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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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The Mind-Body Connection

Updated: Jul 9, 2021

“The mind-body connection is the link between a person's thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors and their physical health." --Lakshmi Menezes, MD

"Scientific studies are constantly revealing that the hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) associated with emotion can also have physical effects. They can affect our blood pressure, heart rate, sleep patterns, and even our appetite.

...When we’re stressed, our body releases two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. Known as the stress hormones, they’re supposed to give us a short-term energy boost (better known as an adrenaline rush) so we can get out of dangerous situations quickly.

However, you can still feel stressed even if there’s no “danger” to escape. Releasing these hormones too frequently can have negative long-term effects on the body, including:

  • Weakened immune response

  • Digestive problems

  • Healing more slowly"(1)

Suggested therapies to combat these long-term stress responses include art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, music therapy, and yoga.

However, it is also incredibly necessary to try and end what is causing the stress response. CAN staff, interns, and volunteers don't have any control over what may be occurring in their students' lives outside of our community centers (although we do try through our stabilization, resource referral, and advocacy programs & services), but we do have control over what our students experience when they are in our care.

  • What are some ways we can actively work to try to end any long-term stress response our brains or our students' brains may be experiencing?

  • What are you doing when you engage with your students to ensure they feel safe, secure, and cared for?

The benefits of creating safe spaces not only include improving mental and emotional health, but also will improve the long-term, exponential physical effects of toxic stress.


Learn more about Adverse Childhood Experiences & Toxic Stress from Dr. Nadine Burke Harris:



  • The first week of Summer Camp 2021 is in the books! Check out some photo highlights from across all CAN sites-



  • CAN is closed July 2

  • July Babies -- it's almost you're birthday! If you cross paths with this person next month, be sure to wish them a big happy birthday:

    • Sherrie Greenleaf (CAN Bookkeeper) - July 7

    • Yakirah Mitchel (Brick Summer Program Facilitator) - July 16

    • Brenna Wayne (Year-Long AmeriCorps VISTA) - July 20

    • Carissa Smith (Salesforce Admin Intern) - July 21

    • Paige Ampey (Director of Volunteers) - July 25


Tips & Tidbits

This Week's Strive to Thrive Theme

Physical Wellness

  • Mindfulness Focus: Basic Breathing, Body Scan, Shake It Out

  • Thematic Projects: Basic Body Needs, Good Night!, Let's Eat Healthy!, Get Moving!, What is Body Positivity?, Positively Me

A Look-back at Orientation Topics

Educational Summer Camp Overview 2021

  • Why Wellness?

  • How to Read & Interpret Lessons

  • Tips for Lesson Delivery & Classroom Management

  • Student-Centered Learning

  • Understanding Student Behaviors

Access Your Online Training Materials

Access The Orientation Materials


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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