The Northland Foundation launched the KIDS PLUS Program in the early 1990s with one idea in mind: to more actively improve the wellbeing of children and youth in northeastern Minnesota. Since then, KIDS PLUS has blossomed into a whole family of initiatives to help communities in the region support the healthy development of children and young people, from birth to adulthood.
AGE to age: bringing generations together
Since 2008, AGE to age: bringing the generations together and AGE to age special projects have been connecting young people with elders and adults to build friendships and benefit their rural communities. There are 18 AGE to age sites: Aitkin, Barnum, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Chisholm, Cloquet, East Range Communities, Ely Area, Floodwood, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Hibbing, International Falls, Itasca Area-Bigfork, McGregor, Moose Lake, Proctor/Hermantown, North Shore Area, and Two Harbors. Each site develops its own vision statement and action plans, receiving technical support, funding, and learning opportunities through the Northland Foundation and its partners. Find more information about AGE to age on the Publications & Annual Reports page.
AGE to age Reading Pals
Reading Pals engages AGE to age sites in the region to invite older adult volunteers to read with children during the school year, providing reading and literacy support for the children and a sense of purpose and satisfaction for older adults. Reading Pals has been implemented in Aitkin, Ely, Hermantown, McGregor, Moose Lake, Proctor, and Two Harbors.
AGE to age Fellows Program
First piloted in 2012 as the AGE to age College Intern Program, this experiential learning opportunity has been reimagined as the AGE to age Fellows Program pairing undergraduate students with older adults. The Fellows work with AGE to age in their home communities, focusing on intergenerational projects and programming. This initiative helps both younger and older generations enhance their leadership skills, increase their knowledge of community building, and contribute fresh ideas and energy to the participating sites.
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