Banyan Buzz
September 2019
Welcome
A strong summer makes for a good fall. Thanks to the support of so many people and the great staff and community we are experiencing a good fall. Why? Because we had a strong summer. Summer in our neighborhood is particularly trying with crime in our face. This can lead to instability and emotional challenges. Banyan stabilizes our youth, families, and community with relationships and activities that bring us together. Our summer learning and growing means we are ready for fall, despite the challenges. We are Banyan strong and are so grateful for the stories and experiences we can share with you in this edition of the Banyan Buzz. Blessed,
 
Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Mark your calendar!
 
Annual Banyan Dinner 
Sunday, October 27
5:00 pm
 
Celebrate the partnership of supporters and community  members who are working 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.
 
Thanksgiving
Thursday, November 28
 
Enjoy the blessings of family and friends! We thank God for the blessing of you!
Welcome Diamond
From Banyan Youth to Banyan Scholar to Secondary Educator
Banyan Community is pleased to welcome Diamond Jackson to our program staff. She will be working with youth grades 8 to 10 as they transition from middle school into high school.
 
Diamond is a familiar face at Banyan - she has been coming here since she was a small child. Recently graduated from Bethel University with a degree in psychology, Diamond had the goal to work somewhere "just like Banyan". How fortunate that her graduation perfectly coincided with our need for a Secondary Educator!
 
Diamond is a perfect fit with her rich work experience in after school programming and summer camps. She is also bilingual in Spanish and English.
Siblings @ Banyan 
Finally, Ruben is old enough!
Article ImageYounger siblings patiently wait until they are able to follow in the footsteps of older siblings. Young Ruben, pictured here with his brother Fabrizio, is a new kindergartener. He's been patiently waiting until he's old enough to join his brother at Banyan. Now it's his turn to enjoy all the activities, snacks, gym time, etc. that he has heard all about. Welcome Ruben and all the siblings and new families to Banyan! It's worth the wait! #Banyangrows
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
Welcome to Our Neighborhood!
Please join us for a special evening!
We are pleased to invite you to our neighborhood for the Annual Banyan Dinner! Join us for a behind the scenes look at the transformational work of Banyan. Our brand of holistic community development is one with a long history of success and proven outcomes (a social return on investment equal to $8 for every $1 invested!).
 
Plan to enjoy a delicious progressive dinner as you learn and see firsthand how a neighborhood faced with many challenges (30% of children living in poverty, 10% unemployment, and roughly half of students graduating from high school) is finding a new norm: one where youth are graduating from high school and going to college, community members believe they can make the neighborhood a better place to live, and families are invested in a hopeful vision of the future. 

Banyan Community is on a journey to partner with more youth and families, deepening our impact. But we need you!  
 
$75 per person
$600 for a table of 8
 
Bring Your Parent to Banyan Night!
Banyan parents experience youth programs
Article ImageBanyan youth were excited to bring parents to Banyan to show off the after school program on September 12th. 
 
Youth led parents through the daily Banyan routine, and parents learned there is nothing like experiencing Banyan programs firsthand, through the eyes of a child!
 
Parents enjoyed favorite books, reading nooks, homework time, gym time, and snack time. Families played games together, participated in projects, and had an all-around great time. 
Preschool Graduation
One year anniversary with St. David's Center
Article ImageThe anniversary of our partnership with St. David's Center (SDC) culminated with a preschool graduation ceremony. The occasion had parents, siblings, and staff cheering the milestone and bright futures.  
 
Each of the graduates took a turn in front of the crowd to greet their teacher, receive a diploma, share a favorite memory (the Zoo was a hit!), and collect a "book of memories" created by staff.
 
There are now five preschool graduates (and their parents) ready to succeed in a kindergarten that best fits them. #newnormal
School's Cool!
Starting the school year with everything on the list
Article ImageHaving the necessary school supplies is the first step in a successful year of learning. Banyan youth start the new school year with a bright new backpack, a full array of school supplies, and a team of after school educators who are ready to help with homework, answer tough questions, and support social and emotional skill development!
 
Now that our after school programs are in full swing, the halls of Banyan are echoing with joyful sounds of children excited to share the activities of the day, finish their homework, and play in the gym.
 
We are grateful to St. Bartholomew's Catholic Community for their partnership in the "School's Cool" program. The community of St. Bart's has collected and coordinated school supplies, backpacks, and uniforms since 1999, ensuring Banyan youth have what's needed to start each new school year.
National Night Out
Community building for those with good taste!
Banyan's Lighthouse Network hosted 22 block parties on National Night Out, an annual event that encourages community members to step outside, meet neighbors, and share a meal. 
 
Neighbors were joined by members of both the Police and Fire Departments. Children were able to sit in a fire truck and pet the horses of the Mounted Police. Potluck was taken to new heights as dishes from around the world decorated the tables and brought a variety of taste sensations to all.
 
A Day Away
Banyan families visit Lake Rebecca for fun in the sun
Article ImageOne of our final activities of the summer is our "Day Away" retreat. Each year Banyan families and staff leave our worries behind, escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and enjoy the company of friends, neighbors, and community.
 
This Gathering celebrates summer and community at Lake Rebecca, one of the regional parks of Three Rivers Park District. The day was filled with a variety of camp games, a pinata, and volleyball for the young and old. We also enjoyed a BBQ feast and spent time on the water canoeing, paddleboating, and swimming. #connecting
 
 

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404