Northland Foundation Awards 51 Grants Totaling $410,157 to Nonprofits, School Districts and Community Organizations in 4th Quarter of 2015

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Northland Foundation Board of Trustees and Staff approved 51 grants during the last quarter of 2015, awarding a total of $410,157 within the foundation’s priorities of Aging With Independence; Children, Youth and Families; Opportunities for Self-Reliance; and economic vitality in the region.

A number of recent grants were awarded to programming that promotes understanding and equality among all people: $20,000 to the Rural and American Indigenous Leadership, Virginia, to strengthen women’s leadership in rural and American Indigenous communities; $2,000 to Valley Youth Centers, Duluth, to host a celebration of the Hmong New Year; $2,000 to the Range Engineering Council, Hibbing, to raise awareness of bias in the workplace and in schools; $5,000 to the NAACP, Duluth, for a festival honoring of Martin Luther King, Jr. and African American culture; and $4,950 to Mesabi Range College, Virginia, for an artist residency program to foster self-expression and appreciation of diversity.

All grants approved between October 1 and December 31, 2015 are listed below.


Communication Center State Services for the Blind, Duluth       $12,500

To provide services to older adults experiencing vision loss.

Twin City Christian Homes, d/b/a Avinity, Richfield        $30,000

To establish a new program using technology to help older adults at the LEE Center in Hibbing to maintain their independence.


School Districts, Northeast Minnesota        $4,000

Support for education professionals in northeastern Minnesota to participate in the PreK-3rd Grade Principal Leadership Series learning opportunity.

Duluth Public Schools - ISD #709, Duluth


Greenway Schools - ISD #316, Coleraine


Deer River Schools - ISD #317, Deer River


Lake Superior School District - ISD #381, Two Harbors


Duluth Public Schools Academy, Duluth


Mesabi East Schools - ISD #2711, Aurora


Grand Rapids School District - ISD #318, Grand Rapids



United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, Chisholm           $4,950

To support the professional development of early childhood educators and care providers.

Woodland Hills, Duluth        $30,000

To provide out of school time programs to youth in Duluth's Central Hillside.

CLIMB Theatre, Inc., Inver Grove Heights           $17,000

To provide educational programming in area schools on the dangers of heroin and meth.

Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth          $20,000

To establish a new staff position to increase opportunities for youth to engage in outdoor recreation activities.

Cloquet School District - ISD #094, Cloquet          $1,000

To purchase books to help strengthen students’ reading skills.

YWCA of Duluth, Duluth    $20,000

To support out-of-school-time programming to middle school aged girls.

Two Harbors Community Radio, Two Harbors    $5,000

To support intergenerational youth radio programming.

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth    $5,000

To support programming that teaches astronomy and story telling to Native American students.

South Koochiching-Rainy River School District - ISD #363, Northome              $892

To support participation in the Pathway to Careers event.

Proctor Public Schools - ISD #704, Duluth             $2,545

To provide a retreat for 4th grade students to help foster kindness, empathy, and respect.

Myers-Wilkins Elementary School - ISD #709, Duluth     $3,000

To purchase books for the Myers-Wilkins School Library.

US FIRST, Manchester        $5,000

In support of the 2016 regional robotics competition in Northeast Minnesota.

Duluth Public Schools - ISD #709, Duluth              $1,000

To support environmental education programming at Piedmont Elementary School.

Lester Park Elementary, Duluth     $2,000

To enhance creative expression and personal development through arts experiences for students with disabilities.

St. Louis County Schools - ISD #2142, Virginia     $5,000

To provide professional development for educators to implement a program to improve student engagement and motivation.



Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative, Cloquet            $1,000

To support a day long event to provide information on careers, higher education and services for high school students with disabilities.

Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity, Duluth    $15,000

To expand the capacity of Habitat for Humanity in the Twin Ports to provide affordable housing.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, Saint Paul    $10,000

To provide emergency assistance to veterans and their families in crisis in northeastern Minnesota.

One Roof Community Housing, Duluth     $50,000

Support for a new lending director position.

Grace House of Itasca County, Grand Rapids      $5,000

To provide shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness in the Grand Rapids area.

Damiano of Duluth, Inc., Duluth     $30,000

To increase the staff capacity of the Damiano Center.

Community Action Duluth, Duluth             $60,000

Support for community engagement and empowerment programming for low-income families.

Rural and American Indigenous Leadership, Virginia     $20,000

To support women’s leadership in rural and American Indigenous communities.

Valley Youth Centers, Duluth         $2,000

Support for a community event to celebrate the Hmong New Year.

Mesabi Range College, Virginia      $4,950

To support an artist in residency program to help foster self-expression and a greater appreciation of diversity in Quad City area schools on the Iron Range.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Duluth   $5,000

To support a weeklong festival honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrating African American culture.

Range Engineering Council, Hibbing         $2,000

To support events to raise awareness on unconscious bias in schools and the workplace.    

Community Action Duluth, Duluth             $5,000

To provide free income tax preperation services for people with low incomes.



Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Saint Paul         $5,000

Support for services to increase access to quality nonprofit management capacity-building resources in northeastern Minnesota.

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Virginia       $3,200

To support planning efforts around the creation of a social enterprise.

APEX, Duluth           $15,000

To support economic development efforts in Duluth and the surrounding area.



The following grants were awarded by a board comprised of high school students from throughout the region, with guidance from adult mentors, to support youth-led school and community projects. These grants are made possible thanks to the Minnesota Power Foundation.

Denfeld High School - ISD #709, Duluth    $1,000

To support the robotics experience that encourages science, technology, engineering, and  careers for youth.

McGregor KIDS PLUS/Something Cool, Inc., McGregor           $1,000

To create a program that promotes random acts of kidness in the community.

Cooper Elementary School, Superior         $450

To promote a Genius Hour that allows students to experiment and learn more about how the brain works.

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Virginia       $370

To support a community garden that will teach children about rainwater collection, conservation, plants, and vegetables while providing access to fresh produce.

McGregor Schools - ISD #004, McGregor             $500

In support of a youth-run program in which students can design projects and programs that help others while increasing students' involvement in the school.

Superior High School, Superior       $1,000

In support of high school science students developing and implementing an activity at the Superior School Forest for area 5th graders.

Cherry School, ISD #2142, Iron      $1,000

Expand the presence of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the classroom by engaging students with bikes and bike safety.

Cooper Elementary School, Superior         $600

To provide an enhanced learning environment for children that nurtures social, physical, cognitive, and emotional development.

Valley Youth Centers, Duluth         $600

To provide alternative activities for youth in a safe, supervised afterschool setting.

Woodland Hills Academy - ISD #709, Duluth        $600

To promote community engagement and volunteerism among young people by helping the local animal shelter.

Carlton High School - ISD #093, Carlton   $1,000

To support a program in which students of differing abilities including students with Autism will work together to build a sailboat in the school shop.