HCI Board funds 8 mini-grants in April to benefit area youth

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At their April 2012 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved mini-grants to support eight projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth.  Funded projects included:

Writers’ Workshop Poetry BookARTech students participating in the Writers’ Workshop group are compiling prose and poetry they have authored throughout the school year and are putting it into one publication, a poetry book.  Several copies of this journal will be given to the Key and area businesses who have hosted the writers during writing sessions this school year.

Latino Play Festival.  Students in the ESL (English as a Second Language) Performing Arts class at Northfield High School have spent the year writing and preparing plays.  Planned performances will be held at Carleton College and at the Northfield High School.  There will also be special performances for middle school students.  Evening performances at the Northfield High School are scheduled for May 11th and 12th.

TEAM UP Cinco de Mayo Event.  Teachers at the Northfield Middle School are planning a Cinco de Mayo celebration in conjunction with the Tattered Pages Mother’s Day sale on Thursday, May 3.  They encourage all middle school families to come to the middle school for an evening of entertainment and crafts.  A crowd favorite, Aztec dancers will perform.  The Cinco de Mayo event is free and will run from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

EGGPlants Field Trip to a Local Farm.  Three area St. Olaf College students have planned a field trip for two third grade classes, one from Greenvale Park Elementary School and one from St. Dominic’s School, to visit a local organic farm.  This is the capstone event of a seven week gardening and nutrition curriculum taught by the St. Olaf College students to the third grade classrooms.  The students will be going to the Simple Harvest Farm in early May.

Girls on the Run 5KGirls on the Run is an after-school program that uses the power of running to help prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.  During the program, the girls train together, preparing to walk or run in a 5K (3.1 mile) event together.  This year, the culminating 5K takes place in Red Wing, Minnesota.  Youth go to the 5K with their Running Buddy, an adult who has helped them in training and/or supported their effort to be in the program.

ARTech Basketball Hoop.  Students at ARTech are leading an initiative to install a basketball hoop in the parking lot in back of the school.  They currently do not have a basketball hoop.  With the guidance of adults, students will research and install the hoop and its foundation.

Wisdom Retreat.  Students of the Northfield High School senior class are organizing a Wisdom Retreat for the senior class, to be led by Youth Frontiers.  Student organizers hope this time together will help seniors experience positive closure and guide them towards a meaningful transition into life beyond high school.  Youth Frontiers designs this retreat to:  increase school connectedness at a time when seniors often feel disconnected; provide seniors with an opportunity to gain a clearer perspective on their experiences; and nurture wise choices in the future.

Outdoor Stage Construction.  The Northfield Union of Youth plans to build an outdoor stage in the Key’s backyard to host concerts and other events.  This will require youth to design, plan, and eventually construct the stage, with the help of adults.  Youth at the Key hope the finished stage can be used for many community events.  This large project will give the youth an opportunity to learn skills in building and design.

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HCI offers mini-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 second Monday of the month.  Visit www.northfieldhci.org/mini-grants for more information and to access the easy-to-complete application.

Funding for the HCI mini-grants comes from the Northfield Area United Way, Women In Northfield Giving Support (WINGS), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.