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Editorial: Hand in hand

Every Hand Joined issued its first report to the community on Wednesday. Readers received a copy with their newspaper. Did you read it?

“Chapter One” laid out a utopic vision that someday every Red Wing child will enter kindergarten prepared, get support along the way, do well in class, graduate and then get post-secondary education or training and start a career.

Crazy, huh.

Maybe as crazy as thinking a little river town could force metropolitan communities upstream to stop polluting. That people’s passion could lead to a state redefining pollution control. That their commitment to clean water could bring about federal enforcement.

Yet that’s just what this community — city and county officials, the newspaper, as well as everyday Red Wing citizens — did nearly 50 years ago.

If we can work to benefit the Mississippi River and all who live along it, why not try do something as crazy-impossible as changing the lives of those growing up along its banks right here?

Track down the Every Hand Joined report. Read it. Ask questions. Then consider where you might contribute. Maybe it’s with the Hunger Network, one of the programs that predates Every Hand Joined. Maybe it’s through civic groups and childhood services yet to be invited to join the effort.

This isn’t a Red Wing Public Schools project, but the district embraces this opportunity to work with community partners, Supt. Karsten Anderson said.

“Because of Red Wing's civic stewardship, Every Hand Joined will have a strong, lasting impact on the lives of children throughout our community,” he said. “For over 20 years, I have worked as a public educator, but I have never been part of a movement that yields such great promise.”

To fulfill that promise the community needs every hand joined — not so the initiative lives up to its name — so that every child has a better chance to succeed.