HCI funds eight “Investing in Youth” grants to benefit area youth

Investing in Youth Grants logo.PNG

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

Funded projects included:

Lace for the Cure
The Northfield Raiders Girls Soccer team planned this project as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  The team planned to gather donations, sell cupcakes, hold a raffle at a football game, encourage people to attend the soccer “Lace for a Cure” game, and coordinate with homecoming activities to hold a Lace for the Cure-sponsored dance at the high school.

Riverland Community College Career Fair
The Northfield High School TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes) Program plans to take the Northfield High School Academy students to the career fair at Riverland Community College.  At this career fair, each student will attend seminars with speakers from a variety of professions to learn about those careers and the paths to those careers.  Students are able to select seminars from over 40 career options.

Grand Buddies
Sibley Elementary School teacher, Becki Haar plans to take her 26 fourth graders to visit residents of the Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) each month throughout the school year.  Students learn about the elderly and their needs through literature and discussion.  Each month, the fourth graders will sing to and visit with NRC residents, and the students will decorate parts of the NRC with seasonal decorations.

Project Sidekick
Wendy Pietsch, a senior at Arcadia Charter School, is starting a mentoring program at Arcadia, pairing high school students with middle school students.  She is working with the Connected Kids program for structure support.  The mentor matches will meet after school, at least once each week throughout the school year.  Wendy is hoping to establish a program that will continue after this school year.

100 Mile Club
The 4th grade students at Sibley Elementary School have set a goal of running and/or walking 100 miles this school year during recess time.  Students will walk and/or run a quarter mile route, keeping track of the number laps completed daily.  Progress is tracked and monitored on classroom iPads.  Through this program, the 4th Grade teachers hope to foster lifelong fitness, help students set long terms goals and accomplish them, and build self esteem through hard work.

Youth Teaching Youth
The Youth Teaching Youth program trains Northfield High School students to go into elementary schools and talk with students about alcohol and tobacco facts (in 4th grade classrooms) and about the six pillars of character (in 2nd grade classrooms).  Through games, videos, role-playing and discussion, 4th graders will practice refusal skills, learn how to deal with peer pressure and build self-esteem.  Second graders will learn about responsibility, respect, and caring through hands-on activities, group discussion, and story time.  High school students serve as the trainers, acting as positive role models and learning about positive choices when it comes to alcohol, tobacco, and peer pressure.

Internet Safety and Cyber-Bulling Presentation
In November, the Northfield Middle School will host an internet safety and cyber-bullying presentation for all 6th graders.  A specialist in this field will speak to students about appropriate internet, Facebook, and cell phone texting use and about the importance of making good choices when using and sharing personal information on the internet.  The Middle School wants to make students aware of the types of bullying techniques used in the cyber world and the potential consequences of cyber-bullying.

Kindness Retreat
Sibley Elementary School is planning to hold a Kindness Retreat for all Sibley 5th graders in November.  This Kindness Retreat, presented by Youth Frontiers, Inc., will provide students with preventative measures to reduce the occurrence of bullying.  The hope is to reduce acts of bullying by instilling the value of kindness to others.

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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 www.northfieldhci.org/investinginyouthgrants 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.