The Enriching Schools mission is to facilitate partnerships to build stronger schools, stronger families, and a stronger community, one student at a time. This mission is accomplished by connecting schools with local churches and community partners, to empower the school to maximize their distinct vision. These partnerships pave the way for students to reach their full potential, which strengthens the future of the entire community.

The Director of Enriching Schools, Ken Norman, will complete his first year serving UpWorks in his role as of June 2019. He has enjoyed strengthening our existing relationships and watching God expand our work throughout the Twin Cities.

Enriching Schools - Ken Norman, Director

Enriching Schools was launched in the Bloomington School District and we recently celebrated the work being done with over 50 school and faith community leaders at the Faith Partnership Breakfast. The Bloomington District Superintendent, Les Fujitake, shared reasons why Bloomington is such a special place to live and how faith community partnerships are so valuable to the schools.

Examples of Enriching Schools impact include:

  • Tim Webber, Pastor of Evergreen Church, heard their partner school, Indian Mounds Elementary’s spring carnival might be cancelled due to the lack of volunteers. Pastor Webber along with a dozen or so volunteers from Evergreen Church stepped in to help the carnival be a tremendous success.

The Jumpstart 2 School supply drive and the Bloomington collaborative winter clothing distribution demonstrates how the Bloomington community comes together to support underserved children and families.

UpWorks’ Enriching Schools is currently working with the Bloomington School District alongside:

  • 5 Schools with active partnerships.
  • 3 Schools where UpWorks is currently meeting with church leadership about partnership.
  • 2 Schools where UpWorks is still seeking a church partner.

Enriching Schools

UpWorks’ Enriching Schools has also grown into serving five additional Districts this past year. In addition, we are enjoying partnerships with two Charter Schools; Paladin Career & Technical High School and SAGE Academy.

Highlights from these relationships include:

In the Anoka Hennepin School District, Charles Kim, Pastor of the Korean Presbyterian Church, has gone through training to become a K-skillbuilder (tutoring kindergarteners in math & literacy) volunteer at Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School in Brooklyn Park. What a great display of investing in your local school!

Ken Norman is serving on Anoka Hennepin’s Faith Community Partners Steering Committee and he is enjoying an incredible learning experience working with this great team of District Administrators.

Family of God Lutheran Church and Our Savior’s Reformed Church in Brooklyn Park each shared 100 folding chairs for SAGE Academy’s graduation ceremony. Great things are happening all over!

We are looking forward to launching more partnerships and excited about seeing relationships grow and mature throughout the 2019-2020 school year!

Please contact Ken Norman at ken@upworksmn.org or 651-756-7851 to learn more, to get directly involved, or to grow your partnership involvement.

Keep a lookout for Enriching Schools next newsletter this September!