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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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My Joy Is A Life-Jacket

I have cried so much this year that I've almost drowned. So when you see me smile don't think I'm no longer in the water-- understand that my joy is a life-jacket. --Elizabet Velasquez


After School Programs are in motion!

How are you all feeling now that the wheels are turning and you had a chance to meet the kids who are the heart that pumps blood and life into our organization?

Even though we got rained out some days, it felt so good to get into the groove of a regular schedule.

Snaps for our Brick volunteer Jose (pictured top center), who hopped back into working with our students like it was yesterday even though it had been 2 years; for Kayla &co who coordinated getting pet food out to our pantries for our families' fur babies through the HVHS; for our CAN Art & Design team who continue to make art happen amidst a series of never-ending obstacles; and to all of you for doing the thing! You're here and you're doing great. We are so grateful for you!

Have you head this phrase before? "Flexibility within a plan!" It's been our running slogan for the last couple of years and is such a great tether for many of us. It's beneficial to have a target at which we can aim our arrows, even if we miss sometimes or...we don't quite hit bullseye. Hold your head up straight, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, and keep drawing those bows =)

Some days will feel great and some days will feel like treading water. But each day really is a small step toward a deeper connection, an aha! moment, a memory you or they might never forget.

What is a small thing that you experienced these last couple of weeks that has brought you joy?



October Babies, there's so many of us!!!

  • Tyla Tolbert, our new Bryant After School Program Director! - October 2

  • Laura Amtower, Director of Education - October 3

  • Sarah Sujkowski, Education Program Assistant - October 4

  • Louey Guillen, Deputy Director - October 11

  • Victoria Stewart, AmeriCorps VISTA - October 14

  • Valerie Muthuswami, our new Director of Volunteers! - October 17

  • Katie Lampen, Director of Program Management - October 22

  • John Clark - October 29 (John is sadly ending his VISTA year on October 26 before his birthday, so if you see him, make sure to wish him an early HBD, give him a big COVID-safe elbow bump, and check out his beautiful Hikone Community Greenspace. Thanks for all you've done, John!)

  • Summer Eubank, GBC Program Assistant - October 30

CAN Fall Family Fun Day-

Upcoming Staff Meetings- In the Fall, our weekly rotation of staff meetings will be as follows:

  1. Management Meeting

  2. All Staff/Interns Meeting

  3. Management Meeting

  4. Off-Week / Meet on as-needed basis (e.g. Anyone who needs to touch base with specific people can set aside these Fridays to schedule those meetings with whomever it makes the most sense to include)

That means for October, our meeting schedule as of right now will look as follows:

  • October 1, Management Meeting: 1-2pm

  • October 8, All Staff* Meeting: 1-3pm

  • October 15, Management Meeting: 1-2pm

  • October 22, Groups Will Meet As-Needed (times will vary)

  • October 29, Management Meeting: 1-2pm

*All staff are invited to attend- these are mandatory for Directors & VISTAs; Program Assistants and Interns are welcome to join if available.

You can also view our more dynamic schedule on CAN's Google Calendar:

Google Calendars are a helpful tool CAN uses so we can make updates and share them out with all of our stakeholders in case anything changes!


Tips & Tidbits

Where can I find one-off activities during transitions or down-time?

And, if there isn't something there you would find incredibly valuable for yourself and staff to come, please email Katie at and we can work together to improve and increase our resources.


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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So many October babies!! 👻

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