Banyan Buzz
November, 2017
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 our attempt 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
Thursday, November 23
Blessings to you and your family!
Winter Break/
School Release Days
Banyan has fun activities and enrichment planned for youth over the winter break.
Banyan Year End
Sunday, December 31
Your financial support allows Banyan to continue to have impact in the Phillips neighborhood.
We Are Growing!
Community Team Is Building
As the capacity of Banyan youth grows, parents have been asking for adult education. Our new home was designed with dedicated space for adult programming. We are excited to begin building a team with a focus on adult education and community.
Gale Cannon
Community Educator and Program Manager
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Gale is a family educator by nature and training.  Born in Trinidad, she brings to her work the lens of an immigrant seeking education and equality for underserved communities. Gale has experience as a family educator, community programmer, consultant, facilitator, curriculum writer, engaged parent. Most importantly she is an advocate and visionary who strives for a holistic community where adults, parents, and families thrive together. Her work at Banyan will be just that - to nurture and develop our community through education, connection, and leadership. Gale holds a Master of Education degree in Family Life Education from Concordia University in St. Paul, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from City University of New York in Jamaica, New York. 
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Help Banyan End the Year Strong
Your Support Matters
Article ImageOur fiscal year is coming to an end on December 31st. With an annual budget of $1,480,000 we rely on your support to develop youth, strengthen families, and create community.
Banyan has much to celebrate this year - bringing more youth and families into programs, adding more block clubs, laying the groundwork for adult education, and so much more!
The end of the year is a wonderful time to support Banyan with a financial gift to ensure our transformational work continues and position us for added growth in 2018.
We are thankful for your support and our blessings.
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:
Brian Provost, Chair
Mike Wilczynski, Vice Chair
Trevor Knight, Secretary
Dan Farley, Treasurer
Susan Haffield
Justin Hanratty
Barry Lieske
Lisa Mauer
David Tynes
Carol Wolfe
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Banyan Gives Thanks
Happy Thanksgiving
Article ImageBanyan is grateful for your continued support of our work developing youth, strengthening families, and creating community. Without you, we would not be able to:
  • provide a safe place for kids to go after school
  • work with kids from Kindergarten through high school to get homework done
  • build social and emotional capacity of youth
  • connect parents to resources
  • host national night out parties
  • build neighborhood leaders 
At this time of Thanksgiving, we pause and say 'Thank You'The staff and families at Banyan wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving.
College Admissions Visit Banyan
The Secret is Out, Banyan Youth are Ready for College
Article ImageThere are currently 25+ Banyan youth in college! We have six seniors who are working to join them by finalizing their college applications for enrollment and scholarships.
This fall, four college admissions counselors hosted sessions for our juniors and seniors at Banyan! This is a first - and we are so proud of our youth and families as we work together to navigate a pathway to college.
Thank you to Krista Palmquist from the University of St. Thomas, Mo Moohs from St. Mary's University, Samantha Franco from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, and Crosby King from Hamline University. Your commitment to Banyan youth and building pathways for 1st generation college students is appreciated.
Apples and Pumpkins
Family Traditions Continue
Article ImageStrengthening families includes creating memories and building traditions. At Banyan, some of the best memories come from our day at the apple orchard where we go on hayrides, pick apples, find the right pumpkin, pet animals, and share a meal together.
Fall in Minnesota begs for a trip to the orchard. With Banyan, families can take part in this tradition at no cost. We organize several busses and caravan out to the orchard for a fun filled day.
There are always plenty of extra apples for youth and staff to use in yummy desserts and treats. Kids learn wonderful life skills and create treats for everyone to enjoy when working in the kitchen!
Annual Banyan Dinner
An Amazing Race to Close the Opportunity Gap
Article ImageThank you to all who joined us on Sunday, October 29th for the Annual Banyan Dinner. Over 220 people came for a behind the scenes look at the work of Banyan!
During a progressive dinner, guests raced to collect the necessary 'pieces' to close the opportunity gap and then literally put together the puzzle! At Banyan, we think about the key elements to closing the gap as:
  • Strong Families
  • Social Connections
  • Enrichment
  • Committed Learners
  • Future Orientation
  • Your Support
Imelda, a Banyan parent and part time receptionist, shared her stories of the opportunities Banyan has given her and her family. She inspired us all as she shared the joy in her home when her oldest son was accepted into college!
The evening truly was a partnership of our supporters as wework to close the opportunity gap. Thank you for joining and helping us reach our goal for the evening!
Art Workshop - An Amazing Race 
Run to Win, Keep the Faith, Don't Lose Heart
Article ImageMiddle School youth gathered over the MEA break with artist Anne Brink. Together we created individual canvases of art with the character traits needed to win a race.  
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.  I Corinthians 9:24-25  The Message
Just like athletes running races, we are all moving toward goals in our lives. They may be small goals, like getting your homework done on time or being a better friend; or they may be longer term, like going to college or having a successful career. We all want to “win” in our personal races – to accomplish our goals. “Winning” doesn’t mean pushing others aside or down in order to get ahead. We want to win with integrity. Just because you win in life doesn’t mean that other people need to lose. We want everyone to win their own race. 
This complete collection goes on tour around the metro and is displayed at churches and workplaces. If you are interested in coordinating an installation of the collection, please contact us to make arrangements. 
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Youth Staff Training
Helping Youth Develop Youth
Banyan has the most amazing engine of part time youth staff members who create a strong, positive force to ensure that our elementary kids SHINE! Our youth staff are primarily high school and college youth, many of whom grew up at Banyan. Some of our youth staff are also LEAD fellows from Augsburg University.
We host staff training days throughout the year to equip staff and ensure quality. Tips are provided such as “stay calm even when youth are getting upset” to help kids de-escalate or “notice the positive things” to encourage youth and recognize the great job they are doing. At a recent youth staff training, attendees mapped answers to the question “What is my purpose as a Banyan employee?” The answers included: Be Present, Lead, Serve, Communicate, Advocate for Youth and Families, Be a Role Model, Help, Guide from the Side, Anchor, Understand the Kids, Learn with Them, Teach Them about Life, Have Fun, Help and Assist, and Educate. Embodying these answers will not only help Banyan programs but will serve our youth throughout their lives!

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Address postal inquiries to:
Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404