for federal turnaround intervention.

With the release of the coalition’s Sustainable School Transformation Plan and the report, “Our Communities Left Behind,” NOC members called for replacing the Administration’s proposals with the coalition’s research-based best practices to help transform underperforming schools in the Twin Cities.

Stedman’s steps to success

Stedman’s steps to successStedman Graham - The “Athletes Against Drugs” Interview

Stedman Graham was born on March 6, 1951, in Whitesboro, NJ, a community founded in 1901 by a group of prominent African Americans which included Booker T. Washington and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Stedman attended Middle Township High School where the 6’6” phenom starred on the varsity basketball team. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Hardin-Simmons University, he played professionally in Europe for a few years before returning to the U.S. to work on his Master’s in Education from Ball State.

An enduring, high-profile relationship with Oprah Winfrey has, perhaps, overshadowed the long list of business and charitable accomplishments accumulated over the course of Graham’s impressive career as Chairman and CEO of S. Graham & Associates, a management and marketing consulting firm specializing in the corporate and educational fields. A prolific writer, he is also the author of ten books, two of which became NY Times bestsellers. And he has taught at several colleges, including a course on leadership at the University of Illinois and one on strategic management at Northwestern.

Metropolitan State appoints interim dean

Metropolitan State appoints interim deanDaniel Abebe, Saint Paul, dean of Metropolitan State University’s First College, was named interim dean of the university’s College of Professional Studies. The appointment is effective July 1. He is replacing Dr. Carmen Coballes-Vega who left July 1 to assume the provost’s position at Hostos College, City University of New York. A search to fill the position on a permanent basis will be conducted during the 2010–2011 academic year, during which time Abebe will lead both colleges.

Abebe will provide programmatic, administrative and budgetary leadership for the College of Professional Studies, including oversight of curricular development and faculty recruitment and evaluation. The college offers undergraduate programs in alcohol and drug counseling, early childhood studies, urban early childhood education, urban elementary education, human services, psychology and social work. It also provides graduate programs in psychology.

Judge Tanya Bransford: A Minnesota African She-ro

Judge Tanya Bransford: A Minnesota African She-roOften times when African Americans teach their children about their incredible history and culture and the tremendous contribution that people of African descent have made to the United States and the world, they forget to teach their children about the giant heroes and she-roes that are right here in Minnesota.

For the last several years, WE WIN Institute, Inc has been teaching Black children, ages 5-18, about the enormous impact that African Americans in Minnesota have made. Living in a state that has a Black population of less than 5 percent, it is essential that African American children have a thorough understanding of the contributions of people who look like them.

Students in WE WIN’s summer program studied the life of Judge Tanya Bransford. Reading materials about the judge were developed for the five-year-olds and the 15-year-olds. They discussed her life, answered questions and drew her pictures.
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