Oak Park

Oak Park

Oak Park Center is a hub for quality support resources that enrich the academic, social, and emotional success of residents living in the Near North Side neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Oak Park Center focuses on the spirit of youth and families in the Near North neighborhood by offering exciting opportunities and vital resources for youth in grades kindergarten through 12th, parents, grandparents and families as a whole.

Oak Park Center has been a gathering place for the community since 1937. Today, we're helping to attack racial disparities in academic achievement while supporting the needs of historically underestimated, isolated, and underserved adults, youth and families in our area. Oak Park Center is uniquely positioned to address issues facing North Minneapolis because of its highly visible, centrally located facility, which has provided community services for over 75 years. We strive to build strong relationships with families through the programs we offer and the community outreach activities we sponsor. 

We currently work with youth, parents, individuals and families, providing quality services, including afterschool programs focusing on S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), college and career preparation, computer classes, monthly food and produce giveaways and programs like Boys Scouts, Junior Entrepreneurs, Parent Network, and the Crisis Nursery.

At Oak Park Center we believe that by working together, our neighborhood can be free of violence and we can create a culture where youth and adults help one another, more children graduate from college and where adults and families are thriving in the community.

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Our Programs

  • Office of Public Charter Schools

    PUC authorized charter schools align with our mission, vision and values, as well as demonstrate the capacity to be successful with the following student populations:

    Students who qualify for free or reduce lunch

    Students whom English is not their first language or their parents first language

    Students who have special needs and/or have a different learning styles

    Students who are significantly behind academically

    Students who are culturally and ethically diverse

    Students who are disengaged and/or dropped out of school and have re-engaged (high school)

    The Office of Public Charter Schools (OPCS) is responsible for providing compliance oversight and monitoring academic achievement, financial, governance, operational strength and performance goals for each of its schools. The CAD has the following responsibilities:

    New School Development - Authorizing the start-up of new schools that will provide an innovative academic program that will provide a culturally relevant, vigorous experience for its students.

    Transfer Schools - Charter schools that are operational may seek a new authorizer. We will accept transfer schools that met our criteria and are aligned with our mission, vision and values.

    Oversight - OPCS provides ongoing oversight and monitoring of its authorized charter schools. OPCS also offers regular opportunities for all charter leaders to come together in a community of practice focused on the academic, social and emotional success of all students. Learn more (PDF of oversight and compliance)
    Renewals - OPCS has a contract with each charter school that outlines performance goals and operational expectations; contract terms range from one to five years. The OPCS has a renewal process that evaluates school governance and leadership, finance, academic, as well as other operational areas.
    School Closures - OPCS has the responsibility to ensure its charter schools are in compliance, financially viable and meeting academic and operational goals as defined in its contract. OPCS has a tiered intervention process that provides notice of concern and actions required to satisfy the identified issue(s). Any school that advances in the intervention process without satisfying expectations will advance to the final step which is school closure.

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  • Teen Center

    This new program at Oak Park Center includes health and nutrition education through the Teen Café as well as media production opportunities, college prep assistance, and youth entrepreneurship programs.

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  • Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP)

    The Parent Support Outreach Project (PSOP) offers voluntary, supportive, strengths-based, family-driven services to families who are at risk for child protection services due to high levels of stress or crisis. In addition, PSOP:

    • Assists families in building connections with relatives, friends and community members.

    • Supports families in their efforts to provide healthy, nurturing homes for their children.

    • Access to a flexible fund to help families meet their needs, such as rental assistance, car repairs, clothing and grocery vouchers, school supplies, youth activities, and utility bills.

    • Provides funds for therapeutic services such as in-home family counseling, in-home parent education, or assistance with outpatient counseling or chemical dependency treatment costs.

    For more information or to sign up, go to this website: https://www.hennepin.us/residents/human-services/child-protection-servic... or call Jessica Marie Little, program coordinator: 612.348.0211.

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  • Crisis Nursery

    The Crisis Nursery Program is available to parents experiencing and overwhelming level of stress from daily life challenges. Our goal is to reduce the stress level by providing emergency childcare and respite services, while offering a resources to ensure both parent and children are healthy and well. Our Crisis Nursery is a community-based, family supported program that provides services to parents and children, aged 6 weeks to 12 years old, in times of crisis or stress. Services include short-term daycare placements, and information and referral. For assistance call: (612) 302-3500

    If you are in an abusive situation or you fear becoming abusive to yourself or your children, call 911 immediately.

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  • Tax Assistance (seasonal)

    Pillsbury United Communities partners annually with AARP to provide free tax assistance to low to moderate-income individuals from late January thru April 15th. All taxes are prepared for free by volunteers who go through extensive training and are certified by the IRS. For each person listed on the return they need to bring their Social Security card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) card or letter, a picture I.D., and income statements.

    For more information about Pillsbury House & Theatre's tax assistance program, call: 612.824.0708
    For more information about Oak Park's tax assistance program, call: 612.377.7000

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  • Community Café

    We offer free, hot meals in our community café prepared by experienced chefs to provide an opportunity for community members to build relationships and access needed resources.

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  • Public Allies

    This 10-month, full-time program includes an apprenticeship at a local nonprofit organization, weekly training on nonprofit mechanics and values-based leadership, individualized coaching and a supportive cohort of 25 diverse, young leaders. Public Allies earn a $1,500 monthly stipend and receive a $5,550 education award after successful completion of the program. This AmeriCorps program runs September-June.

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  • Leadership and the Politics of Community Change

    This course introduces key concepts and skills for work in non-profit organizations, with a particular focus on organizations engaged in community change work. You will explore theories of social movements and social change, asset-based community development; the history, role and mechanics of non-profit organizations in politics and communities; approaches to leadership in organizations and movements; and diversity and inclusion in social change work.

    Offering credit attainment at the Urban Institute for Service and Learning, this course is taught by adjunct faculty and PUC staff, Antonio Cardona. Course offered through MCTC. 3 credits

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  • Interpreting Agency

    Pillsbury United Communities' Interpreting Agency is a trusted provider of translation and interpretation services to businesses and organizations of all sizes.

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