Jon Bon Jovi geeks out on early childhood education

Categories: Education

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by Steve Cohen
Local media were all a-buzz when Jon Bon Jovi dropped in on the Minneapolis homeless shelter People Serving People before his concert yesterday. (See our slideshow of the concert here)

"His visit opened the circle of people aware of our work much wider than we could have done in six months," said Jim Minor, the CEO and president of PSP.

But Bon Jovi's visit wasn't just about sharing his celebrity spotlight with charitable organizations. It turns out the man who brought us "Slippery When Wet" is actually a nerd for homeless services policy. His foundation has raised millions of dollars for Philadelphia charities, and Bon Jovi is using latest concert tour to visit shelters around the country on a fact-finding mission to learn best practices he can implement at home.

Minor said Bon Jovi was most interested in learning about how People Serving People offers schooling to homeless toddlers with unstable lives.

"A lot of the children we serve don't stay in the same place for six weeks," Minor said. "So we've worked with the University of Minnesota to develop a curriculum that breaks segments down into smaller chunks of four or five days."

Bon Jovi told Minor the program was the most impressive he's seen on his tour so far, and he wants to bring the same techniques to shelters in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

"I said we'd be happy to advise on that," Minor said. "I think we'll be hearing from him soon."

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