NAZ Newsletter: Northside Scholars Show Significant Progress

2013 Data Shows NAZ Solutions are Beginning to Yield Results

Data from last year shows that NAZ families are making remarkable strides in their own achievement. See the outcomes on

  • NAZ scholars are more likely to be ready for kindergarten.
  • Our after school and summer programs supported NAZ scholars to grow substantially in reading and math.
  • NAZ reduced housing instability for enrolled families.

Featured Family: Tamara – Becoming a Community LeaderFeatured Family: Tamara – Becoming a Community Leader

Tamara Campbell’s enthusiasm for building a college-going culture in both her family and her community is infectious. When she learned about our mission to ensure every child in the Zone graduates ready for college, something inside her “clicked”.

Tamara enrolled and immediately began working with her Connector to put all five of her young scholars on a path to college. Tamara’s preschool-aged child received a NAZ scholarship to a high-quality early childhood education program. “Because of that scholarship I was able to keep my full time job.” Tamara also took two parenting empowerment classes through NAZ Family Academy that helped her understand the key role she plays in the academic success of her scholars. She jumped in to these classes with two feet and immediately began applying conflict resolution and parenting empowerment techniques at home. She also started talking to all five of her children about her expectation that they will attend college. Today, Tamara’s 17-year-old son is receiving college brochures in the mail weekly and he and Tamara read them together. “We both believe he will attend college. We can see now that it is achievable – that it’s not an impossible idea,” she said.

Tamara now talks about college to her neighbors, people on the bus – to whoever she is with. She is a leader in the Zone’s transformation and we are proud to call her our partner.

Sondra Samuels takes part in Policy and a Pint: The State of EducationSondra Samuels takes part in Policy and a Pint: The State of Education

Last month our own Sondra Samuels participated on a panel convened by Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current and the Citizens’ League.

Listen to the broadcast.

Featured Partner: Dianne HaulcyFeatured Partner: Dianne Haulcy Moved to Mayor’s Office

As Chief Operating Officer of Family Partnership, Dianne Haulcy has been part of the NAZ collaborative since its inception. Over the years she has contributed knowledge and resources with full dedication and great insight. Her strong leadership as co-chair of the Early Childhood Action Team has been critical to the significant strides made in that area. Earlier this year all of Minneapolis gained the benefit of Dianne’s talent and experience when newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges chose Dianne to join her staff as a Senior Policy Aide focused on youth and early childhood.

Dianne moved into her position with the Mayor just a few weeks ago, but fortunately for families in the Zone, she will remain in her position as co-chair of the NAZ Early Childhood Action Team. “It’s an exciting development for NAZ,” said NAZ COO Michelle Martin, “Dianne will be helping to lead NAZ from inside City Hall.” Mayor Hodges shares that excitement, “You should have heard the cheer I gave when she accepted the position. She is a leader who is respected far and wide in our community. Those deep connections, including her longstanding work within NAZ, are already a great asset to the team as we work to eliminate disparities in the City of Minneapolis.”

It’s an exciting time for both NAZ and Dianne. We wish her the very best of luck in this new role, and look forward to continuing our partnership.

Featured Solution: Family Academy Yields ResultsFeatured Solution: Family Academy Yields Results

NAZ’s Family Academy is a series of parenting education and empowerment classes that help develop the skills parents need to prepare their scholars to be successful in school and in life. Of parents who actively attended Family Academy in 2013, 77% were proficient at the end of session, compared to 24% of the control group.

Family Academy staff work diligently to close the “belief gap” so many NAZ families have about the likelihood their children will go to college. “We know that parents are absolutely the first and primary teachers in the life of their child,” said Family Academy Director Andre Dukes. “As parents move through Family Academy, they are deepening their commitment to putting their children on the path to college readiness. This is very inspiring.”

One NAZ parent said of the course, “The College Bound Babies class taught me that parenting is more than just bathing and feeding my kids.”

NAZ is developing a unique curriculum to support Northside families, with the support of the University of Minnesota’s CEED at UROC. Classes are now expanding to accommodate scholars entering kindergarten and beyond. Our first pre school age class, “Ready To Succeed”, is currently in its first session. This summer, we will launch a class for parents of elementary age children, called College Bound Scholars.


NAZ Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson FoundationNAZ Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

We’re thrilled to announce that NAZ is the winner of a prestigious grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They recently provided a grant to support our middle school boys of color to jump ahead academically.

“This grant enables us to expand after school and summer Expanded Learning programs to support middle school scholars,” said Jaimee Bohning, NAZ Education Director. “It’s rewarding to have such a highly respected national foundation recognize the quality of work happening in North Minneapolis.”

Sondra Samuels Named to 100 “Minnesotans You Should Know”

NAZ President & CEO Sondra Samuels was listed as one of “100 Minnesotans You Should Know” in the Twin Cities Business’s 2014 Black Book. Congratulations Sondra!

Upcoming Events

Family Academy Graduation Ceremony
Saturday, April 12 from 1 to 2:15 p.m. at Elizabeth Hall School
1601 N Aldrich Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55411
Program begins at 1 p.m.
Cake and ice cream will be served
Learn more

Friends of the Future Lunchtime Series
Wednesday, April 9, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Stronger Parenting—the critical component to real community transformation.
Hear from NAZ staff and parents about how we’re working together to create powerful change in the lives of young scholars.
Learn more

Save the Date: NAZ Ball 2014
Save the Date
Join us to celebrate and support the Northside!
Saturday, November 1
Marriott City Center
Minneapolis MN

Funding for NAZ in State Education Finance BillsFunding for NAZ in State Education Finance Bills

We’re thrilled to announce that funding for NAZ is currently in BOTH the house and senate education finance bills. The next major step is conference committee – where House and Senate will come to agreement on a final package to present to the Governor.

We owe a special thank you to bill author Rep. Joe Mullery and also to Sen. Bobby Joe Champion. Both have been providing powerful testimony and working hard behind the scenes on behalf of NAZ families and children.

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