Northfield Healthy Community Initiative

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Northfield community benefits from HCI’s latest “Investing in Youth” grants

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 4:50pm

At their recent board meetings, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support several projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.

Funded projects included:

8th Grade Farewell Fest
All Northfield Middle School 8th graders were invited to the 1st annual 8th Grade Fun Night held in late May.  There was music, carnival games, mini-golf, karaoke, fun with inflatables, and refreshments.  Fun Night was a time of celebration for the 8th graders as they completed their middle school education.

Let’s Plant!
First through 5th grade students from St. Dominic’s School traveled to the Three Links community for a planting project with the Three Links residents.  Students and residents planted vegetables in an outdoor garden.  The students were invited to come back throughout the summer to help tend the garden and visit with residents.

Greenvale 5th Grade Girls’ Ultimate Frisbee Graduation Celebration!
Working towards a Girl Scouts Bronze Award, three students planned an event for all of the graduating fifth grade girls at Greenvale Park Elementary School. This event was held on a Saturday at the end of the school year. Each participant received a frisbee. Some members of the Carleton women’s Ultimate Frisbee team came to the event and mentored and coached the girls on frisbee techniques.

Community Youth Fairs
Northfield Public Schools, Community Services Division hosts the annual Community Youth Fairs each August, just before the start of school.  Each year, approximately 450 elementary and middle school-aged students and their families attend these fairs.  Local organizations are invited to set up booths free of charge.  Each participating organization will then have access to these students and their families to inform them about the extracurricular opportunities available, as well as to share information about scholarships that might be available to the families.

Life of an Athlete Summer Training
Life of an Athlete (LOA) student leaders from Northfield High School attended a summer retreat in Bemidji, MN.  Students planned activities and initiatives for the upcoming school year.  Students also participated in a challenge course where they focused on character development and commitment to personal and team goals through team-building challenges.

Farm Work Days
The Key, in partnership with other organizations, has established a youth empowerment and education program that focuses on civic engagement, community organizing skills, business planning and development around green industries, and local sustainable agriculture. Participants meet each Thursday at a farm site to learn about sustainable agriculture and to help work the field, with all proceeds from the youth farm site going back into the youth program for other educational events.

Northfield Skate Park Benefit Concert
The youth of the Northfield Skateboard Coalition organized a concert to raise funds for the construction of the Northfield Skate Park.


HCI offers Investing in Youth grants to projects and activities that:

  • provide the opportunity for young people to develop positive intergenerational relationships with caring adults and/or
  • connect Northfield youth with their communities (ex. neighborhood, school, wider Northfield)

Applications are reviewed monthly and are due by the 8th of the month. Visit for more information and to access the easy-to-complete application.

Funding for the HCI Investing in Youth grants program comes from the Northfield Hospital & Clinics and the Northfield Area United Way.


Categories: Organizations

Nominate a Project Prevention Champion by August 18

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:39pm







The Rice County Chemical Health Coalition needs your help to find and recognize PROJECT PREVENTION CHAMPIONS in our community.
A Project Prevention Champion is  someone who has helped provide support for a healthier life in our community – someone who helps reduce risk factors for alcohol and drug abuse, someone who supports recovery, or builds assets for our youth and other community members.

They can be our friends and neighbors, our teachers, our mentors, our business partners, our police officers, our health professionals or community members.  Please help us recognize and encourage these community leaders by nominating them for a Project Prevention Champion Award.  They will receive the recognition and encouragement they deserve, and others will be inspired by their story.


Nominating a Project Prevention Champion is simple and takes just a few moments.

1. Visit the Rice County Chemical Health Coalition website ( to download a nomination form.

2. Send a copy to the address or email contact at the bottom of the nomination form by August 18, 2014.


Please take just a few moments to help us recognize these leaders who make our communities safer for our children.

Recognition of Project Prevention Champions will take place in September to coincide with Recovery Month. September 2014 marks the 25th year of National Recovery Month (, a national observance that educates Americans on the fact that addiction treatment and mental health services can enable those with a mental and/or substance use disorder to live a healthy and rewarding life.

If you have any questions about the nominations, please email Kathy Sandberg at or Sandy Malecha at To access a nomination form, visit

Categories: Organizations

Northfield Historical Society is Making a Difference

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 3:29pm

The Northfield Historical Society has received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for July. The award celebrates groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

The historical society received the award for engaging local students in four museum programs:

• Junior Curators, a summer program for students between the seventh and eighth grades, which has about 45 participants;

• SCOPE (Student Community Outreach Program Experience), a gifted and talented program for eighth graders offered during the school year, which has resulted in the publication of books including Caught in the Storm: a Field Guide to the James and Younger Gang Escape Trail.

• Junior Posse, a program in which about 25 students who have completed eighth or ninth grade learn the history of the 1876 bank raid and give summer tours at the museum;

• Summer assistants, open to a couple of students in grades 10-12. These students supervise the Junior Curators and serve as aides to the executive director.

The programs aim to enable students to make meaningful contributions to local history through their involvement as researchers, writers, interpreters or ambassadors. More than 900 youth have participated in the programs since they were started in 1992 by then-Northfield Middle School teacher Ron Morris. Morris has since retired.

Teacher Earl Weinmann, who took over as programs supervisor in about 1997, said the students lend enthusiasm and excitement to the museum experience.

“You can go in and be greeted by a seventh grader, get a tour by an eighth or ninth grader, and as you leave, get a book written by an eighth grader,” he said. “All these programs tell the public that our youth can and do make a meaningful contribution to our community and to our local history. That has been the emphasis in every single program we do – not to have the students as figureheads, not to have them as tokens, but to have them in the trenches, producing a product, or giving an interpretation, for our local citizens and for our visitors from all over the world.”

Northfield Historical Society Executive Director Hayes Scriven said the museum could not put on some of its programs without the students. For example, the Junior Curators conduct research and write the scripts for the annual Cemetery Stories event in October.

“I like the program because it gets students interested in history who might be on the fence about it – it sets them on the path to learning more and thinking about how they might make a living at it,” Scriven said.

Weinmann said SCOPE is made possible by a partnership between the historical society, the Northfield school district and Carleton College, which provides college interns to help the middle school students with their research and writing. Other businesses and organizations that have provided assistance include EcoTrans, which donates transportation for the SCOPE students.

“It’s not a historical society program, and it’s not my program – I really see it as a community program,” Weinmann said.

Photo: From left to right: Northfield Historical Society Executive Director Hayes Scriven, summer assistant Erin Hahn and Junior Curators Siri Lindell and Ariana Beeby take a break from work in the society’s archives. Photo by Joy Riggs


The Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield News present the Making a Difference Award cooperatively. If you know an individual or group that you would like to nominate for this award, CLICK HERE for nomination guidelines and the easy-to-complete application or find HCI on Facebook.  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and are selected by a review team of HCI board members and local youth.

Categories: Organizations

Sports Special Sale to be held on August 1 at Northfield High School

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 6:59am

Northfield Public Schools Community Services is hosting their First Annual Sports Special Sale on Friday, August 1, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Northfield High School Lower Cafeteria.  The event is held in partnership with the Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative.

If you or someone you know has any extra new or lightly used athletic gear, bikes, equipment and apparel to donate, it will be sold during the Sports Special event at a low cost with ALL proceeds going directly to support the youth scholarship fund here in Northfield.  Those donations can be dropped off at the NCRC until Thursday, July 31st.  This is a great sale to attend if you are in the market to buy new sports gear for the upcoming year.  Concessions will also be available for sale.



Categories: Organizations

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