Banyan Buzz
March, 2016
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
Business Leaders Breakfast
Thursday, April 14th
7:30 - 8:30 AM
College Decision Day
May 1, 2016
Your supportive thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated by our seniors as they make their college choices.
Hey Banyan!
Wednesday, May 18
7:30 - 9:00 AM
Held at M.A. Mortenson Co.
Golden Valley, MN
Hey Banyan! is an informal opportunity to learn more about the work and impact of Banyan. It is a wonderful event to bring friends and colleagues to connect in a casual, community setting.
Sam Olson, Program Director, Banyan Community will share thoughts on:
"Grit and Resilience - a must for urban youth"
Brain Breaks
Keep Moving!
This year we started something called “Brain Breaks”, 1-2 minute movement breaks taken every 20-30 minutes during homework time. Led by a staff member, all the youth in the homework room get up and do movements like jumping jacks, stretches, or running in place. 
We started these after a parent called concerned about her son’s ADHD, and how challenging it was for him to focus for long periods of time.  Her son is not the only Banyan youth who faces attention and focus struggles, so we began it for all the youth.  It gets the oxygen flowing, gives youth a chance to get some energy out, and helps them focus better as they sit back down to work.  A fun extra benefit is that the “Brain Breaks” often bring out smiles and laughter from youth and staff during homework time.
ACT Prep
Juniors are Studying!
The Banyan House has been busy on Wednesday nights this winter. The high school Juniors meet there every week for an ACT prep class.
With the guidance of a professional tutor they review the tested subjects (math, science, english, reading, and writing), learn test taking strategies, and take practice exams.
They will take the exam in April, and their score will be a key component of their college application and selection process next fall.
Under Construction
48% Complete
Article ImageBanyan's new home is almost half way done! It is completely framed, roof is on, main level floor is poured, gym floor is poured, electrical is in progress, water and sewer are roughed in, grease vent in the kitchen is roughed in, windows are all functional.
Move in is scheduled for this summer. Keep tabs on the project by following us on Instagram!
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
Sheila Jones, Vice Chair
Sue Jensen, Secretary
Dan Farley, Treasurer
Trevor Knight
Barry Lieske
Ayo Olawole
Mark Schulze
David Tynes
Mike Wilczynski
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!
Business Leaders Breakfast
Thursday, April 14th
7:30 - 8:30 AM
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Become a partner and help build a bridge for 1st generation business leaders.
Banyan Community recognizes that in order for people in poverty to thrive and succeed, whole families AND the larger community must be connected. Banyan creates educational pathways for youth to develop leadership skills, engage in positive and meaningful relationships with peers and adults, and broaden their horizons. Likened to a "LinkedIn" social capital network that dissipates the ghetto like situation of poverty in neighborhoods.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Bill McGuire as our keynote speakerDr. McGuire's commitment to community, neighborhood development and Minnesota soccer, coupled with his exemplary leadership skills have us very excited to welcome him to Banyan!
Register Now and Join Us!
Developing Leaders at Banyan
5th and 8th Grade Leadership Circles
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Making the move from 5th grade to middle school and then 8th grade to high school are both big transitions in the lives of youth.
At Banyan, we use these times in young people’s lives as opportunities to develop their natural leadership skills. By creating opportunities to serve as role models for the younger youth at Banyan, leading by example.
The 5th grade leaders have a special meeting once a month to share insights into Banyan’s programs, and select their jobs for the next month. Having a 'job' during Banyan is a privilege and includes things like helping with snack, helping lead activities in the gym, serving as librarian to help younger youth as they pick books to read and assisting children find their way through the program.
The 8th grade leaders also choose ‘jobs’ each month. This leadership circle goes one step further and develops the middle school plan for service in the community. They have made sandwiches, adopted a highway, taught elementary youth about environmental stewardship, organized parenting classes and co-taught those classes with the Minneapolis Police Department. 
These are great opportunities to develop positive self-image, learn social skills and group dynamics, and hone their decision-making skills. Banyan is committed to providing opportunities to practice being a leader, and having a positive impact.
Community Council
Visits Construction Site
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Banyan is great at field trips and this is no exception.  On a March evening, it may have been cold and dark outside, but inside the building and our hearts; it was warm and bright.   Smiles lit up our faces as the Community Council walked through the building for the first time. It was moving to see the building unfold through their eyes, truly a dream coming true.  Community Council is our adult leadership group that learns about Community Development and at the same time shapes Banyan to be relevant, reflective, and responsive to community needs and desires. 
We had community members present from all three Banyan eras; the Essenburg home, the Banyan House, and the leased space we currently occupy.  The community council members were a bit emotional as we thought back to the park board hearing and the testimonies given in January 2013.  We felt the power of standing in the building, on the land, that was approved for purchase that night!   We all joined in prayer with our palms open thanking God for this gift and pledging to share this gift throughout the community. 
Window of Gratitude
Looking for the Positive
Article ImageThis month Banyan elementary youth and staff are focusing on the positive and calling out the good in each other. The goal is to fill both windows in the community room (overlooking the gym) with notes of thanks.
When youth or staff notice someone doing something kind, or lending an extra hand, or patiently waiting their turn, or being a good friend - they grab a yellow note and write it down! After sharing with the group, the note goes on the window. 
Example in the photo: "Thank you, Ce'Aija, for being caring and being nice and respect. From: Allen" (2nd grade)
Imagine what happens when we start looking for the good in each other?! #NoBullying #BeKind #BanyanYouthGetIt
Child Development and Mental Health
Adult Education Sessions
Article ImageBanyan parents gathered for a 4 week course (in English and Spanish) to learn about the brain, how it functions, and changes as youth grow.
Emily Anderson, LICSW led the sessions and addressed concerns about what is 'normal' youth behavior and what is not, what to expect at various ages, and when to seek professional help for your child. Discussions included the impact family history, family characteristics, traits, and modeling affect us as adults and how we parent.  There was conversation about adolescence and the teenage brain, with lots of questions and parent to parent support time.
Next on the Adult Education schedule: Nutrition Classes
Hey Banyan!
Connect, Learn, and Share
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Hey Banyan! is an informal opportunity to learn more about the work and impact of Banyan, in a casual, community setting.
On March 1st, Tim Essenburg, Co-Founder of Banyan Community and Professor of Economics at Bethel University shared brief thoughts on:
"The ABCD's of Asset Based Community Development"
Guests had this to say about the evening: 
"Good to connect with others in that setting.  I think it's a really nice and effective way to get people together."
"I have been a part of the Banyan for many years but hearing Tim Essenburg discuss 'The ABCD's-Asset Based Community Development' reminded me of why the Banyan model is so important and so successful."
Join us Wednesday, May 18 from 7:30 - 9:00 AM for the next Hey Banyan! event. Register Now.
First Friday
Meal Planning and Budgeting in Middle School
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Helping youth develop life skills is an important focus of the Banyan middle school program.  Youth learn about money management, banking, saving for the future, understanding debt and how to apply for a job. 
They also learn how to plan and prepare healthy meals. The majority of youth in our neighborhood receive little training in nutrition or meal preparation. The first Friday of each month, a group of 3 youth are are responsible for planning a well balanced, nutritional meal for six people. They must do so on a budget of $25, then shop and prepare the meal.  
Main dishes have included: spaghetti, tacos, homemade pizza, quesadilla's, and pancakes. The meal must have a protein, dairy, grain, and fruit or vegetable to be considered balanced.
Youth learn by doing… and by eating delicious food!  

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Banyan Community
2529 13th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404