CommonBond Communities

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $12,000

Based in St. Paul, serves 52 cities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Established in 1971, CommondBond is the Midwest’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing with services. More than 10,000 people live in CommonBond housing, more than 2,800 of whom are children.

Grant supports the Study Buddies program, serving youth in grades 1-6 in Commonbond’s family housing communities in the Twin Cities metro area. Youth are paired with volunteer mentors who meet weekly to develop reading, literacy, and social emotional skills. The goals are that youth improve their reading skills, are positively engaged in their learning, and build trusting relationships with caring adults. The program augments reading with social emotional support. For youth who have experienced learning loss as well as trauma during the pandemic, the program is an important support and a steady presence in their lives. Volunteers come from area universities and receive training on eliminating bias and working with the diverse youth they are paired with.