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"Connect" is CAN's internal newsletter for staff, interns, volunteers, board members, and anyone else who would like to receive bi-weekly updates regarding highlights, announcements, and ongoing training/professional development updates. Welcome and join us in our virtual community-building endeavor!

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Happy New Year!

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

I hope you were all able to find rest and renewal over the break to re-focus our hearts and minds and reset for a new year.

Focus is a foreign word to a lot of us right now. So many of us spent 2020 pivoting and adapting so constantly that we haven't felt like we've had the luxury of really stopping to pause. Our attention has been dragged in 100 different ways between school and guidelines and politics and debates and work and the economy...but let's work together to take time each day in 2021 to set that all aside and to just be.

Mindfulness can happen throughout the work day as we pause for a minute or fifteen minutes to focus on our breath and the present moment without any other distractions. It's something we can do while Zooming with our kiddos to open up a space for them to just *be* as well. The demands on our youth have been enormous and CAN programs can still be a safe space for us to give ourselves permission to exist at a pace that works for us, to grow, and to find gratitude for the things we can and validation for all of our emotions.

Here are a few ways we can practice mindfulness together:

  • Sit together (over Zoom or socially distant) and have a snack; talk about the snack and its characteristics; the flavor, texture, temperature...Really noticing what we are eating helps us to be present instead of thinking about other worries or concerns

  • Do a puzzle together

  • Read a book together

  • Ask your students about the weather inside their hearts-- sunny, cloudy, bright, rainy, stormy?

  • Write short stories together

  • Play a game together

  • Draw a picture or color together

  • Using a chime or singing bowl, listen to the sound together until the sound is completely gone

  • Breath slowly with our hands on our bellies to concentrate our air deep in our bodies

  • Pick a theme for the month and try to make short or long term goals that relate to the theme (i.e. Active Listening; I want to practice pausing a few seconds before I respond to what someone is saying to really take in every word and thought)

Some themes I'm going to be personally working on this year are cultivating a more intentional posture of Hope, cultivating my skills in Leadership, and investing more in my Relationships.

Happy 2021, CAN Crew!



  • We've received $30,000 MORE in donations this December compared to last December (and still counting)! In the midst of a global pandemic, community members are showing up for CAN's families. Thank you to Frankie and the development team for all of their hard work to cultivate new relationships and to all of you for your incredible work, which is inspiring others to give generously.

  • Welcome Aboard, Montana! Our *former* VISTA, Montana Crowell, is joining CAN as our new Grants Specialist. In her VISTA year, Montana has generated thousands of dollars in grant funding for CAN and we are so excited to keep her!



  • CAN is officially open and we are back at it!

  • There will be a virtual New Hire/Intern orientation January 7 at 3pm. Directors will let their teams know if they are required to attend (this will vary from site to site).

  • CAN will be closed Monday, January 18 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Tips & Tidbits

Looking for opportunities to grow professionally?

Zingerman's ZingTrain has some free resources available on their ZingTrain Library:

These resources cover topics like Customer Service, Leadership Development, Training & Business Systems, Managing Ourselves, and more!


How do I become a CAN Academy Member to comment on these posts?

  1. Click the little profile icon in the upper right hand corner of the website header

  2. Sign Up with your email and create a password

  3. Your request will be approved and you can go into your CAN Academy profile to update the information

  4. Make your profile "public" so you can add comments below


Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments (or highlights, announcements, etc.), please email Katie at

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