2021 Annual Report
Opening letter title
2021 Board of Directors
Annie Harala, Chair Northland Constructors
Britt Robb, Secretary Safe Haven Shelter & Resource Center
Beth Moncrief, Treasurer Community Member
Kathy Bergen Retired - City of Duluth Parks & Recreation
Anthony Bonds Duluth Public Schools
Jamie Delacruz Duluth Public Schools
Angel Farrell Graduate Student - College of St. Scholastica
Ethan Fisher Duluth Federation of Teachers
Jen Jaros Duluth Public Schools
Karl Schuettler Northspan Group, Inc.
**** ADD LINK TO CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS WITH NOTE
Kelsey Gantzer, Executive Director
Athena Hatfield, AmeriCorps VISTA
Angel Nustad-Peluso, Program Director
Saraiya Piantek, Denfeld Site Coordinator
Caitlin Smith, Myers-Wilkins Site Coordinator
Rachel Thapa, Lincoln Park Site Coordinator
***** ADD LINK TO CURRENT TEAM WITH NOTE
BNSF Railway Foundation
Ciresi Walburn Foundation
City of Duluth
Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
Duluth Parks & Recreation
Duluth Rotary Club #25
Junior League of Duluth
Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
Minnesota Power Foundation
National Bank of Commerce
Sheltering Arms Foundation
Head of the Lakes United Way
Partners & Supporters
American Indian Community Housing Organization
Black Men Serving Excellence
Boys and Girls Clubs of the Northland
Bridging Health Duluth
Center City Housing
City of Duluth Youth Employment Services
College of St. Scholastica
Duluth Area Family YMCA
Duluth Folk School
Duluth Youth Agency Coalition
Families Rise Together
Farm to School
Fond du Lac Human Services
Fond du Lac School Linked Mental Health
Generations Health Care Initiatives
Human Development Center
Kern and Kompany
Lake Superior Community Health Center
Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative
Lutheran Social Services
Men as Peacemakers
National Education Association
Neighborhood Youth Services
Northwood Children’s Services
Outside the Box
Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault
Steve O’Neil Apartments
St. Louis County Public Health
True North AmeriCorps
SNAP Education - University of MN Extension,
Center for Youth Development - University of MN Extension
UMD Center of American Indian and Minority Health
UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering
University of Wisconsin Superior - Academic Service Learning
Valley Youth Center
Caitlin Smith, Full-Service Community School Coordinator at Myers-Wilkins
We consider ourselves lucky to have hired Caitlin Smith as our new Full-Service Community School Coordinator at Myers-Wilkins Elementary in Fall 2021. Welcome Caitlin to our team!
Wolf Den Summer 2021
At Myers-Wilkins Elementary school, we hosted an integrated academic and recreational summer program that was a partnership between DCSC, the District, OEE, and Duluth Parks and Recreation.
Right: Wolf Den students working with footprint molds
Setting the Stage for 2022 and Beyond
In Fall 2021, DCSC worked with Myers-Wilkins Elementary to secure a 2.5 year Full-Service Community Schools grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. The $442,000 grant is funding a Mental Health Practitioner, a Full-Service Community School Site Coordinator, partnerships with local organizations, and supplies for programming. This contributes to the sustainability of our efforts at Myers-Wilkins!
Food & Well-Being at LPMS
Lincoln Park Middle School integrates gardening, nutrition education, and a new school pantry into holistic health & well-being, engaging students as leaders, participants, and advocates.
136 food pantry visits in fall 2021
12 students involved in summer gardening and nutrition
Met 100% of requests from families
The LPMS school pantry strives to
provide students with access to fresh, healthy, and easy to prepare foods in a safe, welcoming, strengths-based, and developmentally appropriate manner.
It is more than a pantry.
LPMS School Garden (left) and food pantry (right)
LPMS students are leaders:
tending the school garden
planning the pantry
selecting pantry equipment
recommending items to stock
offering recommendations for how to create a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment
sharing ideas & lived experience
sharing caring messages & art
Caring messages written by students
The Story of DASH
Denfeld After School Happenings (DASH) is our free afterschool program meant to be a safe space for students to learn and gather with each other at Denfeld High School. Here is how the Full-Service Community School model brought us DASH and continues to shape it:
In 2017 and 2018, an assets and needs assessment identified the need for free and accessible afterschool programming at Denfeld High School. We engaged 4 stakeholder groups in planning the program: students, families, school staff, and community members.
As DASH was implemented, we found from the data that students attending DASH are disproportionately students of color, in special education, and qualifying for free or reduced lunch. As a result, the Denfeld Community School Leadership Team developed a goal of using DASH as a strategy to close the graduation gap for these students.
The need for a safe after-school space did not disappear during the pandemic. We partnered with Life House and hosted Denfeld students at their location twice a week. Like in DASH, students could do homework, play games, access the internet, and connect with the Denfeld Community School Coordinator.
In December 2021, as part of Ignite Afterschool's M3 Continuous Improvement Process, we formed a Youth Leadership Team (composed of students who attend DASH) and trained them in program evaluation. These students then gave us feedback on DASH as a program. We are working to implement the suggestions of these student leaders and grow the Youth Leadership Team.
Right: Community School Coordinator Saraiya welcomes a student to DASH
Through Each School
When DCSC expanded to Lincoln Park Middle School in 2016 and Denfeld High School in 2017, one of our goals was to create a continuous k-12 community school experience for students in the district. 2022 Denfeld graduate Emma exemplifies this experience. We've asked her how our programs impacted her across all three schools.
"[DCSC programming] showed me what it was to be to be a kid in the time of my life and have fun."
"It helped me grow as a person and with school work."
Tubing at Summer DASH (Denfeld After School Happenings)
"...me and some friends would stay after and just play board games and have snacks with the staff."
Have these programs helped you stay engaged in school?
"I have made relationships with people that were helpful and helped me reach my needs with school and just a fun thing to do after school and during school."