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Letter: Collaborative has busy fall in the works

Nobles County Integration Collaborative logo

In spite of being shut down during the state shutdown this summer, Nobles County Integration Collaborative is open and ready to begin another year of partnering with area school districts to promote cultural integration and student success.

A wide range of educational opportunities are planned for the year ahead. We hope that area residents as well as students will take advantage of these opportunities. This letter will share a few of the upcoming opportunities, but residents may find additional information about NCIC programs on our website:

From 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, we will be hosting a College Preparation Event for high school seniors and/or their parents. This event will share a preparation timeline, basic financial aid information and practical strategies for making a successful transition for high school to higher education. It will be at NCIC, which is located in the West Learning Center, 117 11th Ave., Worthington. The English session will meet in room 126 and will be facilitated by Lakeyta Potter. The Spanish session will meet in room 124 and will be facilitated by Antonio Alba, a University of Minnesota Extension Educator. Minnesota West and the Great Lakes Higher education Corporation are also sponsors of this event. A similar event for students in other high school grades will be offered in January.

NCIC will be co-sponsoring two Culture Corner events with Minnesota West this fall. At 7 p.m. Sept. 24, area residents may attend a concert/program by a classical guitarist from Portugal. At 7 p.m. Oct. 11, there will be a premiere showing of the documentary "Abused: The Postville Raid" and a follow-up discussion with the director, Luis Argueta. This film records personal testimonies from the ICE raid at Postville, Iowa. Both of these events will in the Minnesota West Fine Arts Theater in Worthington; both are free and open to the public.

NCIC will be collaborating with classroom teachers to provide learning opportunities for student in several grade levels throughout the year. On Oct. 4, integration funding will enable students in grades two and three to attend the "Skippyjon Jones" play at Memorial Auditorium. On Oct. 5, fourth-grade students will have the opportunity to meet with their Pen Pals and host a History Player from the Minnesota Historical Society. On Oct. 13 or 14, fifth-grade students will have the opportunity to attend a Kindness Retreat. Then, in November, eighth-grade students will attend "Accidental Hero" at Memorial Auditorium.

Additionally, NCIC will coordinate a variety of out-of-school time programs throughout the school year for students in grades 8-12. These programs include Dynamic 507, Homework Zone, Fushion, Odyssey, Youth Diversity Council and Step Up to Success. All of the programs address five goal areas including: academic success; civic engagement; college and career preparation; cultural competence; and leadership development. A Leadership Retreat for area high school students has been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20. Anyone interested in participating in the Leadership Retreat or the on-going programs should contact NCIC at 376-3300 for more information.

We look forward to fulfilling our mission "to learn from and with one another" again this year.