At their December 2012 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved grants to support eight projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth. The projects are funded through HCI’s Investing in Youth grant program. Funded projects included:
Middle school student, Hannah Singh, will provide snacks for families visiting patients at the hospital over the holidays. She hopes to bless visitors with allergen-free snacks to let each family know the community cares for them.
Healthy Cooking for Middle School Students
Students at the Northfield Middle School Youth Center are organizing weekly cooking sessions. They hope to research, plan and share simple but healthy recipes that students can make during each cooking session. Their goal is for participants to take the healthy recipes and cook them again at home.
Unusual Animals Club
Middle school student, Annie Ponder plans to start a club for owners of unusual animals. She plans to hold 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/daycares, and community events such as “Books & Stars.”
The Northfield Middle School TORCH (Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes) program will again facilitate 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 enjoy a pizza party.
Contra Dance Nights for Northfield Area High School Students
Arlo Cristofara-Hark, a 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 plan to 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
Carleton College sophomore, Vayu Maini Rekdah and his Carleton cooking club, “Firebellies,” will design 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. Workshops will likely be held at Carleton and/or an area school.
HCI agreed to fund two 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 designed by the students. These projects include:
Ornaments for Hope
This group of students sold candy canes, candy grams, and ornaments at the Northfield High School, with all proceeds going to the Community Action Center. 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 intended for sale at Riverwalk Market Fair or at the Northfield High School, with all proceeds to benefit the CAC.
Teen Obesity Awareness
This group 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. The goal of this group was to encourage other students to eat better and be healthier.
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 second Monday 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 Area United Way, MMIC Health IT, and Allina Medical Clinic-Northfield.