Banyan Buzz
November 2019
The coming months remind us of celebration and thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, including awesome community members who trust Banyan each day, an amazing staff and board who support our mission, and outstanding supporters who bring it all together. As you read this month’s newsletter, remember that we celebrate because of the year-round support that Banyan gives to and gets from everyone surrounding us.  Thank you for your generosity and being a part of who we are.
Joani Essenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Upcoming Events
Mark your calendar
Thanksgiving Day
November 28
Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful for you!
Christmas Day
December 25
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Winter Break/
School Release Days
Banyan has fun activities and enrichment planned for youth over the winter break.
MEA at Banyan...
Over the MEA break, Banyan hosted three days of activities that included field trips and special sessions for every age. Read on about Cultural Day, a trip to the zoo, and art workshop (a long Banyan tradition).
...Art Workshop
If you've visited us, you have likely been inspired by the banners that adorn our walls. A new one is created every fall with artist Anne Brink and middle school youth working together to create a masterpiece. Stay tuned to see the final creation!
...Cultural Day
Shoua Moua is an educator at Banyan who works with kindergarten to second grade youth. On Cultural Day she wore traditional dress from her Hmong culture and taught the kids the meaning behind colors and patterns in the material. 
...At the Zoo
Another MEA time-off treat was a trip to Como Zoo! Youth studied the rainforest which included lots of fun facts, hissing beetles, and snakes! A visit to see the tigers, gorillas, camels, and sea life followed. 
Annual Report
Arriving Soon
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Watch your mailbox! This year's Annual Report has just gone to press and will be in your mailbox soon!
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
Fall Family Gathering - Apple Orchard
More than 250 community members joined in the fun!
Each year we host four family gatherings that offer an opportunity for new families to be welcomed, familiar friends to get to know one another better, and Banyan as a whole to celebrate community.
We celebrated fall during Banyan's annual trip to the orchard. Banyan families had the opportunity to bite into a crisp apple fresh off the tree, find their way through a maze of corn, enjoy hot cider by the hearth - great Minnesota traditions! 
This year's gathering was held at Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard which provided a warm setting for the get-together.
#strengtheningfamilies #buildingcommunity
Building Adult Leaders
Banyan parent and emerging community leader inspires all 
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There were several special moments during this year's Annual Banyan Dinner, but none as moving as Halima who spoke of her journey from teen immigrant to Banyan parent, leader of her neighborhood block club, and member of the Community Council.
Halima came to the United States from Somalia as a teenager, one of ten children who lived in a two bedroom apartment in the Phillips neighborhood. As strangers in a strange land, Halima's family was unfamiliar with the language, the customs, and in particular the weather! It was the welcome she received from the early Banyan Community and the relationships that provided support to her family.
She is now raising her family in the neighborhood and building leadership skills at Banyan. Her goal is to build relationships and create a safe place for neighbors to live and play. Much like what she experienced as a teen.
Halima expanded on two of the many reasons Banyan is important to her – trust in the staff who care for her children; and cultural safety as a Muslim welcomed to all activities and programs at Banyan.
The pathways Banyan creates for youth have her excited about the future for her kids into high school and even college!
A special thank you to those who sponsored this year's Annual Banyan Dinner! So grateful for your support!
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Secondary Team Hits the Road
College and Career Counselor visits Banyan Scholars
Article ImageEvery fall, the secondary team hits the road to visit Banyan Scholars on college campuses.
In this photo, Demaya Walton, Banyan's College and Career Counselor, is visiting Jennifer who is studying Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. Banyan supports the Scholars and their families on the college journey. The support includes help with scholarships and financial aid, as well as connections to on-campus resources, internship and career opportunities, and networking events.
So proud of our Scholars!
Life on the Farm
Elementary youth spent November 1st at Gale Woods Farm walking among hay bales and petting animals that roamed freely in the fields. On a day when Minneapolis Public Schools were closed for administration, Banyan youth learned about raising chickens, caring for sheep, and feeding cows.
It was an immensely popular outing where kids played in the great outdoors, climbed on bales of hay, walked among the animals, and enjoyed an old-fashioned wagon ride! The neighboring apple orchard provided plenty of ground apples for hand-feeding the cows too!
The kids wanted to prolong the stay, despite the cold, for as long as possible. #thanksfarmerellie #welovedit #galewoodsfarm
A once-a-week, joy-filled exercise and connection class
The Community, Leadership, Education, and Connection (CLEC) calendar is full of activities to support parents as an integral part of our holistic model of community development.
On Wednesday nights, just as the kids are wrapping up after school activities at Banyan, parents and neighbors gather for an ambitious-yet-fun Zumba workout.
Zumba brings moms (and the occasional brave dad) together to exercise in a beautiful gymnasium, build community through the unique fellowship of group fitness, and then pick up their kids at the end of the day. It is a short walk to Banyan for many, and the familiarity and convenience can't be beat! 
Support Banyan Online
Banyan accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404