Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Funding for Northside Achievement Zone

It was exciting for me to see in the news that a north Minneapolis grassroots effort be named as the recipient of a $28 million dollar Promise Neighborhoods grant.  I was a part of meetings a few years back when the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), was seeking input from the community regarding needs and resources, specifically around mentoring children through Kinship.  There was and is a long waiting list of children in need of additional adult support and guidance on the Northside.

Having received federal money in the past to mentor children of prisoners, I know that this grant will soon require seemingly endless financial and activity reporting. My hope for NAZ is that it will be able to manage the reporting requirements without becoming too bureaucratic, and that it will continue to build upon local support, so that when that federal money goes away it won't also close shop.

Wouldn't it be nice if the vast sums we as a nation are spending on military efforts will one day be redirected toward things that build and strengthen our children and communities? Seems the greatest danger we have as a nation isn't a threat from overseas, but rather that we aren't preparing our children to be competitive, productive and cooperative world citizens.

An article about NAZ and the Promise Neighborhoods grant is found in the MinnPost, Promise grant will allow Neighborhood Achievement Zone to scale up north Minneapolis 'cradle to career' program

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