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Five HCI Investing with Youth Grants awarded

At their November 2013 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support five projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.  The projects are all funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grants program.

Funded projects included:

Reasons to Write Pen Pal Program
This project involves second and third grade students at Sibley Elementary School in an intergenerational pen pal program.  Senior citizen volunteers and elementary school students will share letters for eight weeks in the fall session and for another eight weeks in the spring session.  At the conclusion of each session, a party will be held giving students and senior volunteers an opportunity to meet their pen pals.  This is the 6th year Common Good RSVP will run this program, which has become a favorite among its senior volunteers.  Sibley students will travel either to the Northfield Retirement Community campus or the Three Links campus for the celebration with the seniors.

LINK Freshmen Fun Night
LINK is the Northfield High School’s transition program, which welcomes the freshman class at the beginning of each school year and continues to support the freshmen throughout their first year of high school.  LINK is coordinated by older high school students with the help of staff advisors.  Youth LINK leaders are planning a Freshmen Fun Night.  The goal of this event is to make the freshmen at the high school feel more comfortable and connected to the school.  The event is scheduled to include activities such as t-shirt printing, open gym, a talent show, mini golf, bracelet making, and ping pong.

Circle of Friends
Lisa Weis, a teacher at the Northfield High School, is creating a new social group called, “Circle of Friends.”  This group will pair high school students who agree to be “Circle of Friends” volunteers with students on the autism spectrum.  Each pair will be encouraged to attend school/social events together.  It is hoped that through the Circle of Friends experiences, all students involved will develop a stronger sense of self-worth and social connection, which will help them create a stronger connection to their community and the individuals that make up that community.

Family Service Night
The elementary students at Prairie Creek Community School are planning a Family Service Night, scheduled for February 18.  The community is invited to come to the school for an evening of hand-crafting items for local organizations.  Students have stations planned for creating animal toys, soup packets, coloring books, greeting cards, place mats, bead kits, birthday bag kits, toiletry kits, and much more.  When complete, these items/kits will be donated to local organizations such as the Humane Society, the Community Action Center, Laura Baker, the VFW, the police department, senior care facilities, and others.

Celebrating Academic Success
The Northfield Middle School TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program will facilitate a celebratory gathering for all middle school TORCH students who make the honor roll at the end of each of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters.  Each event would be held at the Northfield Middle School.


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, Northfield Area United Way, Wells Fargo, and Allina Medical Clinic-Northfield.