"This is a K-8 charter school that believes in community involvement. All students are required to do community service projects, and the parents must pledge at least 30 hours of volunteer time per year. Last year they recorded 3,360 volunteer hours from the parents."

Phil Hatlie, Senior Loan Officer, Nonprofits Assistance Fund

STRIDE Academy charter school in St. Cloud has incorporated several innovative approaches to achieve great academic results. School meets for 11 months, with periodic vacations, in order to keep the momentum of learning. All students, kindergarten included, are involved in community service projects, and all parents volunteer in the school. The students at STRIDE outperform the state averages and the school is in the top tiers of Minnesota schools. In order to grow from 550 to 650 students, STRIDE is adding classrooms and improving their school building. A loan from NAF will allow STRIDE to upgrade technology, replace the gym floor, and build a new playground.