NEIGHBORHOOD NOTE | Community education right in the neighborhood

Did you know that Northeast Middle School (NEMS) is a community education site and offers adult lap and family open swim periods for the community? Or that NEMS and Waite Park is one of the few places that teaches Polish language classes?That’s because NEMS has been a Minneapolis community education site since the 1970s and offers between 50-65 enrichment classes for adults and kids each quarter at affordable prices. It’s a wealth of resources available right in the neighborhood with classes like aqua zumba, Spanish, quilting basics and youth swimming.David Warnest has been the community education coordinator at NEMS for more than nine years. He said that even though Minneapolis community education has offered open swim periods for the community for a number of years, a lot of neighbors are still surprised.He added, “A lot of people don’t know that Northeast is a site for their ACCESS Service Program for adults with disabilities.”  They receive 150 registrations for the program each quarter.Although Community Education casts a wide net of offerings for many different people, David said that “the greatest value community education has is that it is located right in our neighborhoods and can offer the community greater access to facilities within their communities.”The classes vary by community and are there because they are the ones that people register for. Facilities at a different building direct the activities. Continue Reading

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTE] Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page to Speak at 7th Annual Harvest Gathering

Alan Page, founder of the Page Foundation and Minnesota’s first African-American Supreme Court Justice, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the 7th annual Harvest Gathering on November 19th at 7 pm at the Northeast Middle School.The Northeast Harvest Gathering is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and fostering the Northeast community, by encouraging conversation among neighbors of diverse backgrounds and cultures in order to learn about each other.  In addition to Justice Page’s speech, the event will feature music, table discussions and dessert.This year’s Harvest Gathering theme is “Many Faces One Community.”  Table talks will explore questions like:  With the changing faces in our community, how can we individually and collectively, build a better community? How can neighborhood schools and education in general help build a better community?  And how can we make everyone feel more welcome?Along with providing a speaker, The Harvest Gathering is an opportunity for neighbors to meet one another and to talk about the community they live in.“It’s all about bringing neighbors together, learning about them and breaking down barriers,” Diane Langer, chair of the Harvest Gathering’s planning committee said.According to Langer, there has been a lot of enthusiasm and energy in planning this year’s event.  Each member of the 10 member committee has worked towards getting the word out to areas that may not have heard about the event in the past including using social media to attract more of the younger population. Each committee member has also visited various neighborhood organizations with flyers to talk about the event with the community.Although an average of 200 people attend the event each year, Langer would like to see more. She hopes that this additional effort in publicity will attract a diverse population who are interested in celebrating and building the fabric of the Northeast community.A recipient of the Page Foundation Scholarship and a graduate of Edison High School will also be at the event to participate in the conversation.You can find out more information about the event by going to the Harvest Gathering Facebook page. WHAT: Northeast Harvest GatheringWHY:  To Celebrate communityWHEN:: November 19, 2012,  7 -9 pmWHERE: Northeast Middle School,  2955 Hayes St NE, MplsADMISSION:  FREE Neighborhood Notes are updates about what’s happening in Twin Cities neighborhoods, submitted by our volunteer neighborhood correspondents (and neighborhood residents), and not edited by the TC Daily Planet. Continue Reading

Connecting around equitable transit and safe, livable communities

The District Councils Collaborative (DCC) of St. Paul and Minneapolis is all about connecting and engaging members of communities along the Central Corridor, ensuring that residents and business owners’ voices and concerns are heard so that the new light rail green line benefits everyone. At a Twin Cities Media Alliance-sponsored Get Connected! event held on September 18, DCC’s executive director, Carol Swenson, explained that the organization has been active in environmental review processes and the Stops for Us campaign, which added three stops to the line. DCC, which represents the coming together of all St. Continue Reading