MNSBHC Awards Legacy Grant to Anwatin Middle School to Help Restore Its Multi-Use Athletic Field
Thu Feb 01 00:00:00 CST 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded a $220,000 grant to Anwatin Middle School in Minneapolis as part of its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign. The grant will help Anwatin upgrade its athletic field to support flag football, soccer, cross country and other recreation and establish an Indigenous garden at the school.

The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. The grant to Anwatin Middle School is the final community grant to be awarded as part of a year-long grant making effort. The committee’s 52 Weeks of Giving campaign also provided schools in 52 communities with infrastructure and resources needed to establish Fuel Up To Play 60’s Breakfast-in-the-classroom and engaged over 400 kids across the state with the Super Snack Challenge, a healthy snack recipe contest for 8-14 year olds.

As a result of community grant making, Super School Breakfast and donations attributed on behalf of the winners of the Super Snack Challenge, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund donated over $5 million to establish resources that improve the health and wellness of Minnesota’s children.

Investment in a wellness strategy at Anwatin Middle School

In 2017, Anwatin Middle School Principal Ellen Shulman reinstated recess to establish daily time for physical activity and improve student health by providing an outlet for play and recreation. The MNSBHC Legacy Fund grant will help the middle school make critical upgrades to its athletic field, a central activity hub year-round for recess. The field is also used regularly for sports and activities by neighborhood children and other recreational groups in North Minneapolis.

The grant will also help Anwatin restore a large garden on-site at the middle school. The school will establish an indigenous growing project to teach students Native planting and harvesting, to produce nutritious foods and expand the community’s farm to table resources year-round.  

“Nearly 600 students attend Anwatin from all over Minneapolis and many of them are vulnerable youth. This school is a place where students come to safely learn and play and we’re committed to establishing a long-term wellness strategy that helps these children grow into healthy habits,” said Anwatin Middle School Principal Ellen Shulam. “The funds provided by the Legacy Fund are an important investment in our facility but also our community. This grant will ensure that Anwatin is school that students will attend to learn and grow safely, for many generations.”

At a special capstone event today at Anwatin attended by elected officials and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund celebrated the year-long campaign overall, and the grant to Anwatin with a pep rally, marching band and flag football activity. Students and faculty from the school conducted a ground breaking moment at the snowy field where improvements will be made, starting in the spring. Anwatin Middle School is across the street from Theodore Wirth Park, the site where the MNSBHC Legacy Fund kicked off its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign one year ago, with a grant to the Loppet Foundation.

“Anwatin is blessed with amazing leaders committed to establishing an environment that nourishes young people who attend school here. We are pleased to help make possible new resources that will improve the health and wellness of Anwatin students,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships and the MNSBHC. “This campaign has been about ensuring that hosting the Super Bowl leaves a lasting, positive legacy and a healthier future for children across Minnesota. This project at Anwatin is an amazing culmination of that effort; we are so pleased to be in North Minneapolis to celebrate this year-long journey.”

The overall impact of 52 Weeks of Giving

Since kicking off 52 Weeks of Giving in February of 2017, the host committee has traveled across the state to fund projects that encourage kids be more physically active, improve access to healthy and nutritious foods, and to uplift programs with strong, positive mentors and coaches for children. In total, MNSBHC Legacy Fund grants resulted in over $5 million of investment in initiatives focused on kids’ health and wellness.

The Legacy Fund’s Super School Breakfast campaign established Fuel Up to Play 60’s Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program in elementary, middle and high schools in 52 communities statewide. And as a result, more kids in more schools have access to healthy, nutritious food for a productive start each morning and the needed fuel to power through a healthy and active day.

The Super Snack Challenge invited kids ages 8-4 across the state to submit their favorite, healthy game day snack for the opportunity to be acknowledged by the host committee and attribute funds to a Minnesota charity of choice. The top ten “All-Star Chefs” together are responsible for $60,000 in donations and had the opportunity in the fall of 2017 by several famed chefs, including Andrew Zimmern, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour, Sean Sherman of the Sioux Chef and David Fhima of Bistro 3.7.3.

Grant making was concentrated in diverse, rural and underserved communities and neighborhoods of Minnesota. It visited 52 communities across the state as far north as Grand Portage and International Falls to the Blue Earth Reservation and Rochester in the south, and dozens in between. 79 percent of grants made directly impact children who live at or below the state poverty line; 70 percent serve kids of color and a grant was provided to each of the 11 reservations in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

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