Public Spirit July 2011

What you’ll find in this month’s edition

  • Finishing your year of service?  Become part of the AmeriCorps alumni network!
  • Volunteer Opportunities at the Lake Harriet Concert Series!
  • Housing Opportunity at the PPL College House!
  • Are Kids Finicky about Reading? Try Manga
  • Stretch Your Budget with Farmers Markets
  • Best Practices for Summer Learning

Finishing Your Year Of Service?  Become Part Of The AmeriCorps Alumni Network!

Are you interested in staying involved with national service after you leave AmeriCorps?  Connect with other AmeriCorps alumni in the Twin Cities and receive invitations to networking events, service projects, and stay up to date on national service.  Fill out the form below to join our mailing list.  You can also register with the national AmeriCorps Alums organization at

Volunteer Opportunities At The Lake Harriet Concert Series!

Become a Zero Hero or a Waste Warrior this summer!!!

Do you enjoy outdoor music?  Are you looking for a fun way to volunteer while making a difference?  Do you want to learn more about zero waste events or composting?  Here is your opportunity!  This summer Linden Hills Power & Light, the Minneapolis Park Board and the new proprietor of the Lake Harriet Concessions Stand, Kim Bartmann, need your help!

We are seeking individuals, couples and groups to help us meet our goal of zero waste for the summer concert series at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.  In order to accomplish this goal we need you to educate event-goers as they throw away their waste throughout the summer.   We will be focusing our efforts primarily on aiding the waste stations during the busy hours- mostly evenings, plus lunch and dinner times on the weekends.  Volunteer shifts are 3 hours at the bandshell, so take a few shifts between May 30th and September 5th.  Even just volunteering for one shift is a major help!

These shifts offer an opportunity to earn service hours from the Minneapolis Park Board, spread the joy of waste reduction, meet new friends and enjoy some time outdoors listening to great music.  You can sign up as an individual based on your favorite concert or as a group – there are approx 8-10 stations to monitor each day, so the shift can accommodate groups of 5-7 people.

To sign up for a date to volunteer, either follow the link below or email the times and dates to  Feel free to forward to groups you know; post this opportunity on your facebook or tweet about it! We need a LOT of people to make this a success!

Volunteering this summer is going be a lot of fun!  There will be great music, a beautiful setting and wonderful food.  Kim Bartmann, owner of Cafe Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Red Stag and Gigis (soon to be Humble Pie) will be opening Bread and Pickles at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in May. Kim composts in all her restaurants but this will be her most ambitious waste project yet – front of house, public composting EVERY DAY!!

Also, here is the calendar of concerts so you can plan which concert you will be listening to during your shift!  There is a concert every night and two times a day on the Sundays!!__lhb-may-june

Housing Opportunity At The PPL College House!

The PPL College House is a Very Special Opportunity to Live, Learn and Serve in South Minneapolis

For over ten years, like-minded, yet diverse groups of young people have been coming together through the PPL College House program to make change for the better in South Minneapolis.  Helping communities grow and become stronger by providing a way for youth and families to come together for the common purpose of helping kids grow up to be strong, healthy, caring adults.

Apply NOW for Summer or Fall, 2011
First Come, First Served!!!
9-12 Month Lease Options
Free WiFi
Free Laundry
Utilities Included

We are inviting you to apply now because:
The need is greater than ever!
The opportunities are greater than ever!
YOUR time and commitment can help change lives!

We need healthy adult role models and good neighbors who will devote a small chunk of time
to play an important role in the lives of the youth of south Minneapolis.

“There’s no place I’d rather live.  There’s so much going on.  Great community!”
Tara, College House Resident Tutor/Mentor

“The positive influence PPL has not only on the Phillips neighborhood, but also the
surrounding neighborhoods is incredible.”
Sam, College House Resident Tutor/Mentor

“She helps me with my homework and does fun stuff with me…  And she’s like a sister.”
Hannah, College House Student Mentee, 12

“He helps me with my Spanish homework and other projects.  When we get all my work done,
then we get to hang out and do stuff together, like play guitar.”
Nik, College House Student Mentee, 13

All the information you need is HERE!

Got a close friend you want to room with?
•    Invite them along and live at a College House site!

Just graduating and looking for an affordable place to live with rewarding benefits?
•    Have we got a deal for YOU!

Are you thinking of being a VISTA, or AmeriCorps Member?
•    There’s special housing options just for you!

Questions?  Call or email anytime.

PLEASE, feel free to forward this to anyone you think might want to explore this opportunity!

Eric Oines
College House Program Manager
Project for Pride in Living
1035 E Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN55404
Phone [ tel:612-455-5110 ]612-455-5110
Cell [ tel:612-720-8827 ]612-720-8827
FAX [ tel:612-455-5101 ]612-455-5101

Are Kids Finicky About Reading? Try Manga

15 minutes.  That’s the average time a student between the ages of 9 and 13 are spending reading after school.  As they get older, it gets even smaller.  And yet, the same age group spends nearly 2 hours a day watching television and around another hour playing video games.  What is it about these mediums that draw the person in to it?  The flashing pictures, the interactivity, the visible plot lines?  From a reverse viewpoint, reading a book isolates the person from the rest of the world, cornering them and keeping them from the outside world.  In other words, why sit down and read when you can get up and move or watch your favorite character travel to a fantasy land?  How can reading compete with these massive powers?  The answer: it can’t . . . at least not in these age groups.  What reading needs to do is work in tandem with television and video games to create a means to get kids involved.  If that is the case, then the solution has already been invented and implemented: manga.  With most kids getting out school and headed out for the summer, manga offers a chance for kids to read, design, imagine, and create things that will keep them from forgetting what they have learned and prepare them for a more challenging year ahead.Of Reading Manga:

Manga is an interesting medium.  It isn’t just for children or even young adults, it has a variety of genre’s, ranging in age ranges for young and old.  It is because of this that finding the right manga can be difficult and takes time, especially when working with younger children.  In order to understand what manga is and how you can read it with a child, make sure to research it on various websites, such as wikipedia or manga sites themselves.There are many websites out there that provide free translations and options to read.  One of the best websites, that also explains in depth what the various mangas are about, is  Visit there to find a plethora of options to read.

Of Creating Manga:

Once you’ve established a fun connection between your student and manga, the next step is making them the creator.  By making them the one to create their own manga, you are able to develop not just their artistic skills, but also developing a plot line, creating a story (teaching things like beginning, middle, and end), and also helping with literacy.

Your best bet with finding out where to start and how to draw manga will be on youtube.  However, if you have the availability, check out the various books out there that will help just as much: .


Stretch Your Budget With Farmers Markets

Whether you serve in a rural, urban or suburban area, you are bound to have a farmer’s market somewhere close by. Farmers Markets are not only a great way to stretch your food budget, but they also help you connect to your community and support local growers. Here’s why you should find a farmer’s market this summer:1)      The produce you’re buying is fresh, local and in season. It naturally tastes better and is more nutrient rich. Buying straight from the grower also means you are more likely to know exactly what chemicals are in your food.

2)      It’s cheaper. You have cut out the middle man (aka the grocery store).

3)      You can buy in the quantities you need.  Hate having to buy a whole bushel when you only need a little bit, and then wasting the rest? You can choose your quantities more readily at a farmer’s market

4)      More and more farmers markets are accepting EBT. Some even give extra savings to EBT users to make your food dollars stretch even further.

5)      Shop when the market’s getting ready to close and you’re bound to get great deals. Growers don’t want to haul all their goods back, so they’ll most likely give you a better price.


Never shopped at a farmer’s market before? Here’s how to get started:

1)      Find a farmer’s market near you.

Currently, there are six markets across the city enabled to take EBT benefits:

Midtown Farmers Market (

Minneapolis Farmers Market (

Northeast Farmers Market (

West Broadway Farmers Market (

Brian Coyle Mini Farmers Market

Augsburg Mini Farmers Market

While they’re not all enabled for EBT, a lot of the Mini Farmers Markets do take WIC and FMNP (Farmers Market Nutrition Program) Coupons. This is a cool factoid because people using WIC can qualify to get matching dollars for some of what they spend at farmers markets (on fresh produce). This is, essentially, free money (woo!).

All of the Mini Farmers Markets (and info about which ones accept FMNP/WIC) are on a sweet Google map for your convenience.

2)      See what’s in season. That way you can plan your recipes around what’s fresh and readily available.

3)      BYOB: Bring Your Own Bag.

Happy Summer!

Best Practices For Summer Learning

Watching cartoons in the morning, playing outside, getting a sun burn and bug bites, swimming, and staying out late; sound familiar?  It’s summer time! For those of us with summer programs requiring learning or “summer smarts”, this season poses a challenge for us to use our creative minds and expand our learning sessions to fit the needs and wants of the hot weather and youth involved.If a daily activity is required or an idea of yours, customized  workbooks are always a plus. It takes some time to organize and at least one ream of paper to get started- but once you have a template and a few of them on hand, they work miracles. Try organizing them by grade, skill level or subject and tailor the workbooks to the needs of your youth or your program. If there is an opportunity for a “smarty party” or some other type of incentive to finish the workbook, I guarantee you’ll have a handful of kids racing to finish their workbooks in time. Workbooks also offer a plethora of opportunities to see what kind of extra help your youth might need for the following year.

When days get just too hot, it’s nice to take a break from the every day rituals and play outside for a learning session! A handful of water balloons and some simple math can allow for a great break from the indoors and some good brain wave action. Try spicing up water balloon play with hoola hoops, buckets, targets and maybe a few uncalled for splashes!

Summer learning can be a challenge but incorporating a few fun summer activities can make your program a little less stressful and more enjoyable for your youth and program staff!

Finishing your year of service?  Become part of the AmeriCorps alumni network!