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Mary Carlson is Making a Difference


A Northfield woman who has served as a longtime youth mentor has received the Healthy Community Initiative “Making a Difference” Award for October. The award celebrates those groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

Mary Carlson was matched with a middle school student seven years ago through the Connected Kids mentoring program. Carlson and the student, Melody Altamirano, began meeting regularly after school to do homework, with the long-term goal of supporting Altamirano’s ambition to finish high school.

Altamirano graduated last spring and is now planning to pursue further education.

Help all Northfield’s kids be learning superheroes!


Northfield's kids need your help!  Northfield's low-income students have trailed their peers in average reading and math proficiency by more than 25% over the last 5 years. And this group is growing: almost 1/3 of Northfield's elementary students now receive free or reduced-price lunches-- a 50% increase since 2004.

We need YOU to help close this gap and prepare all Northfield students for success. Research shows that mastering reading by 3rd grade is key to lifelong success.

Northfield elementary schools are starting a new volunteer program to close the achievement gap and we need YOU. Help all our kids launch for a life as learning superheroes!

Yes, I want to help! (click here to sign up)

Yes, I would like a volunteer! (teachers click here to request a volunteer for your class)

Help HCI meet its match -- all donations DOUBLED Thursday for "Give to the Max Day"


The Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) has been making a difference in the lives of youth and families in our community for more than 20 years, working behind the scenes in support of successful programs like TORCH, Take It to The Box, Accelerate Northfield, the Mayor's Youth Council and many, many more.

Over the past eight years, HCI has helped to bring in over $4 million in state and federal grants to make a difference for our kids, and HCI has been recognized statewide and nationally for our collaborative approach to local issues. 

HCI's work has been funded in part by a generous federal grant, which has now expired. We ask your support with a tax-deductible donation to close our funding gap and ensure that our work can continue. Together we can make a difference and leave a legacy that will make the health and well-being of our children our first priority both today and tomorrow.

Through generous matching contributions, any donation made to HCI on Thursday, November 15, 2012, as part of the "Give to the Max Day" celebration, will be DOUBLED, up to a total match of $3,600.  Click HERE to help us meet this match!

Conexiones Comunitarias (Noviembre 2012)


Conexiones Comunitarias es un boletín mensual que ofrece información sobre servicios y actividades disponibles en Northfield. Este boletín es cortesía del Centro LINK y puede pinchar aquí para acceder a los boletines anteriores.

Conexiones Comunitarias: Noviembre 2012 (.pdf)

Early Reading Presentation

Randall Klein

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 – 7:30-8:30   NHS Auditorium -- public welcome     

Intervention Games and Activities for Beginning and Struggling Readers

Montessori Children's House and The Northfield School District invite you to a literacy presentation for parents and community educators about beginning reading skills, phonemic awareness, and games and activities that promote literacy in the home.

‘Creative Critter Creations’ Is Theme for Kids Night at the Y on Nov. 9


“Creative Critter Creations” is the theme for this month’s edition of Kids Night at the Y, set for Friday, Nov. 9, at the National Guard Armory, 519 Division St.

Kids Night at the Y—an evening of fun conducted by the Northfield Area Family YMCA—is open to children ages 3 to 10.

Kids Night features games, crafts, music and dinner. The program runs from 5 to 8 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.

YMCA members pay $10 for the first two children in the family – a fee that include dinner – and $5 for each additional child. Nonmembers pay $15 for the two children in the family, $10 for each additional child.

Youth voice in the 2012 elections

VOTE graphic.jpg

Charged by the City Council with ensuring a youth voice in civic affairs, the high school students in the Northfield Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) have been working to help guarantee that issues impacting Northfield’s young people are front and center in the 2012 elections.  This fall, the MYC has:

  • Held local candidate forums on issues important to youth
  • Filmed candidate videos to introduce youth to local candidates
  • Organized a Youth Vote at the Northfield High School

Learn more about these efforts, check out the videos they produced on the local races, and see the results of the Youth Vote HERE.

A special thank you to the Youthprise Foundation, the Sheltering Arms Foundation, the America’s Promise Alliance, and the Northfield Area United Way for supporting these efforts to empower and give voice to Northfield youth.

Northfield YMCA’s School Age Open Gym Program Begins Monday, Nov. 5


The temperatures might be dropping outside, but the Northfield Area Family YMCA is providing a fun way to keep your elementary school-aged children active this fall and winter.

The Y’s School Age Open Gym program begins Monday, Nov. 5, at the Northfield National Guard Armory, 519 Division St.

Children ages 5-11 and their parents can play their sillies out with basketballs, soccer balls, scooters and much more.  This is a parent-child program, which means adults accompany their youngsters to the open gym.

World renowned Palestinian academic to speak in Northfield Oct. 29

Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

Award-winning scholar, author and activist Dr. Mazim Qumsiyeh brings his fresh perspective on the Israel-Palestine crisis to Northfield audiences on Oct. 29, 2012. Prof. Qumsiyeh speaks with a fresh perspective on the origin and progression of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with emphasis on a little-discussed aspect—Palestinian popular nonviolent resistance.

Qumsiyeh will make two public appearances, both on Oct. 29: 5-6 p.m., Leighton 304, Carleton College, Northfield, and 7-8 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 500 West Third St., Northfield. The events are sponsored by Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel (NJP).

Northfield TORCH program highlighted in Star Tribune editorial


In case you missed it, the Northfield TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program was highlighted in the lead editorial of the October 10, 2012, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.   Click HERE to check out the editorial, titled, "Northfield closes achievement gap."

TORCH works to increase the graduation and postsecondary attendance rates of Northfield's low-income youth, students of color, and potential first-generation college attendees.

TORCH is funded by local donations, as well as grants from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Northfield Area United Way, Women In Northfield Giving Support, Blandin Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.

Norwegian explorer to deliver lecture tonight

Norwegian explorer Thorleif Thorleifson will lecture at St. Olaf about climate change Oct. 11, 2012.

Norwegian marine explorer Thorleif Thorleifsson is visiting St. Olaf College Thursday, Oct. 11, to deliver a lecture titled "A Voyage Around the North Pole: Modern Exploration and Climate Change." His lecture -- free and open to the public -- will begin at 7 p.m. in Regents Hall 150.

In 2010 Thorleifsson and fellow explorer Børge Ousland became the first to sail around the North Pole in a single short season. Their voyage — which took them through the Northern Sea Route in Russia, the Northwest Passage in Canada, and across the North Atlantic — covered 10,000 nautical miles in a record-breaking 80 days. 

Apply now for both Northfield Area Foundation and Grace Whittier Fund grants

Northfield Area FoundationAt the August 21, 2012 Northfield City Council meeting, the Council approved a “fund administration service contract with the Northfield Area Foundation for soliciting and awarding grants for youth recreational activities from the Grace Whittier Fund…”

The new online application forms for both Northfield Area Foundation grants and Grace Whittier Fund grants are now ready.  If you prefer the traditional method of printing out the PDF application forms, NAF still has those available, too (NAF application PDF hereGWF application PDF here).

Youth Video PSA Contest Winners Named


Many thanks to everyone who voted in the 2nd annual Northfield Youth Video PSA Contest.  Nearly 500 people (a record number!) cast votes to determine this year’s winner.  The top vote getter was “Wave,” produced by Chen Ye and Seth Hanson.  Chen and Seth will receive a cash prize for their win.   Click HERE to view this year’s winner.

The theme for this year’s PSA contest was “Youth Under Pressure,” with entries focusing on stress faced by youth and ways that adults can help reduce this stress.  This year’s three finalist videos can be found HERE.

“We were very excited about the quality of submissions for this year’s PSA contest,” said Zach Pruitt, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative director.  “They speak to the truly amazing talents of Northfield youth.”

The video PSA contest is sponsored by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use.

The 2013 video contest theme will be announced in the late spring, with entries likely due in early September 2013.

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

Investing in Youth Grants logo.PNG

At their September 2012 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 funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program. 

Funded projects included:

Remember to vote by Sunday for this year’s youth video PSA contest!


Don’t forget to VOTE and help pick this year’s winner of the youth video PSA contest, sponsored by the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield Mayor’s  Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug UseVoting ends this Sunday (September 30, 2012).

The theme of this year’s contest is "Youth Under Pressure," with videos focusing on stress and young people.  The three finalists were selected from entries from across the community.

Check out the three finalists HERE and vote for your favorite!  The top vote getter will receive a $200 cash prize!

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