• The Northland Foundation is pleased to announce that seven grants were awarded in January by the young people and adult mentors on the 2020-21 KIDS PLUS Youth In Philanthropy Board. The Board is made up of middle school and high school students from across northeastern Minnesota who review and make grantmaking decisions with guidance from volunteer adult mentors. The grants the students award, up to $1000 each, support school and community projects that are planned and developed by children and youth in northeastern Minnesota. The KIDS PLUS Youth In Philanthropy Program receives funding support from the Scott and Holly Martin Family Foundation, members of the Northland Foundation's Emeritus Trustee Group, and the Northland Foundation. January 2021 Youth In Philanthropy grants were awarded to:

Littlefork-Big Falls - ISD #362, Littlefork - $990 to expand use of the local school forest during winter months by providing students and the community with access to snowshoeing.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Saint Paul - $1,000 to support the creation of a zine that raises awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

Many Rivers Montessori, Duluth - $1,000 to create and grow a garden that will support local projects and be distributed to families in need.

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Northern STEM Robotics, Hermantown - $930 to offer youth-led free robotics classes to K-12th grade students in underrepresented communities to show them the opportunities robotics provides.

Hope Community Presbyterian Church, Virginia - $1,000 to fill the community food pantry and keep it stocked for families to utilize during stressful times.

Cook County Community YMCA, Grand Marais - $650 to expand the afterschool program to include the creation of two books written by kids.

Minnesota Children's Press, Grand Marais - $1,000 to create a youth-designed and youth-led internet security online class for local elders.

  • From October through December of 2020, the Northland Foundation awarded 81 grants for a total of $858,612. A large share of grants continues to be aimed at relief and recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly $210,000 was granted to community organizations and school districts for emergency wrap-around early care and education services. The funding was awarded to better support children ages 0-8 who are being disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic, including children from low-income families; black, Indigenous, and other children of color; and children in rural communities. Grantees will employ a variety of strategies, from technology to help students with distance learning, to mental health supports, and more.

All grants awarded Oct. 1 - Dec. 31 are listed below:


Boys & Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway, Grand Rapids - $30,000 to support out-of-school time programming to students in the Grand Rapids and Greenway School Districts.

Chester Bowl Improvement Club, Duluth - $2,500 to support an alpine ski program with YWCA Girl Power! participants.

ServeMinnesota, Minneapolis - $25,000 to support the placement of Reading Corps tutors to help bolster academic achievement in the Deer River, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Mesabi East School Districts.

Volunteers In Education, Inc., Virginia - $14,000 to support tutoring and program expansion to bolster academic achievement in Iron Range schools.

Kids Closet of Duluth, Duluth - $5,000 to support the purchase of winter outerwear and school clothing for low-income students in the Duluth School District.

Essentia Health Foundation, Duluth - $15,000 to provide hospitality to families with seriously ill or injured children.


Floodwood Services and Training, Inc., Floodwood - $10,000 to support staff development training to strengthen the quality of services to people with disabilities.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Duluth - $25,000 to support economic and community development activities in the Duluth area.

Citizens for Backus, International Falls - $20,000 to support to-go meals for families in need.

The Northspan Group, Inc., Duluth - $30,000 to support training on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to governments and quasi-governmental community groups and organizations across Northeast Minnesota to help foster welcoming communities and equity.

Life House, Inc., Duluth - $30,000 to support advancing Life House's diversity, equity, and inclusion engagement practices and culturally relevant teachings for youth.

Community Action Duluth, Duluth - $20,000 to support free tax filing services for people with low incomes.


Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Saint Paul - $9,000 to support the Duluth Neighborhood Profiles on the MN Compass website.

Minnesota Council on Foundations, Minneapolis - $2,500 to support the Minnesota Council on Foundations annual conference.


North Shore AGE to age, Silver Bay - $55,000 to provide multi-year support for intergenerational activities through the North Shore AGE to age program.

Barnum Schools-ISD #091, Barnum - $45,000 to provide multi-year support for intergenerational activities through the Barnum AGE to age program.

Lake Superior School District - ISD #381, Two Harbors - $40,000 to provide multi-year support for intergenerational activities through the Two Harbors AGE to age program.


Lake Superior School District - ISD #381, Two Harbors - $16,500 to support an AGE to age Fellows Team, made up of a college student and an adult age 50+, to work together to offer intergenerational programming in their hometown.


Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage - $100,000 to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts with grant funding provided through the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund.

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Nett Lake - $100,000 to support COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts with grant funding provided through the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund.

Calvary Baptist Church, Duluth - $4,000 to support outreach, health, and community-building efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Licensed Child Care Providers, Northeast Minnesota - $51,000 - The following 38 grants were awarded through the Northland Foundation's Emergency Child Care Grant Program, with the support of numerous funding partners, to licensed family and center-based child care providers serving the children of emergency and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wood City Preschool, LLC, Cloquet - $3,000; Colleen Paulsen, Cloquet - $1,000; Alyssa Haedrich's Child Care, Moose Lake -$1,000; Enchanted Garden, Cloquet - $1,000; Cathy's Daycare, Cloquet - $1,000; Judy's House, Cloquet - $1,000; Colleen's Daycare, Cloquet - $1,000; Andrea Anderson, Cloquet - $1,000; Erin Lunde's Family Daycare, Cloquet - $1,000; Kid's Corner, Cloquet - $3,000; Kathy's Little Stars, Esko - $1,000; Tender Loving Childcare, Cloquet - $1,000; Tykes N Tots Preschool & Childcare, Carlton - $1,000; Duluth Preschool of Fine Arts, Duluth - $3,000; Miles of Smiles, Chisholm - $1,000; Kickstart Preschool, LLC, Two Harbors - $3,000; Kidz Zone Daycare Center, Aitkin - $3,000; Jaime's Daycare, Duluth - $1,000; Leslie Frink's Daycare, Duluth - $1,000; Wind Ridge Schoolhouse, LLC, Duluth - $1,000; Sarah's Tiny Tots Daycare, Aitkin - $1,000; Little Footprints Daycare, Gilbert - $1,000; Country Kids Daycare, Duluth - $1,000; Krawlers to Kindergarten, Duluth - $1,000; Kids First Day Care, Duluth - $1,000; T-N-T's Dynamite Kids, Duluth - $1,000; Sara's Child Care, Virginia - $1,000; Tiny Turtles Care Center, Eveleth - $1,000; Heidi's Home Day Care, Proctor - $1,000; Jill's Cozy Curriculum, Duluth - $1,000; Barbie's Daycare, Duluth - $1,000; Kids Can Be Kids Daycare, Hibbing - $1,000; Laura Lafreniere, Duluth - $1,000; Montessori School of Duluth, Duluth - $3,000; Amy's Childcare, Duluth - $1,000; My Little Bumble Bees Daycare LLC, Duluth - $1,000; Dragonfly Childcare, Duluth - $1,000; Little Farmers Daycare, Aitkin - $1,000.

School and Community Organizations, Northeastern Minnesota - $170,812

The following 18 grants totaling $170,812 were awarded in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund for emergency wrap-around early care and education services. The grants are designed to support northeastern Minnesota children ages 0-8 from underserved populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional four grants totaling $39,300 were awarded for wrap-around services using Northland Foundation funding.

Duluth Preschool, Duluth - $4,950; Lake Superior School District - ISD #381, Two Harbors - $15,000; Wrenshall School District - ISD #100, Wrenshall - $3,700; Grand Rapids School District-ISD #318, Grand Rapids - $5,000; Center City Housing Corporation, Duluth - $15,000; Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth - $10,000; Caring and Sharing Daycare, Aitkin, $1,000; Hope for Kids Childcare Center, Duluth - $9,162; Cook County Schools-ISD #166, Grand Marais - $15,000; Invest Early, Grand Rapids - $15,000; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Duluth - $15,000; Otis Family Daycare, Cloquet - $1,000; Churches United In Ministry, Duluth - $15,000; McGregor KIDS PLUS/Something Cool, Inc., McGregor - $11,000; Children of Grace Childcare & Education Center, Hibbing - $10,000; Duluth Area Family YMCA, Duluth - $10,000; Cook County Schools-ISD #166, Grand Marais - $5,000; New Hope FOR Families, Duluth - $10,000; Duluth Area YMCA, Duluth - $10,000; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland, Duluth - $10,000; Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage - $15,000; Oshki Ogimaag Charter School, Grand Portage - $4,300.

Community Leaders

  • St. Luke’s welcomed MayPakou Ly to its Board of Directors. Ly has extensive experience in public service. Most recently, she worked for nearly a decade in media, public relations and community engagement for the City of Duluth. She led communications for the City during critical projects like Superior Street reconstruction, the 2012 flood and the 2016 windstorm. She also has more than 20 years of experience working in policy and program development at the county, state and federal levels. She holds a master’s degree in public affairs from Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis. Ly has served on St. Luke’s Foundation Board of Directors since 2016 and is the Grants Committee Chair. She takes great pride in improving the community through volunteer commitments with Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and organizations that address food insecurity or homelessness.

Ly has been recognized by the Duluth News Tribune with their 20 Under 40 award and honored for her excellence in public service with the City of Duluth’s Clarence Maddy Award.

Ly joins the following Board members: Kevin Beardsley, Treasurer; Herb Minke, Chair; Mitch Cardwell, DO; Brian Murphy, Past Chair; John Cloutier; Yvonne Prettner Solon, Vice Chair; Patrick Heffernan; Rene Settergren; David Hutchinson, MD, Chief of Staff Elect; Nyasha Spears, MD; Amanda Imes; Aimee VanStraaten, MD, Secretary; Edwin King Hall; Ruth Westra, DO; Timothy Kleinschmidt, MD, Chief of Staff.