Courtney Johnson: a new SPARK to engage community

  Courtney Johnson bubbles with enthusiasm as she introduces herself around the community as the “new SPARK hire”.  The source of her enthusiasm? A strong desire to give back to the community that supported her in her early years. “I am an Itasca County native,” she said. “I attended Hill City School grades K-12, and I am a proud 2010 [...]

By |March 20th, 2017|Spark|

Grand Rapids 9th graders SPARK continued action.

In December we reported on the efforts in Grand Rapids High School 9th grade class rooms to take learning from the Youth Voices survey data and move forward project they care about.  You can read more about that event here.   From District #318: Students analyzed data about our community gathered in the 2014 Itasca Area Youth Survey. They chose a [...]

Funders unite to SPARK change

We all know that old adage: it takes a village… Well, our “village” (of the entire Itasca area) is putting its money where its mouth is to ensure all Itasca Area’s young people have what they need to reach their goals. Nearly a half-dozen organizations have pitched in to make it possible for SPARK to reach its first major milestone [...]

By |February 13th, 2017|Partner News, Spark|

Building strong futures with hugs, handshakes and high-fives

While students at Greenway High School have experienced tragedy and loss, they’ve responded with hope and hugs. Teachers and students alike find strength within each other and find support in various ways to cope and recover from loss. The H3 Initiative is one part of these support systems. Leading with the Heart Heart works to develop student’s positive association with [...]

Greenway Youth to Represent Region on Minnesota Youth Council

Baylie Norris and Hannah Erickson will represent Congressional District 8 on the Minnesota Youth Council. They are pictured with Promise Fellow, Kayla Schubert Greenway Raiders are known for showing PRIDE and having a passion for their school across the community. Two of GHS’s eighth graders are taking that PRIDE to another level; by making their voices heard across [...]

By |January 9th, 2017|Partner News, Youth Voice|

Itasca Networks for Youth advances quality

Staff representing several area youth programs participated on Friday in an all day workshop called "Making Meaning from Multiple Data Sets". The participants came to the workshop with data in four areas:  Program quality, program participation, youth experience and youth outcomes. Through a process led by Jan Derdowski, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, the teams analyzed their data and discovered [...]

By |January 1st, 2017|High quality out-of-school programs and activities|

Grand Rapids High School 9th Graders SPARK Action

What is possible if we unleash the creativity of our 9th graders to solve the issues that concern them?  Last week, the Grand Rapids High School Civics students began diving into that question. With the support of their social studies teachers, the Grand Rapids High School’s 9th graders are rolling up their sleeves and digging into the results of the [...]

By |December 20th, 2016|Pathway, Spark, The School Years, Youth Voice|

SPARK partners promote meaningful relationships for a stronger future

  SPARK's partners know that young people are more likely to succeed when they have meaningful relationships with adults who support them. Promise Fellow, Kayla Schubert does that by building relationships with young people at Greenway High School. Kayla Schubert serves as a Promise Fellow in the Greenway School District “My goal for the year is to create [...]

Engagement coordinator search begins!

  Know someone with a passion for youth and a passion for rural community development? This may be their opportunity to become the first-ever SPARK community engagement coordinator. Partnering with the University of Minnesota Extension, SPARK is excited to be hiring a Community Engagement Coordinator to advance the goals of the Pathway to Student Success in the Greater Itasca Area. [...]

By |October 14th, 2016|Uncategorized|