One Year Ago
How Time Flies!
It is hard to imagine that we have been in our new home for one year already! It has been an amazing journey from ribbon cutting to now. There have been so many firsts over the year - first game of dodgeball in the gym, first backpacks at School’s Cool, first Community Council meeting, first Block Club breakfast, first Annual Dinner on site, first Graduation Celebration, and now our first summer coming to an end.
In our first year we welcomed new families, youth, staff, volunteers and supporters. Settling in has been a bit dreamy as we realize that we have our very own home and have been making some adjustments along the way! We are learning so much about each other and our home. We realize each day that our home is a gift from God that is welcoming, spacious, community building, healing, and pleasing to the eye and soul.
Tronix Team Gets to Work
STEM Comes to Banyan
Steve Birth and his Tronix Team of engineers, architects, and inventors led Banyan middle school youth through another hands-on, experiential engineering project - complete with drills, hot glue guns, paint, and soldering irons.
This year youth designed, built, and painted Japanese-style lanterns. The lanterns shine brightly and express each builder's unique personality!
College Youth Enjoy the BWCA
Three Banyan college students headed to the Boundary Waters immediately following the craziness of the school year. RESTORE, through Coldwater Foundation and a generous donor, was an experience designed to invigorate and rejuvenate.
After working hard all school year, these youth were ready for a change of pace, a retreat for spiritual renewal, soul cleansing, and a simple break from busy life.
It was an experience for the books. One of the youth has already planned a trip back to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the BWCA after Banyan summer programs end.
The Banyan Story For All to See
A large banner (painted by Anne C. Brink) telling the Banyan story was commissioned to enhance the exterior of our building.
The Banyan story (read from bottom to top):
- Developing youth - images of kids doing homework and graduation caps being tossed
- Strengthening families - images of youth and adults coming together and sharing a meal
- Creating community - an image of a diverse group of joyous people against our urban backdrop
Lighthouse Network Block Club Leaders Gather
Police cars in front of Banyan on a Saturday morning means something good is happening - a block club leaders breakfast!
Banyan has 34 organized block clubs in the still-growing Lighthouse Network (LHN). One Saturday a month, leaders come together to build community, share ideas, and engage with Minneapolis Police Officers on issues in Phillips.
National Night Out is August 1st and we have been working with the LHN to register parties with the city of Minneapolis, plan a menu and entertainment, and invite neighbors to come together to build community.
We are looking forward to celebrating and connecting - and hope you are taking part in your neighborhood!
Not at Banyan!
What is 'summer slide'? Every summer, low-income youth lose two to three months in reading skills while their higher-income peers make gains. Most youth lose about two months of math skills as well.
These losses add up over time. By the 5th grade, summer learning loss can leave low income kids 2.5
to 3 years behind their peers!1
Cool Off Days, our summer program, keeps kids engaged, making new friends, developing social skills, trying new things, AND maintaining academic progress over the summer.
1National Summer Learning Association
Reviews 5 year Strategic Plan
Banyan is in year three of our five year Strategic Plan, a perfect time to report to Community Council of progress and what comes next.
Community Council, our adult leadership program made up of parents and neighbors, gathers twelve times a year to provide insight, guidance, and feedback on all things Banyan. They also learn and teach each other new skills.
Last month was no exception as they tackled a review and update of the Strategic Plan. After adding up the experience in the room (over 160 years with Banyan), everyone felt more confident sharing feedback. Growth was the key topic - the plan calls to double in size by 2020. Unanimous support was given to the 'slow and steady' plan for bringing more youth and families to share in the gifts of Banyan.
Summer Fun at Banyan
Elementary youth took part in a health fair at Banyan to explore bike safety, yoga, healthy eating, weight training, and various cardio exercises.
Youth had hands-on experiences at each station and learned new ideas and strategies to stay safe and healthy.
On Tuesday mornings this summer, middle school girls practice health in action by taking a fitness class at Banyan.
Support Banyan Online
Banyan now accepts donations online! This is a convenient and secure way to support the work of Banyan. Give it a try!