At their April 2011 board meeting, the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) Board approved mini-grants to support five projects and activities designed to benefit Northfield youth. Funded applicants included:
- Ashleigh Cimino for Japan Relief. Ashleigh and other sophomores at Northfield High School – with help from teacher, Sarah Swan-McDonald – are raising money to aid victims of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan. With cooperation from the graphics department at the high school, these students are creating T-shirts (“HOPE for JAPAN”) that they will sell to students at the high school and possibly at the middle school. Money raised is going to the Red Cross and/or to a school in Tokyo that is distributing school and health supplies to the hardest hit region of Japan. Mini-grant funds requested will be used to purchase white T-shirts in bulk.
- Northfield High School Student Council for the Fifth Grade Kickball Tournament. The Student Council is hosting its fourth-annual fifth grade kickball tournament and will bring together fifth grade students from four of the local elementary schools for a morning of kickball fun at the Northfield High School. The idea behind the event is to help develop healthy relationships among 5th graders as they prepare to enter sixth grade, where they will all attend the same school.
- Jennifer Lompart (English as a Second Language teacher at Northfield High School) for a Latino Short Play Festival. Students in Jennifer’s Latino Drama class have written short plays (4-5 minutes). Their themes range from teen pregnancy to drugs and alcohol to Facebook and cell phone “sexting.” These plays focus on the negative consequences of some teens’ unhealthy decisions. The students now plan to produce their plays and perform on stage. The plays were written with the specific intent of performing for middle school students, who are invited to the high school for a performance. However, the high school students also hope to have a repeat performance for a public audience.
- Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division for the 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. Through interactive activities such as running, playing games and discussing important life issues, participants learn how to celebrate being girls. During the program, the girls train together, preparing to walk or run in a 5K (3.1 mile) event together. This year, the culminating 5K takes place in Red Wing, MN. Youth go to the 5K with their Running Buddy, who is an adult who has helped them in training and/or supported their effort to be in the program. Mini-grant funds will assist with the transportation costs to the 5K run for participating girls and their Running Buddies.
- Northfield Middle School “TEAM UP” Teachers (Krista Betcher, Katrina Meehan, Sarah Van den Akker, Ruben Alvarez, and Chris O’Neill) for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration. This group of Northfield Middle School teachers is planning a Cinco de Mayo celebration in conjunction with the Tattered Pages Mother’s Day sale on Thursday, May 5. They are hoping to encourage more families to come to the middle school. In addition to the Mother’s Day sale, they plan to have stations for making crafts, as well as Aztec dancers performing. There is also a choir concert scheduled at the middle school that evening, so a great turnout is expected. Funds requested will be used for piñata supplies, craft supplies, food, decorations, Spanish books (as prizes), and Aztec dancers.
HCI offers mini-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/mini-grants for more information and to access the easy-to-complete application.
Funding for the HCI mini-grants comes from the Northfield Area United Way, Carlson Capital Management, Women In Northfield Giving Support (WINGS), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.