Friday, April 15, 2011

The Mill


photo credit: Edina Historical Society
Edina Public Schools is launching a new community blog today. We're calling it The Mill, a nod to Edina's history. In 1857, a mill was built on Minnehaha Creek, near the current intersection of 50th Street and Browndale Avenue. Pioneer farmers and Native Americans brought their wheat, rye, oats, barley and corn to the gristmill to be ground into flour and meal.

More than a wheel of industry, though, the mill was a gathering place--the news center and the hub of social life. All roads led to the mill; a school house, a church, a blacksmith shop, post office and Grange hall soon grew up around it. The mill hummed along. Painted red, it was the heart of the community.

photo credit: Edina Historical Society


The Mill blog is a modern gathering place for our community. Our Mill harnesses not the mighty Minnehaha, but instead social media tools and a cataract of community energy to gather stories of Edina Public Schools. Small stories that otherwise go unnoticed. Stories that personalize the Edina Public Schools. Of course there will be stories about how and why we excel, but you will also read about the challenges, places where we can improve. I hope you will find stories as diverse, complex and interesting as our community. If you don't see your perspective reflected here, consider contributing your own post.

New content will appear on Tuesdays and Fridays, written by a revolving group of community members. The posts are only a beginning, however. In order to build an effective, interactive community discussion, we are relying on you to add your voice, your experiences and your perspectives. Comments will be moderated before being shared publicly; comments meant to build community and evolve the conversation by offering new information, insight or ideas will be published. We're even offering incentives: each week from now until June 10, everyone who comments will be entered in a random drawing to win fun, mill-related items. This week's prize is a t-shirt, courtesy of the Edina Historical Society, featuring a painting of the Edina Mill by Leonard Fellman.

So far as we can tell, no other school district in the country has a community blog of this kind. Thank you to Dr. Dressen and the communications department for taking this powerful step toward engaging the community with authentic content, decentralizing information-sharing in our district, and building a forum for meaningful dialogue. Together, we are setting the mill wheels in motion once again.

Cheryl Gunness, Editor

An Edina Millstone rests at the site near 50th Street and
Browndale Avenue

4 comments:

  1. So excited to help tell the small stories of Edina Public Schools! And looking forward to hearing everyone else's small stories, too. What a great way to build community!

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  2. Leslie LagerstromApril 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Congratulations on the launch of a great new communication medium for our school district! Love the name! I look forward to following this blog!

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  3. Love it! Can't wait to see how this builds--let's lead the country in what social media in a school district can be!

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  4. How exciting to have a place for shared experience, dialogue, and community to be built around one of the things that makes Edina such an outstanding community!

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A Community Gathering of Stories about Edina Public Schools