Featured Image: Kindergarten campers show off illustrations inspired by the Heidelberg Project and the book Magic Trash (written by J. H. H. Shapiro and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton).
Hey CAN Crew,

Wow... what a summer! Virtual camp was a new experience for everyone at CAN, staff and students alike, and we are so proud of the summer team for venturing into uncharted territory to create a great educational program for CAN's children and youth.

Over the six weeks of camp, students learned all about our pleasant peninsula through the CAN Art & Design HOMEState curriculum. Each week revolved around a different theme—such as Shared Michigan, Creative Michigan, and Michigan Cares—with several projects and activities designed to get campers thinking about what being a Michigander (or Michiganian!) means to them. We also practiced math, geography, science, and reading skills with interactive lessons and individual challenges, as well as testing out online learning tools and strategies that students will encounter this fall. It was a busy summer, to say the least!

Scroll on to read more about some of our favorite memories from the 2020 CAN Summer Camp...
HOMEState Highlights
Creative Community Collaborations
From sitting on the advisory committee for The Kid's Table 2019-2020 curriculum to preparing hundreds and hundreds of take-home meals for CAN families in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chef Lillian of Sprouting Chefs is truly a CAN superstar. She showed up in a big way once again this summer by leading a hands-on cooking class for several of our Bryant Community Center students. The group had a blast making mini-quesadillas with homemade tortillas, Guatemalan black beans with guacamole, and churros for dessert. Even better, Sprouting Chefs will be able to offer this experience to approximately 20 more female students at CAN thanks to a generous donation from Les Dames d'Escoffier of Ann Arbor. We can't wait to see what they cook up next!
Week 3 of the HOMEState Summer Camp was dedicated to celebrating Michigan Made innovations: Domino's & Little Caesar's pizza, Kellogg's cereal, and, of course, automobiles! Toyota Motor North America provided the perfect complement to our car design project by sending some awesome engineers from their Michigan research facilities to talk with some of our middle school students. Topics on the table included their career & life paths, interests, favorite cars, and more. This talk was an amazing opportunity for the kids to get a firsthand look at how their experiences this summer connect to important work happening in Washtenaw County right now. Who knows, maybe we even had a future auto-engineer on the call!
Outdoor Adventures
Summer camp may have been virtual this year, but we made sure to incorporate lots of opportunities to get outside for some movement, fresh air, and socially-distanced relationship building! Campers embarked on a Community Clean-Up Scavenger Hunt to tackle litter, explored the beauty in their backyards during nature walks, brightened our community centers with sidewalk art, and learned about pollinators while making and planting over 100 seed bombs (complete with tips from the experts at Detroit Hives). It was always an especially great day when kids could stop by the centers for a face-to-face check-in... and maybe even a water balloon fight or two!
Week 6: Moving Michigan
2020 is a big election year, so it's no surprise that Week 6 of summer camp—Moving Michigan—really resonated with many of our campers. After spending the summer learning all about the diverse environmental, business, and cultural communities that make Michigan so special, students chose particular topics they care about, wrote to their elected officials, and imagined their own election platforms.

At Green Baxter Court Community Center, one student wrote her city council representative to demand that her social studies education be more inclusive and representative of all groups in America. Another student at Bryant Community Center created a campaign championing voting rights for marginalized communities. A camper at Brick Community Center was inspired by a Black Lives Matter poster from Amplifer.org, a design lab that builds art to amplify the voices of grassroots movements. As Brick Director Caroline Wesley shared, "...that's why we do this. You never know which piece will be the thing that connects with a kid, what project or lesson or piece of art will be the thing that gets them excited [...] maybe next time we see her in a virtual session, she'll have a whole wall full of artwork that makes her feel seen."
More Scenes of the Summer!
Community Action Network
PO Box 130076, Ann Arbor, MI 48113
Community Action Network partners with children, youth, and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves and improve the communities in which they live.
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