The Bemidji-Blackduck-Kelliher Thrive Initiative recently received $1,500 from Walmart in Bemidji to purchase books written with the purpose of helping young children begin to understand and manage their emotions.
The Northwest Minnesota Foundation and the Thrive Action Team are focusing on strengthening early-childhood mental-health services for children and families in Bemidji, Blackduck and Kelliher.
Early-childhood mental health is the developing capacity of a child to experience, regulate, and express emotions; form close and secure interpersonal relationships; and, explore the environment and learn. A young child's healthy social and emotional development forms a strong foundation for all other development, including cognitive - the ability to learn and thrive in school.
Members of the Thrive Action Team are area leaders in the fields of early care and education, mental health, special education, public health and family services.
The books will be given to parents, grandparents and child-care providers to help them learn more about supporting the healthy social and emotional development of young children by spending time together reading, singing, laughing, cuddling and talking.