Letter from SondraDear Friend:Living in North Minneapolis for over 17 years, I have so much love for my neighbors and our community, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. But I am also constantly reminded that we are ground zero for the second worst achievement gap in the country!

Today, I am more hopeful than ever. Our data shows that together we are beginning to turn the curve on outcomes: NAZ-enrolled children are more ready for kindergarten than their peers, and MCA scores are higher with longer enrollment.

We’re picking up steam and doubling our efforts to keep the momentum going strong. We’re excited to see even more progress as we continue to expand our effectiveness in middle and high schools in 2015.

Give today at the-naz.org/donate and support the movement toward a college-going Northside. Together, we are turning the corner.


Sondra Samuels
President & CEO

NAZ Awarded 2015 Nonprofit of the Year

NAZ is proud to have been named the 2015 Nonprofit of the Year by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. We were honored at the chamber’s Best in Business Awards luncheon on March 19.

We want to credit our partner organizations that are working with us to create a new vision for the nonprofit sector that is focused on outcomes. We also want to recognize our amazing NAZ families who are all on a college path. Together we are gaining traction on closing the achievement gap!

The High AchieverThe High Achiever

Fifth grader Willy N. is a bright student, but he struggled in school. He was removed from mainstream classes, and didn’t receive the academic support he needed. As a result, his confidence—and his grades—plummeted. Then, in the summer of 2014, Willy attended NAZ Anchor Partner Plymouth Christian Youth Center’s Expanded Learning Summer Program, where he was treated just like every other kid. In this environment, Willy’s motivation to learn got a big boost, and he jumped an impressive two grade levels in reading, while his score on the math skills assessment increased from 88 to 100 percent. Willy now attends KIPP North Star Academy, a NAZ Anchor School, where he is a high achiever and a classroom leader.

Read more Family Stories »

Featured Solution/Partner Story: Stabilized Housing for Scholar SuccessFeatured Solution/Partner Story: Stabilized Housing for Scholar Success

Housing stability is crucial for ensuring a scholar’s academic success. When kids aren’t stressed thinking about their housing situation, or missing classes due to high mobility, they can focus on learning and being successful in school.

Since January 2014, NAZ Anchor Partner Project for Pride in Living (PPL) has been working in close collaboration with NAZ and fellow Anchor Partner Urban Homeworks to provide subsidized housing to NAZ families utilizing a recently awarded Achieving Through Stability (ATS) grant. This two-year, $800,000 grant from the Minnesota Housing & Finance Agency and the Minnesota Department of Education focuses on providing stable housing to support a child’s academic success.

The ATS grant allows funding for 50 families. To date, 35 NAZ families are active grant recipients. The grant offers short-term (12-18 months) rental subsidies that bring rent down to about 30% of a families’ income.

In order to qualify for ATS funding, a family has to be homeless or highly mobile, and have at least one scholar who is academically behind.

A Fond Farewell to MPS Superintendent Bernadeia JohnsonA Fond Farewell to MPS Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson

Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson will be greatly missed. She has been a steadfast supporter of NAZ, playing a key role in our partnerships with our four district partner schools. She understands the power of a collaborative approach in permanently closing the achievement gap. Schools can’t do it alone. We are stronger together.

It has been an honor to partner with Superintendent Johnson. We will continue her commitment to educational equity by moving full steam ahead with the great partnerships we have built with the principals and teachers of our Anchor schools, as well as key district leadership, which includes the interim Superintendent Michael Goar and the Northside school board representative, Director Kim Ellison.

Sondra Samuels Named a Person to Know in 2015Sondra Samuels Named a Person to Know in 2015

We are thrilled to announce that NAZ president and CEO Sondra Samuels was recognized in Twin Cities Business as one of 100 People to Know in 2015. She was listed under the Next-Gen Leaders category for her work with North Minneapolis youth.

Cheers to a Successful NAZ BallCheers to a Successful NAZ Ball

The 11th annual NAZ Ball was a magical event. The evening was filled with fun, music, and glamour—all in the name of a good cause. Thanks to partners, patrons, and donors, we raised over $230,000 to support Northside kids on their path to college graduation!

Check out photos of the 2014 NAZ Ball on our Facebook page.

Ending Multigenerational Poverty Together – Join Us!Ending Multigenerational Poverty Together – Join Us!

Each of us has a part to play in the transformation of the Zone. You can take action today to support families and children on their path to success in school and in life.

NAZ FLASH / News from the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)
2123 W. Broadway #100 | Minneapolis, MN 55411 | 612-521-4405 | the-naz.org