“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)
As the semester wraps up, staff and volunteers will be saying goodbye until next time, or even goodbye for good.
Endings are always bittersweet. You have built relationships with the students and with one another. Many people, including CAN’s students, can find transitions difficult -- especially after having such an amazing semester getting to know you.
There are many adults who comes through CAN for a short period of time, so it is important we set our students up for success by leaving well.
Tips for Exiting Well-
Let your students know that you will be leaving once the school semester ends to prepare them for the transition. Share with them what's next for you!
Use your last day together as an opportunity to let the students know how much you appreciate each and every one of them. Maybe write them each a card or do paper plate awards.
Please do not:
Give the kids gifts (toys, etc.), although candy is alright
Make promises you won't be able to keep ("I'll come back and visit!")
Let the students know how much you've seen them grow this semester! Express positive expectations for their futures and ability to do well (use specific examples, if you can). Let the student(s) know that they are always loved and valued no matter what (their achievements are great milestones worth celebrating, but they aren’t why they are valued; it’s because they are human and alive and they are the beautiful individuals they are that makes them worth loving.)
Help the students name and identify their feelings; validate that it’s normal to feel sad when someone is leaving. Having conversations and role modeling resilience can help this process:
“I am sad too. I will miss you when I am gone. But I am glad we were able to get to know each other. You showed me how to keep trying at a problem even when it was really hard.”
Focus on the positive
Embrace the present
Share your sadness
Exit with grace
Laura facilitated this great partnership with WonderFool Productions' FoolMoon event, ending in the creation of a large mandala mural in the middle of downtown inspired by the many creations of CAN's children and youth - thanks to CAN Art & Design and all of the teams who worked with the students to create and display their beautiful mandalas! It's always SO COOL to see our kids' work on display throughout the community.
Volunteer crews and others were hard at work at Bryant this last week! We're so excited to finally be able to host some outdoor clean up and other volunteer events now that the weather is warming up
Also, a huge shout out to our outstanding food distribution team. You are all just KILLING IT!!!
Y'all - every single one of you - directors, program assistants, interns, volunteers - are just doing an incredible job. Your hard work is seen and so, very appreciated <3
Know someone who wants to partner with us?
If you ever get connected with someone who is interested in donating to CAN, let Frankie know so we can get their donation on-record and send out official love and appreciation on behalf of our organization.
Same for volunteers! Send them to Paige so they can begin the onboarding process.
RECRUITING Summer Program Facilitators! Please spread the word to everyone you know that CAN is now officially hiring Summer Program Facilitators for our 2021 Educational Summer Camps! More information can be found at: https://www.canwashtenaw.org/jobs
Next All Staff Fun Day is April 23 at 2pm - If you can make it, you are invited to join our All Staff Fun Day! Because we are all working across multiple sites in a hybrid of virtual and in-person projects, it's hard for us to stay connected. This is a great opportunity to get to know CAN team members across sites and those who work between all sites, and to let off some steam after a big month!
Tips & Tidbits
Brené Brown's Dare to Lead Resources
The queen of best leadership practices grounded in research has created a wealth of resources for those looking to become GREAT leaders within any environment they find themselves.
We are all a work in progress. We hope that CAN can be a space where we can come as we are with an open heart and mind for growth so that we can present our best selves for the families with whom we partner and each other.
Here are a few, of many, resources from Brené Brown I recommend for those looking to grow as leaders:
Find your leadership strengths: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/assessment/
Armored vs. Daring Leadership podcast episodes
More resources available at: https://daretolead.brenebrown.com/
Do you know of other leadership tools we could make available? Let me know!
Join CAN's Book Club!
Recently, we view the documentary "Documented" and discussed our reflections on it. You can find a summary here!
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