ECI Spring Concert Announced

Our annual Spring Concert has been announced! A FREE BOLD ECI Event – Phil Baker and his Red Guitar will take place on Saturday, March 15th at 9:00am.

Concert, Book Swap & Mini-Resource Fair

  • Book Swap – Bring gently used books to exchange for other books
  •  Mini-Resource Fair -Connect with early childhood resources and vendors! You can also register your child for School Readiness, Discovery Kids, Play Island, Head Start, or Learning Fun House)
  • Concert – Bring a blanket, and be ready to dance!


Families with Children Birth to Pre-K in the BOLD Area (Older siblings can come, too.)

When?red guitar

Saturday, March 15 – 9:00 am to 11:45

9:00 am – Book Swap & Mini-Resource Fair

9:45 am – Phil Baker Music

10:45 am – Room to Run in small gym after concert


BOLD School’s Large Gym (Olivia Building)

For more Information, or to be a vendor at the Resource Fair, Contact Renae Saunders 523-1031 Ext. 3147 or

More MN Children are Ready for Kindergarten

This is an encouraging article, that shows that the work of the Early Childhood Initiatives across Minnesota are making a difference!
Thanks Brad Kramer for sharing it with us.

Kindergarten, Here we Come (Marshall Independent Review) – December 13, 2013
Department of Education says more Minnesota children — nearly 73 percent of them — are ready for kindergarten but acknowledges more work needs to be done

We raised over $3200 for young kids! Thank you!

On Give to the Max Day, people and businesses in the Bird Island, Olivia, and Lake Lillian area stepped up to make a difference.  Here is our recent Letter to the Editor, with a Thank you to everyone who contributed, and more about the ECI projects.

Letter to the Editor  – They Gave to the Max to ECI!

The BOLD Early Childhood Initiative Committee (ECI) would like to thank all the individual donors who helped us reach our 2013 fundraising goal of $1600 during November’s Give to the Max Day. These donations were then generously matched by several local banks for a total over $3200. We want to thank Hometown Bank of Olivia, F&M Bank of Olivia, Frandsen Bank and Trust of Bird Island, and Citizen’s Alliance Bank of Lake Lillian for helping our youngest community members.

All funds raised will continue to be used toward BOLD ECI’s mission of promoting the overall development of children age birth to five and their caregivers through outreach, innovative efforts, and community partnerships. In the past three years BOLD ECI has partnered with our local libraries to provide stickers, toys, and other prizes for kids in the “1000 Books Read Before Kindergarten”.  ECI has provided 200 free tickets to Willmar Stinger Books-N-Baseball games where the players read to kids on the field encouraging early literacy. ECI partners with the United Way of West Central Minnesota to supply backpacks filled with school supplies for BOLD preschoolers. ECI helped fund monies toward the installment of twelve changing tables in local facilities. We have donated $2000 match grants toward the cities of Bird Island, Olivia, and Lake Lillian to improve playground equipment aimed at kids five years of age and younger.  The City of Lake Lillian has already installed several pieces. Please check them out! The ECI sponsors an annual free concert with mini resource fair for families to network with local health, social, and school agencies to help evaluate the needs of our kids before school starts. It is also a great time for kids and their families. The ECI has also sponsored “Tubs of Fun” at each communities summer festival days.  We continue to look for ways to help improve the social, educational, and health needs of the youngest kids in our community.

Did you know that every dollar invested in early childhood saves $17 in welfare assistance, special education, and law enforcement later?   And currently only 50% of children in Minnesota are fully prepared for kindergarten?  The BOLD ECI wants to thank all of our individual and business sponsors for their continued financial support of our efforts to improve the outlook for kids in our community.  We believe your investment is well spent helping our youngest community members thrive. Thank you for your support!

You can learn more about the BOLD ECI or volunteering on our website at or Like Us on Facebook at The BOLD ECI is supported by the Southwest Initiative Foundation.

The BOLD ECI (Early Childhood Initiative) Committee

Welcome to the BOLD ECI’s Website!

We are excited to be able to share more information and resources about the BOLD ECI to you, here on our website! Watch for ways that you can get involved, events for kids coming up, and other useful early childhood resources! We welcome your feedback and comments, and hope that you will tell other parents of young kids in the Bird Island, Olivia, Lake Lillian area about the BOLD ECI!

Many people know us best by our annual Spring Concerts! In 2013 we hosted the Teddy Bear Band, and in 2012 we jammed to Bob the Beachcomber!