The three Northfield AmeriCorps Promise Fellows, Alyssa Jilek (High School), Jason Hallen (Middle School), and Kevin Krein (The Key) organized an extremely informative recycling summit at the Northfield High School Auditorium on Thursday the 5th. The Fellows brought in representatives from Waste Management and the Northfield Recycling Center to discuss important ways to reduce garbage, resuse potential garabage, and what can and can’t be recycled. For instance, did you know that pizza boxes from your local pizza place cannot be recycled and neither can yogurt containers or plastic salsa or margarine containers? Did you also know you can recycle your used paint, cleaning products, old electronics (some for a cost) at the Recycling Center along Highway 3 (just bring it in Wednesdays or certain Saturdays)? Did you know that many of the recycled paper products on the market are not made with 100% recycled paper (check the label and buy accordingly)? And did you know that glass bottles can be endlessly recycled (unlike paper or plastic)? Those in attendance were also given some disturbing news about the amount of waste generated by Rice County, the State of Minnesota, and the U.S and the economics of the garbage and recycling industry. Many youth and a handful of adults came for the presentation and are now recycling experts for the Northfield community.
The Northfield Union of Youth’s 15 anniversary celebration and open house went off without a hitch and was quite a celebration. Around 100 visitors came to the celebration; many old friends and many first time visitors (and quite a who’s who). About 20 youth from the NUY were on hand to talk about the past, current programming, and the future of the organization. Guests were treated with a wide array of food and drink and a lot of conversation with the youth. Guests were also asked to fill out a survey about the organization and building involving first impressions and potential improvements. All in all a very successful night and a HUGE double high five to the youth for pulling off such a successful event. Way to go Key! Ready for 15 more? Check out photos here. My flash was not working for the first hour, so apologies on the blur. The shot below was taken right after clean up. A big thanks to Griff and Locally Grown for helping us get the word out. Check out some of the comments here.
On Thursday, February 5th, The Key, in conjunction with The Northfield Middle School Youth Center and Northfield High School, River Bend Nature Center, Rice County Waste Management, and made possible by a grant from State Farm Insurance Youth Serve America, present “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
The event, being held at the Northfield High School Auditorium, is open to the Northfield community. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to come and learn about how to reduce the amount of waste they create, as well as learning what materials are recyclable and where your recycling goes once it leaves your curb.
The program starts at 7 p.m, and it’s FREE. There will be refreshments as well. So please– won’t you join us?
download the flier designed for the event here: being-green
Members of the Primetime Collaborative, including Northfield’s Promise Fellows and youth at the Middle School attended a field trip to the Rice County Recycling Center to learn about recycling in the community. The recycling process and the do’s and dont’s of recycling were covered in the comprehensive field trip at the Recycling Center. Did you know that anyone in the community can make the trip to the center along highway 3 and grab free paint for their own personal use? Did you know that you can recycle old tires, paint, and an assortment of cleaning supplies? This trip was one in a series of event for the Promise Fellow’s National Global Day of Service events. There is an important Recycling Summit that will be held February 5th at the High School Auditorium at 7:00pm in which everyone in the community is invited.
The Northfield Union of Youth had a handful of volunteers help out at the “Swim and Gym” at the Northfield Middle School. Elementary and Middle School students ate pizza and pop and swam in the school’s pool while members of The Key helped youth make friendship bracelets, cards for Meals on Wheels, and taught participants about Martin Luther King. It was tough competing with the pool, but a number of youth sat down and participated in the activities.
The Northfield Union of Youth took President Elect Barack Obama’s words to heart by volunteering on Martin Luther King Day. Eight from the Key went to the Rice County Humane Society in Faribault and cleaned out the dog kennels, walked the dogs, and played with the cats. None came back with an animal (our moms would kill us) but I’m thinking of adopting a poor kitten that must have lost a fight with a raccoon. The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers and you can contact them by clicking the preceding link.
Update: I did get the kitten and she is at my new apartment as I write this. Her name at present is Harpo but I don’t know if we’re sticking with it. If anyone has any suggestions please suggest away. She’s black, small, and has half of one ear chewed off and was born with one arm that doesn’t work and will need to be amputated.
The Key helped out with Winterwalk again this year but had a slightly different role this year. Members of The Key still helped out with The Chamber of Commerce luminarias (lighting and clean up) but focused more of their attention on the red luminarias from the new Art Quarter group, recent recipients for a community riverwalk arts grant from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). The Key placed bags, lit them, lit them again (it was windy) and cleaned up around 9:00pm. The riverwalk areas looked extraordinary with the radiant red lights flickering along the river. After the cleanup a few of the gang had a root beer at the Contented Cow (also our drop off for the candles and bags). Why some of the helpers went shirtless is a mystery for the ages. I think I can see state rep (and Adult Board member) David Bly in one of the photos.
The Key took part in an overnight sleepout on Bridge Square as part of late November’s Homeless Awareness Week. On Thursday the 20th about 7 or 8 braved the cold weather to sleep out on Bridge Square. This event is a yearly tradition organized by the Community Action Center (CAC) with participants usually coming from the CAC, both colleges, The Key, and concerned townspeople.
The Key’s Writing Workshop program, guided by program instructor Olivia Frey, recently went on a field trip to Chicago’s Columbia College to view Jack Kerouac’s original manuscript scroll of On the Road.
On the Road was written in 1951 and published in 1957 and is largely based on the experiences of Kerouac and his friends during numerous road adventures during the late 40s and early 50s. Many critics and fans consider On the Road the defining work of the Beat Generation which sprang up in the aftermath of World War II.
Seven youth and two chaperones made the trek to Chicago, traveling by Megabus and staying overnight in a hostel in Greektown in central Chicago. Participants explored many different districts of Chicago including Chinatown, Greektown, The Loop, the Pier, and other areas via foot, subway and “the L.” Participants even came across a Gay Pride Parade at the Federal Building on the way to Columbia College.
The Northfield Skateboard Coalition took one of its monthly field trips to Faribault’s Renegade park on Sunday the 9th. Free field trips are now being offered to skaters who attend 3 out the 4 weekly Coalition meetings (which are Wednesday at 5:00pm). About 8 youth attended the free trip.
Going into a week of gratitude and thanks giving, we know that we have so much to be appreciative of. The community of Northfield has never stepped down from a challenge, and they have continually been willing to open both their minds and their hearts to the work around them that needs to be done to make this community a great place for EVERYONE. Never enough words exist to thank all those who give of their time, of their talents, and of their resources. THANK YOU so much to everyone who gave to the NUY during Give to the Max. We are so grateful to you all for believing in the power of youth voice and the creation of a caring community! ...
“Hello, my name is Haley Heiner. I am the Co-President of the Northfield Union of Youth, also known as 'The Key.' I have been attending there for a while now and I’ve honestly never felt more at home there. So many wonderful people have accepted me there and I’ve gained amazing new friendships. The Key has helped me through so much regarding mental health, social skills, financial problems, and more. Without The Key, I don’t know where I would be today, and so many youth could say the same. The Key is the longest-running youth-led and youth-empowering organization recorded in the United States and I want it to stay that way. So many kids, including me, need a safe space like The Key. I'm so grateful that I have a place like this, and I am beyond grateful that our community cares for this organization.”
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