Funded “Investing in Youth” Grants, 2012-2013

Investing in Youth Grants logo



Community Soccer Night
Wopata  This event is held each August.  It is a family-friendly event for the entire community where those attending are invited to enjoy lawn games, fun competitions, and live music.  Northfield High School soccer players and coaches are present, and there are donated prizes for the activities.


2013 Northfield Farm Bike Tour

farmbiketour2013 DSC_9444
Area college students planned a community bike tour of eight local farms.  This is the event’s second year, and once again there were interactive, educational, and kid-friendly activities at each farm.  Following the bike tour, there was a Harvest Festival at SEEDS Farm.  There was live music by students and community members and delicious food donated.  The Farm Bike Tour was held Saturday, September 28.

Building Citizen Scientists in Northfield Public Schools
Bldg Citizen Scientists 2012.13  Bldg Citizen Scientists pic 1  Youth from local environmental clubs plan to create and upkeep two new bird feeding sites, one at Greenvale Elementary School and the other at the Rachel Carson Nature Area by Bridgewater Elementary School.  They also plan to maintain the existing bird feeder site at the Northfield Middle School.  Each site will be used by each school’s environmental club to collect data about Minnesota’s native birds.  High school and college students will help gather and analyze the data.  At the end of the year, all the environmental clubs will meet to review the information and to share this information with other groups around the country through use of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Citizen Science Projects web sites.

Northfield Kitchen Scientists
Firebellies” is a student-run cooking club at Carleton College.  The students of this club are planning a program to teach area middle school students the basics of cooking while empowering them with knowledge and skills they can use to make better food-related choices.  Through hands-on cooking experiments, students will learn scientific concepts while building meaningful relationships with Carleton students. The program will also include field trips to the college and to local farms, facilitating numerous opportunities for youth to connect with the local community.


Get to Know Minnesota History!

Get to Know MN History, pic 1, 2013
The Northfield Historical Society and the Northfield Public Library are partnering to offer a twelve-week program this fall aimed at youth, ages 6-12, titled “Get to know Minnesota History.”  “Minnesota History Players” from the Minnesota Historical Society will be hired.  These History Players are costumed actors that portray historical figures from Minnesota’s past and all provide a wide representative sample of Minnesota’s extensive history.  A History Player will come in every two weeks, and the event will alternate between the Northfield Public Library and the Northfield Historical Society.


YKids Tri

This annual youth triathlon is now in its fourth year, and it grows larger each year.  It is a non-competitive event for participants (ages 6-14), who will swim, bike, and run as family and friends cheer them on.  A total of 250 participants and 500 spectators are expected this year.

Community Youth Fairs

Mananna & Natalie (2)   Evie Bauer (3)
Community Services is planning its Community Youth Fairs, which are held each August, just before the start of school. Each year, approximately 450 elementary and middle school-aged students and their families attend these fairs.  The goal of the event is to attract more Northfield students to participate in organized activities during non-school hours.  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.

Class Reunion for the Graduating Class of 2011
The class of 2011 has lost four classmates in recent months.  They are planning a two-part reunion event.  The first part of the event will be a social time for classmates.  The second half of the event will be open to the public as a tribute to lost classmates.  The reunion committee hopes this gathering can bring some healing for the community.


College Exposure Field Trip
Northfield High School 9th Grade Academy students took a field trip, visiting four different colleges: a four-year public college, a four-year private college, a community college, and a technical/vocational college.  This was planned in conjunction with the HCI Sparks inventory and site visits to local career options.

Writer’s Workshop Poetry Book
Throughout the school year, Arcadia students participating in Writer’s Workshop met off campus for a period of time each week to creatively write.  These students then compiled their collective writings from the school year into a Poetry Book.  Writer’s Workshop students distributed copies of the poetry book to the community organizations that supported the work of the class.

Carnival 4 Cancer
Area middle school student, Emily Liebl and some friends planned and held a family-friendly event featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, silent auction, food, and games to raise money for the fight against cancer.  The event was held in early June at Emily’s home in Dennison.  There was a great turnout and the youth sent all event proceeds and donations, totaling nearly $4,000, to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Northfield High School Service Learning Projects, Spring 2013

Service learning is a teaching method that enriches learning by engaging students in meaningful service to their schools and communities.  HCI funded four Investing in Youth grants to aid service projects developed by students at Northfield High School.  All students are enrolled in Sarah Swan-McDonald’s Service Learning Class, which concludes its semester with group service projects.  These projects included:

Soles4Souls Shoe Drive
Students held a shoe drive to collect and send shoes to Zimbabwe, Haiti, and the Republic of Congo, where youth are not permitted to attend public school unless they have shoes to wear.  These students collected nearly 300 pairs of gently used shoes for donation to this cause.

Mock Crash Follow-Up Pledge to Not Drink and Drive
This project was designed to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving and to seek written pledges from Northfield students not to drink and drive.  This project was designed in conjunction with the mock crash event held at the Northfield High School just prior to the end of school.

African Library Project
Service Learning students, with support of all area school media centers, held a book drive and a campaign to raise awareness about illiteracy.  Through the African Library Project, donated books were sent to communities in Africa for distribution.

Encouragement Wall 
This project was designed to promote a positive atmosphere at Northfield High School.  Service Learning students erected a plexiglass wall and invited other students and staff to share positive comments in relation to various daily prompts.  Comments were written in marker on the plexiglass wall.  This wall was in place at the school during the last several weeks of school.


Cinco de Mayo Celebration
TEAM UP Teachers at the Northfield Middle School are planning the 3rd annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration where students and their families can celebrate and learn about Latino culture.  There will be dance groups performing for the entertainment of students and their families.  The Tattered Pages Bookstore will also be open for families.  This event is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, May 2nd.

Summer Slide Prevention Program
This is a teacher designed summer reading program that will support parents in their efforts to keep their elementary children reading and to preserve effective reading skills through the non school summer months.

English Language Learners Year-End Celebration
Students in the Northfield High School English Language Learner (ELL) program arranged a year-end celebration of academic success.  The aim of the project is to recognize academic accomplishments throughout the year and foster increased school connectedness.

Autism Awareness
April is Autism Awareness Month.  Student, Tonya Yarmakov, is organizing a gathering of her autism class members and their families in order to formally thank the staff members that work with the group.  This event is scheduled for April 29th.  Tonya is also organizing two bowling events for students involved in the autism program.  Both bowling events are scheduled for May.


Arcadia Charter School Middle School
service learning class projects

Prairie’s Edge Humane Society Fundraiser.  This was a bake sale fundraiser for the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.
Soda Floats.  This was an event to benefit the local food shelf.
Campfire Night.  This is a campfire and night games event meant for school bonding and for raising awareness for the Save the Depot campaign.
Donating Books to Women in Prison.  This was a book drive with donated books and funds to be sent to the Women’s Prison Book Project.
Blanket Making and Donating.  For this project, students hand made blankets for Ruth’s House of Hope.
Bake Sale for Children with Cancer.  This was a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota’s cancer facility.
Lollipop Sale.  This was a fundraiser for Ruth’s House of Hope.
Wreck-It Ralph Movie Night Fundraiser for Pennies for Peace.  This was a fundraiser for the Pennies for Peace non-profit, an organization that raises money to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.



Tattered Pages
The Tattered Pages Bookstore at the Northfield Middle School serves all students and their families.  The bookstore receives donated books from students and the community.  Students may redeem earned coupons to buy books for personal and home use.  Coupons are earned by students in a number of ways, including helping to do odd jobs around school or in the Media Center, exhibiting good citizenship, donating books to the bookstore, or working in the bookstore.  Tattered Pages plans to increase the number of available Spanish books before its Mother’s Day sale which takes place at the Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 3rd.  All middle school families are invited to the Cinco de Mayo event.

After Prom Party
The After Prom Party is an annual event that provides a safe, fun, and chemically-free place for all Northfield juniors and seniors (regardless of whether or not they went to Prom) to continue the celebration after Prom ends.  There will be many activities; bowling, casino games, activities, prize drawings, and lots of food.  The event will take place after Prom on May 4th, with doors opening at midnight.  The event is held at the Jesse James Lanes in Northfield and runs from 12:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.

Earth Day Celebration
The youth of Transition Northfield are planning two projects for the annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 20th.  The first project is a sewing workshop where community members can sew lunch bags, reusable grocery bags, and other items from the fabric of used T-shirts and other used clothing.  The second project is the building of raised garden beds that will be placed at centrally located First United Church of Christ in Northfield.  Produce grown in the raised beds will be available to the public, free of charge.

Senior Class Lock-In

Sr Class Lock-in 1, 2012.13  Sr Class Lock-in 2, 2012.13
The Senior Class Lock-in will be held on May 29, the last day of classes for seniors at Northfield High School.  Seniors will be “locked-in” at the high school from 10:00 p.m. Friday night until 5:00 a.m. the next morning.  This is a safe, chemical-free event for the 300+ students expected to attend.

Nursing Assistant Traning Program
Nursing Asst Trng program  The Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) and the Northfield High School are partnering to offer an educational outreach program to Northfield High School students interested in developing skills that will prepare them for employment as nursing assistants in care centers or as resident aides in retirement communities.



Skate Park Visit
familila pic   Area youth skateboard enthusiasts and members of the Northfield Skateboard Coalition planned a visit to the Familia Skatepark in Minneapolis for a tour and discussion with that skate park manager to about ideas for skate park design.  These youth have been in communication with several skate parks in the state about these issues and hope to bring informed ideas to the Northfield City Council.

Dance Marathon
The Junior Board of Directors for Community Resource Bank plan to hold a 12-hour dance Marathon in June to raise money for the Community Action Center (CAC) to benefit the Food Shelf, Clothes Closet, and other CAC initiatives.

Family Math Game Night
Greenvale Park Elementary School staff plan to engage students and families in a math game night at conferences in March.  Students and their families will be taught various math games.  Then each family will be provided with playing cards and dice, so they can take these games home to play and practice math in a fun way.



Beyond Words: A Celebration of Art and Literacy
Beyond Words is an annual event for Sibley Elementary School and has become a highlight of each school year.  Beyond Words brings students and their families together to participate in art and writing activities.  Families will be reading together, making books and bookmarks, and listening to students read poetry.  This year’s Beyond Words event is scheduled for April 4th.

Pots for a Cause
Jenna Dixon and other students at Northfield High School will make pottery (mostly bowls) to sell at the popular Arts ala Carte event on April 26. The pottery will be available for sale to the community.  All proceeds earned from the sale of the pottery will be donated to the local food shelf.

Owl Pellets (Exploring a Potential Spark of Nature)
Greenvale Park Elementary School 5th graders will explore nature by examining owl pellets and learning about owls and their habitat.  Students will also explore the nature center outside the school.  This project is designed to help expose students to a potential Spark.

Evening of the Arts
Greenvale Park Elementary School will host its annual Evening of the Arts event on April 9th.  This event celebrates each student’s accomplishments in a variety of art forms including visual, musical and/or performing arts.  All students and their families are encouraged to attend.  Greenvale Park students will have artwork on display, and older students will be performing musical pieces or reciting poetry or a dramatic reading in the Bistro Café.  Participants will be encouraged to create art projects that evening, which they may take home.

Watch Me Grow! Partnering with Preschoolers
Elderly residents from Three Links Apartments travel to Longfellow Preschool to participate in a monthly activity with students (ages 3, 4, and 5).  The Three Links residents are partnering with and engaging the young students in activities focused on literacy and small motor development.

Water for Sudan
Inspired by the book, Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, middle school students plan to sell concessions at the February 2nd  Northfield Middle School Speech Tournament.  All proceeds from concession sales would benefit the “Water for Sudan” Organization.   This organization helps build wells for people in living in Sudan.  The students also plan to speak to speech tournament participants about this cause.



Hospital Blessings

Hannah Singh, a middle school student, purchased treats from the hospital cafeteria and local stores in order to provide snacks for families visiting patients at the Northfield Hospital over the holidays.  She worked to bless hospital visitors with allergen-free snacks to let each family know this community cares for them.

Healthy Cooking for Middle School Students
Middle school students have organized a regular, weekly cooking session through the Middle School Youth Center at the Northfield Middle School.  They research, plan, and share simple but healthy recipes that students make during each cooking session.  Their goal is for all cooking session participants to take the healthy recipes home and cook them again for their families.

Unusual Animals Club
Middle school student, Annie Ponder, plans to start a club for owners of unusual animals.  There will be monthly meetings and an annual unusual pet show to display and teach about animals.  She hopes this group might go on to take their pets to area retirement centers, preschools/daycare centers, and community events such as “Books & Stars.”

Celebrate Success!
The TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program at the Northfield Middle School is planning a celebratory gathering for all middle school TORCH students who make the honor roll (earn a 2.6 GPA or greater) at the end of each of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters.  Each event would be held at the Northfield Middle School where qualifying TORCH students will enjoy a pizza party and possibly a movie.

Contra Dances for Area High School Students
Arlo Cristofaro-Hark, an Arcadia high school student, would like to share his enthusiasm for contra dancing (a type of folk dance).  In February, Arlo and the Northfield Contra Dance Association will hold two contra dance nights for area high school youth.  These dances will include lessons and will be “called” by a professional caller (much like a square dance has a caller).  The hope is to encourage students to then attend the larger community Contra dances that take place in Northfield.

Young Northfield Chefs

  IMG_0371   IMG_0612
Carleton College student, Vayu Maini Rekdal and his Carleton cooking club, “Firebellies,” have  designed a five-step cooking workshop series. Through specific themes, such as seasonality or cuisines of the world, participants will be immersed in a productive learning environment that integrates all aspects of food – cultural, social, health, education, and sustainability – into a hands-on cooking class series.  This series of cooking workshops is geared toward middle school students and will take place during January, February, and March.


HCI partners with WINGS

to support Northfield High School

service learning class projects, Fall 2012

Ornaments for Hope
Students sold candy canes, candy grams, and ornaments at the Northfield High School, with all proceeds going to the Community Action Center (CAC).  These students also worked with students and staff at Bridgewater Elementary School where participating classes made holiday ornaments.  Each elementary student made two ornaments.  One ornament was made to take home; the second was sold at Riverwalk Market Fair and at the Northfield High School, with all proceeds going to  the CAC.

Teen Obesity Awareness
Students worked to increase awareness among Northfield youth about the problem and dangers of youth obesity.  This group provided high school students with information on a la carte items in the school cafeteria and surveyed students on their ideas of nutrition and their BMI.  The goal of this group was to encourage other students to eat better and be healthier.



Cyber-Bullying Presentation
On November 8th, the Northfield Middle School hosted a cyber-bullying presentation for the 6th grade class.  A specialist in this field spoke to students about appropriate internet, Facebook, and cell phone texting use.  The Middle School hoped to make students aware of the types of bullying techniques used in the cyber world and the potential consequences of cyber-bullying.

Reasons to Write Pen Pal Program
Senior citizen volunteers and students at Sibley Elementary School will share letters for eight weeks this fall and for another eight weeks in the spring.  At the conclusion of each session, Common Good RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) will host a party giving students and senior volunteers an opportunity to meet their pen pals.





Riverland Career Fair

The TORCH (Tackling Obastacles Raising College Hopes) Program plans to take student of the Northfield High School 9th Grade Academy to a career fair at Riverland Community College.  At this career fair, each student will attend three seminars with professionals in the field to learn about specific careers and the paths to those careers.  Students are able to select seminars from a list of over 40 options.


Library Lego and Origami Clubs
The Northfield Public Library plans to initiate some creative afternoon (after-school) programming.  The library will start a Lego Club to meet once weekly, and likewise start an Origami Club to meet once each week.  Each club would be open to area youth.  For more information about joining either of these clubs, please contact the Northfield Library at (507) 645-6606.


Remarkable Reptiles
The Northfield Library has planned out-of-school programming for youth ages 6 to 18 during MEA break  October 18th and 19th.  One of those events is a reptile show.  The library has contracted with expert Jim Gerholdt to hold an informational program on reptiles and amphibians.    This event is open to the public.  Funds granted will be used for the cost of the reptile show.

NRC Autumn Youth Volunteer Event

Area youth are invited to attend this volunteer event, where participants will help with fall bulb planting and grounds clean-up.  The Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) staff will explain and encourage public use of its outdoor “LifeTrail” and all trail exercise stations.  Youth from Bethel Lutheran Church, who frequently volunteer at NRC, will assist with the planning and implementation of the event.  This is a service event that will include education and recreation for participating youth.   Participants will be provided bulbs for planting at home.  This event is scheduled for Saturday, October 6th.

Farm Bike Tour 

AGNES   Bikes!
Area college students have planned a community bike tour of seven local farms.  This event is scheduled for Saturday, September 29.  There will be interactive, educational, and kid-friendly activities at each farm.  After the bike tour, there will be a festival at SEEDS Farm, just south of Northfield.  The festival will be free, open to the public, for all ages, and will offer free food, live music, and more activities from sponsors.  Donations will be collected to help Dayna Burtness of Laughing Loon Farm, a local farmer who was affected by severe flooding earlier this year.  More information.

Grand Buddies
Sibley Elementary teacher, Becki Haar, plans to take her 28 fourth graders to visit the Bluebird and Cardinal wings of the Northfield Retirement Center (NRC) each month throughout the school year.  The relationship between the residents and elementary-aged students began 10 years ago.  Each 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.

Lace for the Cure

                 The Northfield High School Girl’s Soccer team has planned this project as a fundraiser for breast cancer research.  The team plans 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 0n Saturday, October 6th.