Banyan Buzz
July 2019
Welcome
Banyan Community invites you to join us under the Banyan tree as we share our joys, challenges and life events while living and growing together! Banyan Buzz is a way to bring you into the center of our conversations to celebrate with us. Enjoy!
 
Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Mark your calendar
 
National Night Out
Tuesday, August 6th
 
Banyan will be celebrating with over 30 block clubs in the Phillips neighborhood. Enjoy time with your neighbors!
 
Annual Banyan Dinner 
Sunday, October 27
5:00 pm
 
Celebrate the partnership of supporters and community members as we work to close the opportunity gap. Partner with us to create transformation in the lives of youth and families. 
 
Interested in sponsoring the event? Contact us for details.
Engineering at Banyan
Banyan middle school youth rolled up their sleeves and soldered a circuit board to drive an electronic counter. The Tronix team, led by Steve Birth, plants seeds for future engineering careers. We can't wait to see what grows!
Paying it Forward
More than 20 community members gathered to support the work of Open Arms, a local non-profit that provides meals to neighbors living with life-threatening illnesses.
 
Banyan adults decorated and delivered 100 brown paper bags to be used for meal delivery. Another way to ensure neighbors feel the love and support of community with each meal. 
Tower of Balloons?
Creating a self-supporting balloon tower is more challenging than you might think! It requires an understanding of gravity, weight distribution, and teamwork!
Bell Museum Visit
A mobile planetarium took over the gym, and Banyan youth explored the solar system with a University of Minnesota Bell Museum guide.
 
To continue the space exploration, Banyan youth created telescopes with punch hole constellations, made planet flip books, and built and charged off a homemade bottle rocket!
Nailed It?
The reality TV baking show Nailed It! is a favorite  among amateur bakers who try to replicate an edible masterpiece. What do you think: did Banyan youth prove themselves ready for the challenge? Compare the masterpiece above with the replica below.
 
Fun in the Gym
We have been fortunate to have Hakeem take on the role of PE Specialist for the summer at Banyan. Hakeem has worked with Banyan youth for many years. He is a member of the community and a third year Health Education student at Augsburg. What a perfect fit! 
Banyan Board of Directors
Banyan's Board of Directors is an active and engaged group ready to connect with you about resources for Banyan's future. Feel free to contact us.
 
Banyan Board:
Mike Wilczynski, Chair
Carol Wolfe, Vice Chair
Michael O'Keefe, Secretary
Susan Haffield, Treasurer
Mike Cronin
Dan Farley
Justin Hanratty
Tom Hubler
Stanley Jackson
Lisa Mauer
Judy Pennington
Heidi Thorson
Jeffrey Wertz
Support Banyan Online
Banyan accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!
Summer Highlights
What we've been up to so far!
Banyan has been bursting with activity this summer! This edition of Banyan Buzz gives you a glimpse into some of the things our youth and families have been doing in the first half of the summer. Thank you joining us on this journey and providing your support.
Enjoying Our Local Treasures
Field trips, first-time visits, and building community
The Community Team is maximizing summer by hosting a variety of trips to Twin Cities landmarks. Highlights so far have included the Arboretum, Lake Harriet, Bde Maka Ska, the Rose Gardens, and Minnehaha Falls. 
 
"We have so many gems in the Twin Cities," says Gale Cannon, Community Educator and Program Manager. "It is especially satisfying to share them as a community."
Weekly Swimming Trips
Once a week youth head to a local lake or water park to beat the heat, spend time together, and hone our swimming skills. We've been to Highland Park Reserve, Bush Lake Beach, Lake Johanna, and the St. Louis Park Water Park. Like Dory, we "just keep swimming!"
The Egg Drop!
Can you brace a raw egg for a fall from the second floor?
Article Image
Yes! For team 2 - Mohammed, Wilson, and Tony - the secret was to create a small basket for the egg with masking tape surrounded by cotton balls, plastic cups, plastic straws, and a great many rubber bands!
 
Each team put their solution to the test when the eggs were dropped from Banyan's deck. Six of the eight teams of kindergarten through 5th graders had a successful drop!
Planting Food From Food
Survival Skills 
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Banyan elementary youth explored cultivating their own food, from food, under the theme of wilderness survival. We got messy separating raspberry seeds, harvesting seeds from bell peppers and avocados, and propagating sweet potatoes.
 
Now we water and wait for them to grow and produce!
Workplace Visits 
Exploring career options
Banyan middle school youth were all around town learning about careers. Thanks to 3M, Syand Corporation, and Walsh & Gaertner for opening your doors and letting us look inside. We may have future engineers, Agile coaches, product developers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and translators coming from our ranks. Early exposure to opportunities helps youth build their educational maps.
 
How to Make a Water Filter
Soda bottles are handy
Water FilterDid you know that with a bevy of small stones, cotton balls, charcoal and a coffee filter, you can filter water that is safe for drinking?
 
Banyan youth worked together to follow all the steps to build a filter. We tested it by trying to remove food coloring from tap water. This skill was quite involved and complicated - we will require more practice before we take it to the great outdoors!  
Welcome Home!
Neighbors supporting neighbors 
Article ImageOne of our Banyan families moved from a rental home  to become first time homeowners! It was even more exciting that they were able to stay in the community, in a home just a few blocks from Banyan.
 
In celebration of their new home, community and staff members gathered to help with some landscaping and gardening. The blooming flowers were a touching finish to the beautiful new home. 
Banyan Youth Test Strength and Courage
Base Camp provides the means
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Banyan youth challenged themselves to face their fears, try new skills and discover how perseverance can make the seemingly impossible, possible.  
 
Ashley was one of many who made it to the top of the wall. "Anytime I got tired, I said to myself, 'you're strong', and I kept going," says Ashley. 
Camp Amnicon
A Wilderness Adventure in Canoeing and Camping
Article ImageOn the south shore of Lake Superior, Camp Amnicon is the most anticipated event of the summer for Banyan's middle school youth. The annual tradition provides memorable moments (sleeping on the beach of Lake Superior) and immense challenges, all in a week's time.  
 
"Youth really have to step outside of their comfort zone," says Kayla Sloane, Secondary Educator at Banyan. "They're cooking over a camp fire, pitching a tent, learning how to canoe and navigate the rapids, and all of it for the first time." While the trip can be challenging, it builds self-confidence and is a great opportunity to develop leadership skills. 
 
"My parents aren't going to believe what I did!" was the common refrain. 

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404