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Southwest Colorado child advocate group seeks feedback

Team Up aims to improve children’s lives

A new local group is looking for community feedback as members seek to improve the lives of children in Montezuma and Dolores counties.

Team Up Southwest Colorado is supported by United Way of Southwest Colorado and is in charge of the group’s collective impact effort. The campaign aims to help all children in the area realize their potential from cradle to career, Team Up Director Joni Podschun said Monday.

“It’s a community process,” she said.

The project also seeks to provide a safe and supportive environment for children.

People can submit feedback by completing an internet survey. They may also contribute ideas on “doodle boards” at the Dove Creek Community Health Clinic, Ute Mountain Ute Child Development Center (Head Start), Montezuma County Public Health Office, Southwest Open School, Mancos Public Library and the Dolores Public Library.

Team Up’s planning stage is funded through fall, Podschun said.

A 2016 Kids Count in Colorado report of the 25 most populous counties in the state ranked Montezuma County last in overall child wellbeing.

Over the next few months, the group will gather feedback and create action teams for various areas, she said. This summer, the teams will brainstorm ideas, which will be subjected to a vote.

Podschun said she hopes to create a “toolbox” to improve children’s lives.

“We hope to continue learning as a community and involve new people,” Podschun said.