This week, about 150 volunteers begin planning on a project to boost student achievement in a 250-block section of St. Paul.
St. Paul won a competitive grant from the Obama administration to begin planning the Promise Neighborhoods. Planners envision a project modeled on the Harlem Children's Zone in New York, a network of academic, health and social services for low-income children.
Paul Mattessich, executive director of Wilder Research, said the initiative will help St. Paul's kids succeed.
"To be the vibrant community that we want to be in the future, and to be economically competitive as we want the country to be, it's critically important that the children we are raising get a good start," Mattessich said.
Over the next six months the group will map out a network of resources to support children and families. The project is expected to take effect sometime after this fall.