Monthly Archives: June 2011

St. Dominic School: St. Olaf College’s Presidents’ Community Partner Award Recipient

St. Dominic School

St. Dominic School, a Catholic preschool through 8th grade program, offers a quality education that commits to educating each child as a whole and a dedication to service and community. Over the past several years, the school has partnered with St. Olaf students on a variety of academic civic engagement projects to infuse environmental sustainability and nutrition into its curriculum and operations.

During the 2009-10 academic year a group of students from a course titled Ideals to Action worked with administrators to develop a plan for “greening” the school.  Students in the Environmental Studies seminar and a first-year writing course developed and facilitated curriculum related to environmental issues and sustainable agriculture.

The school is currently serving as a core partner on the Food and Nutrition Service-learning Collaborative grant project. In Fall 2010 a student from Ideals to Action worked with the school to develop plans for a school garden. Students in a course on community agriculture are continuing with the garden project and are developing and presenting food-related curriculum to students in fifth grade.

Teachers and administrators provide opportunities for students to apply their skills in service of community and environmental goals. Along the way they provide mentorship that helps to form the next generation of engaged citizens and leaders.

Center for Hmong Studies: Concordia University’s Presidents’ Community Partner Award Recipient

The objective of the Center for Hmong Studies is “to take Hmong to the world and invite the world to Concordia, St. Paul.”  Since the founding of the Center for Hmong Studies in 2004, over 6,000 people from throughout the world have visited the Center.  Visitors have included elementary, secondary, and college students as well as scholars and community members who want to research on the Hmong community. The Center for Hmong Studies has provided opportunities to intentionally connect the Hmong community with our student body, has brought a wealth of knowledge and resources to the St. Paul community, and has enriched the life of our campus both academically and socially.  The Center, besides developing and launching the first minor in Hmong studies in the world, regularly hosts events which showcase the traditions and heritage of the Hmong people.  Such events this past year have included a Hmong Performing Artists’ Red Carpet event, a Hmong International movie event, book readings by Hmong authors, and an International Conference on Hmong Studies.  The 3rd International Conference on Hmong Studies drew over 700 individuals.  Many had to be turned away because of space capacity.  The Center is truly succeeding in achieving its objective “to take Hmong to the world, and to invite the world to Concordia, St. Paul.”

Professional Learning Circle: University of Minnesota Duluth’s Presidents’ Community Partner Award Recipient

Professional Learning Circle

We are nominating the Professional Learning Circle (PLC) organization for the Community Partner Award.  This is a campus-community collaboration to establish a group of professionals who work with tutoring/mentoring programs in the Duluth community. The PLC pulls together leaders who examine how as a community we provide opportunity for positive adults to impact the lives of children in school settings. They host an annual S.U.C.C.E.S.S  Series designed to help tutors understand core competencies for supporting students. The workshops offered were the Asset Approach, Building Relationships, Reading Skills, Math Refreshers and Cultural Competency.  The program partners include Grant Community School Collaborative, COMPASS, Five Points, Men as Peacemakers, and UMD Office of Civic Engagement.  The goals of the PLC are to; build stronger relationships; establish an understanding of local programs and goals; and provide a platform for cooperative programming and resource sharing.

This group has actively supported youth in an effort to close the achievement gap and ensure future academic success.  This program is in its second year and has already shown promising results.  An evaluation of these workshops found that 98% of participants surveyed found the training helped them to feel more confident in their work with children and youth.