June 2013
In This Issue
Six AmeriCorps Summer Associates Join CAN

Because CAN is an AmeriCorps Vista placement site, the added opportunity to take on 6 Summer Associates was extended to us. These 6 associates will be placed in our "You CAN be a Superhero!" summer camp and will become reading buddies to the 50 campers-, focusing intensely on developing literacy skills by playing reading games, learning superhero vocabulary, and, of course, reading lots of books!   Our reading buddies will discover classic superheroes, heroes in history, and the everyday heroes in our lives. We are looking forward to a wonderful summer!

Many Thanks!
Thank you to the following organizations for contributing to CAN's "Cook a Meal for Children" Program:

- Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor
- First Congregational Church
- Darden Restaurants
- First United Methodist Church

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting CAN programs:


- Citizens Bank
- Truven Health
- Belleville Applebee's


And thank you to those who donated their time to CAN, including the 85 spring volunteers and Sunday Panera Pick up Team members who helped to make the afterschool program and food distributions so successful.


We also give recognition to the volunteers from the "Spring the Fun" fundraiser:


Perry Ahn, Chad Beyer, Matt Blinstrub, Christian Business Initiative, Hahyun Chung, Matt Clayton, Ryan Daly, David and Kathy Downey, David Gao, Kevin Gaona, Emily Hastie, Marie Koster, Allison Krusky, Jon Lee, David Malawey, Ramon Martinez, Asuki O'Neill, Joanna Rosene-Mirvis, Ellen Schmidt, Jerry Shi, Megan Stuart, Diana Sykes, Mandy Wright, Rita Wu, Maxine Xiu


How You Can Help
You can help us continue all of these critical programs. You can make a difference in your community!  


Any contribution helps - whether it's a financial donation or school supplies, food preparation or behind the scene services. Learn more at www.canannarbor.org/donate  

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Together We CAN Prevent Summer Loss of Learning

Reading data graphSummer is a long anticipated and fun time for students, who look forward to a carefree time away from school. But research shows this extended non-academic time has long-lasting drawbacks. The disruption in daily reading, for example, on average causes low-income youth to lose two months' worth of reading skills. Their middle and upper-class peers, who usually read at home, make slight gains during the summer. This partially explains the achievement gap between low- and high-income youth. In addition, all CAN students receive free breakfast and lunch in school. When school is out for summer, families have difficulty including those extra meals in their budgets.


How does CAN offset these two issues? CAN runs two summer programs--for younger youth and one for teens--that integrate academic learning with fun in the sun activities. Additionally, every summer camp participant is served lunch AND dinner every day during the program.


You can support these much needed summer programs. Your donation funds the necessary meals and learning materials that together produce real results (96% CAN students graduate from high school!). Together, we CAN create brighter futures for the children we serve!

Congratulations to Our High School Seniors Class of 2013!

Graduation HatWe're so proud of our CAN high school seniors, many of whom have come to our afterschool programs for several years. AJ, from Green-Baxter Court, joined the 96% of CAN students who graduate from high school, and will continue his studies at Washtenaw Community College. Here is what he had to say about his CAN experience:


  "CAN was definitely a driving force for me, in terms of helping me survive high school. For every day that I had to do difficult homework assignments, I knew I could always turn to the wonderful staff of CAN's GBC [Green-Baxter Court]. They were always there to help me through everything, whether it was homework, studying for a test, or even getting me tickets to the school dances. Without CAN at GBC, I don't know where I would've been. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank [CAN] for being there for me when times in high school were difficult for me..."

LaFontaine Partners with CAN

Thank You LaFontaineLaFontaine Buick GMC of Ann Arbor answered CAN's call for transportation assistance. After much searching through inventories and car auctions, LaFontaine located two pre-owned minivans that were within CAN's budget and had the perfect specifications: the vehicles are safe, reliable, and in well-maintained conditions. CAN staff and kids are thrilled to be the proud owners of a Dodge Caravan and a Chrysler Town & Country. They will be well-used during this year's "You CAN Be a Superhero!" and "YouthWorks" summer camps. Thank you LaFontaine Buick GMC of Ann Arbor for your support!

CAN Coordinates Food Distribution at Miller Manor

Two months ago, in partnership with Food Gatherers, CAN began coordinating a monthly food distribution for residents living at Miller Manor, an Ann Arbor Housing Commission site that houses primarily seniors and individuals with disabilities. Many of the more than 100 households lack transportation and/or have mobility issues that make it difficult for them to shop or visit other food pantries. Several residents have severe physical and/or mental health limitations that make it difficult to leave their home.


Food distributions are an important component of Community Action Network's Basic Needs offerings. Many CAN clients' incomes are so limited, their budgets and Bridge Card (formerly food stamps) are not enough to make ends meet and CAN's meals, food distributions, and pantries prevent many from skipping meals and going hungry. The Miller Manor distribution is scheduled for the third Friday of the month, when many residents' resources begin to run dry.


Food provided by Food Gatherers includes fresh produce and often meat products, increasing access to protein and healthy foods. In the first two months nearly 50% of residents attended each food distribution.


If you would like to volunteer at a Miller Manor Food Distribution, contact Lisa Keefauver, ROSS Program Director at rossdirector@canannarbor.org 

CAN Volunteer Receives Bob Lyons Award

For the past four years, every week, Monday through Thursday, Roger Parlett has volunteered at the Bryant afterschool program, handing out snacks to youth and assisting the students one-on-one with their homework. Accumulating over 1500 volunteer hours, Parlett also knows the more than 50 elementary children that attend the Bryant center and their academic progress, and it is his contributions that enable such successes in our program and among our youth. Parlett has been named the Washtenaw County recipient of Cleary University's 2013 Bob Lyons Community Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals whose volunteer or charitable work has significantly impacted a not-for-profit organization within Washtenaw or Livingston Counties.

Another Successful Neighborhood Yard Sale!

On the first Saturday in June, Bryant Community Center hosted its 5th Annual Southeast Ann Arbor Regional Yard Sale. Bryant neighborhood households and families from nearby Forest Hills Cooperative coordinated this event together, so shoppers could visit many sales simultaneously. The Bryant Community Center also held its own sale and raised money to fund the CAN programs offered at the center. Yard sale buyers went home with some great finds at even greater prices, which included new books and clothes, gardening tools, fresh home decorations and much more.


CAN Launches Summer Camps

CAN staff is preparing to offer its two regular summer youth programs: You CAN Be a Superhero! summer literacy camp for children and its YouthWorks work skills development program for teens. CAN children will write their own creative superhero plots, explore scientific concepts behind superhero powers and develop superhero decision-making skills. CAN teens will practice resume building and job interviewing and explore various career fields. AmeriCorps VISTA members and CAN staff have worked vigorously over the past few months to develop the curricula and look forward to seeing their materials come to life. The youth are excited for these new programs to begin, and so are we!

Spring into Fun!

Early in May, CAN launched its newest fundraiser "Spring into Fun!", an afternoon of games for young children and families. One of the main activities was a scavenger hunt, consisting of 13 different challenges, including pictionary, charades, and a frisbee toss. Families at the event also engaged in coloring activities, blowing bubbles, and face painting.


Thank you to everyone who made the event a success! All proceeds went toward the purchase of our new vans.
New Gazebo at Green Baxter Court

Green Baxter GazeboResidents from Green Baxter Court (GBC) can now enjoy warm, sunny days in their new gazebo. Built by Professor Jim Stein's construction management students from Eastern Michigan University, the gazebo was assembled last semester, as students worked through snow and rain. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 17, and GBC residents and Ann Arbor Housing Commission staff expressed their joy and gratitude. Hear more about it on AnnArbor.com http://www.annarbor.com/news/emu-students-build-gazebo-for-green-baxter-court-residents-in-ann-arbor/ 

Summer Volunteer Needs

Summer Camp Assistants (Hikone & Bryant) - Help provide fun and enriching activities to youth over the summer. CAN camps run from July 8 - Aug 16. A minimum of 3 hours a week is required. Volunteers must be 18 years old and complete a background check.


Drive a Group to the Grocery Store (Bryant) - Help seniors living in the Bryant neighborhood by driving CAN's van to take a group to the grocery store once a month. Background check and chauffeur's license required.


Food Distribution - Help distribute groceries to clients who are in need of emergency assistance. Unload the delivery truck, stock food pantry and greet clients.

  • Miller Manor: 3rd Friday of the month from 2:30-5:30pm.
  • Bryant: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Thursdays from 9am-1pm and Wednesdays 9am-12pm.

Make a Meal (Hikone) - Make a hot and nutritious meal for 30 kids and drop it off to be served during CAN's summer camp. Individuals or groups can make a meal one time, once a week or once a month. Without school lunch programs, the cost of food is a real challenge for many families in the summer!  


To volunteer, contact our Volunteer coordinator at: volunteers@canannarbor.org  

Community Action Network | 734-994-2985 |canexecdirector@gmail.com | http://www.canannarbor.org
P.O. Box 130076
Ann Arbor, MI 48113-0076