Funded HCI Mini-Grants, 2011-2012

July 2012

Children’s Art in the Garden

SEEDS Farm has planned “Art at the Farm” days to take place on each of eight Saturdays.  Area youth are invited to the farm to participate in fun, nature-themed projects, enjoy refreshments, meet the farmers and explore the farm.

Science for Nutrition

The Northfield Arts Guild will host “Science for Nutrition” on Saturdays at the Riverwalk Market Fair.  This will allow children to gain a deeper understanding about healthy foods, and highlight the resources Northfield has to eat locally.  Experiments, educational materials and coupons available for participating youth.

FarmAmerica in Waseca

The Summer PLUS program planned a field trip for 100-125 3rd, 4th & 5th grade students.  They visited a Waseca farm to learn about day-to-day operations of farming and learn more about how our food is made.

May 2012

Women of the Wild

This group was formed to expand the experiences available to group members, Middle School students who may not have connections with other community opportunities.  Twice each month throughout the summer, the group meets to experience activities such as visiting an organic farm, taking a yoga class, visiting a horse farm, and participating in craft-making, hiking and canoeing. 

5th Grade Kindness Retreat

Sibley Elementary School is planning a Kindness Retreat for all 5th graders in the fall of 2012.  The retreat will provide students with preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of bullying and help instill the value of kindness to others.

HCI partners with
WINGS to support
NHS Service-Learning Class projects, Spring 2012

Water Bottle Project

Reusable water bottles were sold to students at the high school.  Money raised from the sale of the water bottles will go toward the purchase and installation of an automated water bottle fountain in the high school.

Seeds to Grow On

Students worked with elementary school students, teaching about healthy food choices and planting vegetable plants in pots.

Kids Kick Cancer

This was a carnival and concert event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and local families affected by cancer.

Support Our Troops

This was an awareness campaign for active United States service personnel and those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Girls Connections

This was a mentoring project where female high school students held mentoring sessions with 7th grade girls from the Middle School.  Hands-on activites were planned for each meeting.



April 2012

Writers’ Workshop Poetry Book

Throughout the school year, ARTech students meet off campus for a period of time each week to creatively write in a Writers’ Workshop.  This mini-grant project allowed students to compile their collective writings from the school year into a Poetry Book.  Writers’ Workshop students plan to give copies of the poetry book to community organizations that support the work of the class.

Latino Play Festival

Students in the ESL Performing Arts class at the Northfield High School have spent the year writing and preparing plays.  The Northfield Fine Arts Booster Club financed a director for those plays to be performed.  Planned performances will be at Carleton College and at the Northfield High School.  Special performances will also be performed for middle school students.

TEAM UP Cinco de Mayo event

Teachers at the Northfield Middle School planned a Cinco de Mayo celebration in conjunction with the Tattered Pages Mother’s Day sale on May 3.  Their hope is to encourage more families (especially Latino families) to come to the middle school.  In addition to the Mother’s Day sale, they had stations for making crafts, as well as performances by the Aztec Dancers.  Middle School students made pinatas to use as bingo prizes. 

EGGPlants Field Trip to Local Farm

Two third grade classes from Greenvale Park Elementary and St. Dominic School planned a field trip to a local organic farm.  This was the capstone event of a seven-week gardening and nutrition curriculum taught by three St. Olaf College students to the third grade classrooms once a week.  The students went to the Simple Harvest Farm Organics in early May. 

Girls On The Run 5K

Girls 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.  The program focuses on building self-esteem and improving emotional and physical health.  During the 12-week program, coaches taught specific life lessons such as dealing with body image and the media, resisting peer pressure, making healthy decisions and contributing to the community.  Along the way, the girls train to walk or run in a 5K event together.  This year, the 5K was held in Red Wing.

ARTech Basketball Hoop

Students at ARTech wanted to install a basketball hoop in the parking lot in back of the school.  Their previous hoop was old and fell apart.  With the guidance of adults, students will install the hoop and its foundation.

Outdoor Stage Construction – The Key

Youth at the Key are seeking to build an outdoor stage in the Key’s backyard to host concerts and other events.  This will involve the designing, planning and constructing of the stage, with the help of adults.  Youth hope the finished stage can be used for a myriad of community events.  As this is a large project, they hope to receive funding from various sources and plan to use funds that have been appropriated for MainStreet Mentors, since youth will be learning skills in building and design.

Wisdom Retreat

Students of the senior class organized a Wisdom Retreat for their class, to be led by Youth Frontiers.  Students organizers hope this time together will help seniors experience positive closure and guide them toward 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.

HCI partners with
WINGS to support
ARTech Middle School service learning projects, Spring 2012

Triforce Tournament

This video game tournament was a fundraiser for Child’s Play, an organization that gives video games to children in hospitals.

Simpson Homeless Shelter Benefit Fiesta

The students held a carnival for local youth to raise funds for the Simpson Homeless Shelter.

Books for Africa

The students organized a book drive in their school community where the used books were donated to the charity “Books for Africa.”  The books were brought to their warehouse in St. Paul, where they were sorted and packed before being shipped to Africa.

The Food Shelf Project

Students held a school bake sale to raise funds for the Northfield food shelf. 

People in Disguise

The students held a costume party with snacks and music from a local artist.  Purpose of the event was to raise awareness of Northfield’s food shelf.

ARTech Movie Night

The group planned to show a movie, selling tickets and refreshments.  All profits went to Prairie’s Edge Humane Society.

Pennies for Peace Walk-a-Thon

This was a fundraiser for the Pennies for Peace nonprofit, an organization that raises money to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Students and community members walked the trail from Northfield to Memorial Park in Dundas.

Fantasy Land

This was a festival, similar to a heritage village or the Renaissance Festival, where students role play, sing, dance, sell food and host other activities.  Money raised from the event was donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Bake Sale

Students hosted a bake sale at Bridge Square, with profits being donated to Heifer International.  This organization offers consumers a chance to purchase animals for people in third-world countries that need them for milk and other supplies.


March 2012

After Prom Party

The After Prom Party is an event planned by parents of juniors in high school.  It 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 the Prom ends.  Many activities are planned – bowling, casino games, prize drawings and lots of food.  The event will take place after Prom on April 21st.  Doors Open at midnight, and the event runs from 12:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.  The event is held at the Jesse James Lanes in Northfield.

Free Youth Soccer Camp

This event is a free soccer camp for low-income children, ages 5-10.   The Northfield High School Boys Soccer team led the camp sessions for the younger children.  The Northfield Soccer Association assisted with publicity to help recruit youth.  This camp encouraged area youth to come out and play soccer and to connect with the older high school students.  Each participant received a free soccer ball so that they can continue to develop a love of the game.

Culture of Peace Summit

Todd Thompson facilitated three seminars/public forums on the subject of “Building a Culture of Peace” in our community.  Seminar speakers included Todd Thompson, Jake Roberts (a native of Gambia) and Karen Castillo (a native of Guatemala).  Karen is the assistant to the Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Guatemala and she has extensive experience with helping people in the aftermath of the Guatemalan civil war that ended in 1966. 

Writing Books!

The students in the Bridgewater PLUS program were given an opportunity to write and illustrate their own books.  PLUS is a free after-school program that meets four days per week and offers students a variety of experiences, including homework assistance, daily skill-building workshops, one-on-one mentoring, service-learning opportunities and more.  Each student created a book complete with illustrations which was bound and published. 

Earth Day Celebration

Transition Northfield and its youth group, YES, planned an Earth Day Celebration in Northfield on Saturday, April 28.  Transition Northfield strives to raise awareness about environmental issues and establish collaborative relationships with others in the community.  The students of YES planned the activities and entertainment for the celebration, which was open to the public.  The community was invited to participate in activities that taught about recycling, farming, transition town and other related topics.  There were also craft activities and games for youth.


February 2012

Evening of the Arts

Greenvale Park Elementary School will host its annual Evening of the Arts event on April 3rd.  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.  Funds requested will be used for food, utensils, and art/craft supplies for the event.

Day of Silence

Students of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Northfield High School will participate in Day of Silence, a national event organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), where students remain silent for an entire day.  This event is designed to bring awareness to and protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.

Beyond Words: A Celebration of Art and Literacy

Beyond Words is an annual event for Sibley Elementary School.  Last year, more than 500 students and family members participated in this event, which has become a highlight of the school year.  Beyond Words brings students and their families together to view artwork and create art.  Families will be reading together, making books and bookmarks, and listening to students read poetry.  The planned activities are designed to inspire parents, grandparents and children to make reading, writing and the arts an important part of their lives.  Beyond Words will take place at Sibley Elementary on the evening of April 12th.    The funds from this grant would be used to purchase art supplies and for copying and photo-processing costs related to the event. 

Autism Awareness “Steps of Hope Walk” Fundraiser

The Girls Improving Friendships Together (G.I.F.T.) group is a support circle for girls on the Autism Spectrum.  These students are planning a bake sale where all money earned will be donated to the Autism Society of Minnesota, thus allowing the girls to participate in the Steps of Hope walk taking place in Ridgedale Center mall in early March.  The bake sale/fundraiser will take place at Northfield High School during the Varsity Boys’ basketball games on February 21st and February 24th.  Funds from this grant would be used for ingredients for baking, plates, napkins, and posters.

Senior Class Lock-in

The Senior Class Lock-in will be held on May 25th, the last day of classes for seniors at Northfield High School.  Seniors will come to school at 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, and are “locked-in” until 5:00 a.m. the next morning.  This is a safe, chemical-free event for the 300+ students at a time when the students’ adrenaline and emotions are high.   The funds from this grant would be used to offset the cost of the event, including food, prizes, and entertainment. 

The Story of Anne Frank play at St. Paul Park Square Theater

Eighth grade students in the English as Second Language (ESL) class at Northfield Middle School are currently reading the book, The Story of Anne Frank.  These students, also part of the Tackling Obstacles Raising College Hopes (TORCH) program, will attend The Story of Anne Frank play being performed at the St. Paul Park Square Theater in April.  The funds from this grant would be used to cover the cost of bussing students to the theater.  Students will pay for the ticket cost.

Cyberbullying Presentation

The Northfield Middle School will offer a specific Cyberbullying presentation to the 6th grade class.  A specialist in this field, Mr. David Eisenmann, will speak to students about appropriate internet, Facebook, and cell phone texting use.  The Middle School hope to make students aware of the types of bullying techniques used in the cyber world and the potential consequences of cyberbullying. 

ARTech’s Society for Skeptical Inquiry

Students at the Northfield School of Arts and Technology (ARTech) are forming a group based on the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.  This organization works to promote critical thinking skills and academic integrity among students.  The ARTech students would like to bring speakers in to present at their meetings, starting in March.  They have already identified a first speaker to talk about the importance of critical thinking and how to utilize this skill to avoid scams, frauds, and cults.

Colleen Riley Artist Residency

Karna Hauck, art teacher at Sibley Elementary School, will welcome ceramic artist, Colleen Riley, as a guest teacher for the 3rd grade art classes.  The artist will help the students create ceramic/clay garden ornaments.  The students’ art projects will be displayed at Sibley’s Beyond Words event on April  12th, and  Ms. Riley will be the demonstrating artist that evening.

Library Beach Party!

Teens active at the Northfield Library will create and host a nine-hole mini-golf experience (with “driving range”) set up throughout the public library on Sunday, March 4th.  This has become a popular annual event for the library, and the Northfield Library Teen Advisory Board (TAB) has received recognition from SELCO/SELS (the Southeastern Libraries Cooperating/Southeast Libraries) for this event.  In addition to mini-golf, TAB members plan to offer laser tag and beach party-themed games for event participants.  Funds from this grant would be used for rental of mini-golf supplies, game supplies, food, and decorations.


January 2012

10th Grade Career Fair

The Northfield High School will host a career fair for all 10th grade students.  This event will give students an opportunity to explore career interests and make connections with adult community members.  At the career fair, community members will speak to students about his/her career and answer any questions that the students may have.  Some juniors and seniors from the high school will be involved with the planning and implementation of the career fair.  The event follows a “Career Opportunities” lesson taught in all 10th grade classrooms.

BWCAW Experience

A group of students at the Northfield Area Learning Center (ALC) is planning a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).  They are working to raise the money needed to outfit themselves and two chaperones for the experience, which is planned for mid-June.  The trip offers outdoor experiences for youth who have never had them before and provides a place to talk about the life choices and challenges each student faces.  

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 a movie.  Middle school administrators are invited to these events.


December 2011


Young Northfield Chefs

Vayu Maini Rekdal, freshman at Carleton College, and fellow members of the Carleton cooking club, FireBellies, will be giving cooking lessons to students of the Northfield Middle School Youth Center.  Carleton students will teach basic cooking skills, sustainability, and nutrition while promoting an understanding of different cultures and cuisines.

BBQ for Grades!

Jennifer Lompart, teacher at Northfield High School, will coordinate a celebratory gathering for all English as Second Language (ESL) students who have achieved good grades in all of their classes at the end of each of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters.  At each event, students and their parents will gather to eat, visit, and watch a movie.


HCI partners with

WINGS to support 

Northfield High School

service learning

class projects, Fall 2011

In a cooperative initiative, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, with financial support from WINGS (Women In Northfield Giving Support), agreed to fund six mini-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 a service project designed by the students.  Funded projects included:

  • 5th Grade Bullying Prevention.  This project, designed by Annie Pumper, Karrah Nelson, Alissa Busssard, and Jillian King, will take place at Bridgewater Elementary School.  The group will discuss bullying awareness and prevention with Bridgewater 5th graders.


  • Bullying Awareness in the Middle School.  Designed by Rachel Marosi, Amber Brezina, Cassidy Hanzlik, Elia Read, Tasha Wang, and Katie Moors, this project focuses on bullying awareness through activities with middle school students.


  • Kayla Amy, Katie Stadler, Adam Akida, and Jessica Holmes for Animal Cruelty Prevention.  This group of students is raising funds for a local foster-based animal rescue center while creating awareness about animal abuse and neglect.


  • Jen Route, Jami DeRop, Oliver Swanson, and Anna Huber for the Adult Bullying project.  These students will attend high school sporting events promoting good sportmanship among parents and adults.


  • Bullying Prevention.  Ashleigh Cimino, Leah Grisim, and Mathilde Mortensen have designed a project to raise awareness about bullying at Greenvale Park Elementary School.  This group plans to engage the elementary students through activities and art projects to promote respectful behavior among students.


  • Human Trafficking Campaign.  Designed by Mitzi Calvario, Juan Carlos Hernandez, Leslie Nieves, and Olivia Woods, this is a project to create awareness about the issue of human trafficking and slavery.  The students are also planning a fundraiser to benefit Mission 21, a Minnesota-based organization that aids victims of human trafficking.


This marks the second year of collaboration between HCI and WINGS on supporting Northfield High School service learning students in the design of projects.  Funding from WINGS is matched by HCI to help provide seed money for the students to turn their class project ideas into reality.


November 2011 


Big Good Event

The Northfield Middle School TEAM UP (Teaching English Language Learners Action Model to Unite Professionals) group is planning a family service night at the middle school.  TEAM UP believes this service night could be an alternative conference model in which teachers, parents, and students work side by side to give back to the community.  This event is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd at the Northfield Middle School.

At this event, there will be several service stations set up in the middle school cafeteria.  Service project opportunities will include:  making table decorations for Thursday’s Table (hosted by the Community Action Center of Northfield), making polar fleece blankets and dog food packages for the Northfield Humane Society, and creating greeting cards for Meals on Wheels.  Teachers also hope to work with Father Denny Dempsey at St. Dominic’s Church to think of additional service projects that could help St. Dominic’s sister church in Mexico.  Funds from this grant would be used to purchase service project supplies and snacks for the families who attend the event.

 7th Grade Courage Retreat

Through this Courage Retreat, the Northfield Middle School hopes to teach students about courage and bravery when facing bullying and peer pressure.  It is also a program that promotes acceptance of all students, regardless of race, academic ability, etc.  Approximately 300 seventh graders will participate in this event, which is facilitated by Youth Frontiers leaders.  There will be more than 50 local high school students helping at this event, which will take place on Thursday, March 6th, at two local churches.  Northfield Middle School staff will be in attendance to provide supervision.  This will be the 3nd year for the Northfield Middle School to hold the Courage Retreat.  It has been a highly successful event in the past and proven to be a great event for positive interaction between 7th graders and high school students.

FIRST Robotics

Students in the Northfield Robotics Club are gearing up for their second year of competition.  This group meets weekly, after school.  Robot building followed by competition will begin in January.  Many students have been referred to this group through the Sparks initiative.

Riverwalk Market Fair for Youth (Artists’ Market and Farmers’ Market)

Riverwalk Market Fair is establishing a tent just for youth.  Riverwalk Market Fair encourages area youth to sell any art or homemade or homegrown goods they have created.  Riverwalk recognizes that area youth might not be able to afford upfront costs or be able to commit to a weekly weekend sales schedule that the Riverwalk typically requires.  Therefore, area youth can now sign up for a date to sell their products from the youth tent.

Blanket Making for Police and Fire Departments


Mary Momberg’s Developmental Cognitive Delay/Low Incidence (DCD/LI) class at the Northfield Middle School would like to incorporate a service project into the class curriculum.  The class has decided to make blankets to distribute at emergency situations when children are present (example: scene of an accident or fire).  Blankets would be given to the Police and Fire Departments for distribution, as needed.  In addition to connecting the Special Education students to their community, this project will enforce current curriculum of fine motor skill work (tying blanket ends) and writing (letter writing to police and fire fighters).  Funds from this grant would be used to purchase fabric.


October 2011

Reasons to Write Pen Pal Program 


This project involves second grade students at Sibley Elementary School and third graders at Bridgewater Elementary School in an intergenerational pen-pal program.  Senior citizen volunteers and students will share letters for eight weeks in the fall session (October & November) and for another eight weeks in the spring session (March & April).  At the conclusion of each session, Common Good RSVP will host a party giving students and senior volunteers an opportunity to meet their pen pal.  This is the 4th year Common Good RSVP will hold this event, which has become a favorite among its senior volunteers.  Funds from this grant will be applied to the cost of food for each event and for letter-writing supplies.

Family Dance Night 


The PTO Family Dance Night and pizza supper is to celebrate the end of Greenvale Park’s month-long dance-a-thon. Students will be learning special dances in Physical Education classes and will perform those dances for their families the evening of the event.  Family members will have the opportunity to learn the dances with their children and have time to enjoy dancing and eating supper at school with their children.  Greenvale Park hopes to build connections between families and encourage positive feelings towards school through this event.  Funds requested will be used to purchase pizza for all students attending this event.

Knot Knitters

Students from the Northfield Area Learning Center plan to knit 50 hats for people in need.  They have done some volunteer work at the Northfield Food Shelf and would now like to get other students to help knit hats to be distributed by the Community Action Center before the holiday season.  This would be both a service project and a fun way to spend time with other students while learning a new skill.  Funds requested will be used to purchase yarn and needles.

Winter Clothing Drive

Students of the Mayor’s Youth Council plan to hold a winter clothing drive to benefit the Clothes Closet.  This clothes drive will take place at the Northfield High School and Northfield Middle School where the Mayor’s Youth Council will run a promotion asking for winter coats and winter clothing.  As a way to encourage more donations, youth brining in winter clothing will receive a raffle ticket, good for the chance to win one of three prizes.  Each prize will include a $25 gift card for personal use and a $25 donation to the winner’s non-profit organization of choice.


September 2011


Grand Buddies 


This program began in 2003.  Fourth grade students from Mrs. Haar’s Sibley Elementary School classroom will regularly visit older adult residents of the Northfield Retirement Center (NRC).  Students learn about the aging process through pre-visit instruction and conversation.  Through interviews, students learn about individual life stories, how things are similar and different for the two generations, and the lesson that each individual is “the sum of their years.”  Program goals are to: dispel myths about aging; build self-esteem in young people; develop a comfort level within students in relating to the elderly; and provide an opportunity for students to give back to the community.  Each month, the fourth graders will sing to and visit with NRC residents.  Monthly visits will begin in October and conclude in May 2012.

Haunted Library III

The Teen Advisory Board of the Northfield Library will create a haunted house in the library for an event on October 30th.  This will be an event for families and children of all ages.  Events like this help to introduce the “fun side” of the public library and feature the talents of the members comprising the Teen Advisory Board.  Funds requested are for event publicity (flyers, posters, etc.), costumes, make-up, food and beverages for the event and for planning/construction meetings.

Lace for the Cure

The Northfield Raider Girls Soccer team is planning this project/event as a fundraiser for breast cancer research with funds to be donated to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the local Coach Kill Cancer Fund.  The team has established a ladder of donation opportunities.  This project will culminate with a Lace for the Cure soccer game on October 6th.  That same week, all sponsored athletes are asked to wear their pink laces during competition.

Youth Teaching Youth

The Youth Teaching Youth program trains Northfield High School students to go into elementary schools and talk with students about alcohol & tobacco facts (in 4th grade classrooms) and about the six pillars of character (in 2nd grade classrooms).  Through videos, games, 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.