Being back in-person is at the top of our celebration list! 

Students were able to engage in academic, social, and emotional learning – there was much to catch up on. They remastered math facts, tackled writing papers and science reports, and honed their 4-Square skills.

Canopy scholars, we had a wonderful year with you – you are smart and funny and you make us laugh! We are proud of you and your hard work.

In this newsletter you’ll meet an empowering Canopy tutor, and read a fun story about family camp. You can also find the answer to this joke from Christine, a 4th grader, “what do you call a worldwide attack by a worm?

– Lynn, director of Canopy

Excited and cool at family camp


by Saba Berhe, director of family engagement

Why go camping? This was my response when Canopy started talking about camp. We camped as soldiers while in the army in Eritrea, but that was not fun. I discovered camping in America is very different.

When I saw videos of YMCA summer camps at Canopy, I decided to sign up my boys. They had so much fun they went to camp the next five summers. When the Y offered scholarships to Canopy families to go to family camp, I talked families into signing up with me. This spring, 24 families went to Camp Coleman during the weekends in May.

Families spent time walking on the beach, building forts, learning archery, climbing walls, tie-dying t-shirts, playing basketball, hockey, soccer, going canoeing, eating s’mores, and singing around the campfire. Families bonded together, made many memories, and came home with fun stories about their experiences.

One mom told me, “that weekend was the most fun I’ve had since I moved to the United States 12 years ago!” We are grateful for the partnership between the YMCA and Canopy that make this new experience possible.

Aden, center, with Canopy middle-school students and tutors


by Aden Afework, associate tutoring director and recent UW graduate

Canopy tutors support our scholars and help them achieve their highest potential.

Involving high school and college students as tutors gives our middle-school kids a real-life example of a leader and a role model whose skills and values they can emulate. It has been exciting to see several tutors naturally step into bigger leadership roles, leading sessions on choosing a pathway to college as you register for classes, and offering creative suggestions to fellow tutors on keeping middle-school kids engaged in learning.

Empowering our tutors is empowering our students, which creates an uplifting and supportive community. Watch this wonderful interview with Koket, an empowering Canopy tutor.

An interview with Koket, a Shorewood High School junior and Canopy tutor.


by Lynn Newcombe, director of Canopy

When a family emigrates to the United States, it takes years to feel comfortable. Every day is a challenge academically, financially, emotionally, mentally, and socially.

When students and parents walk into Canopy, our aim is that they feel important and included. 90% of the students at Canopy are children of families who have emigrated from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Central America. When a student or parent comes to Canopy and see someone who looks like them, there is a sense of safety and confidence.

Saba told me, “Canopy feels like a village, and it’s helping us all thrive.”

Faces in our Canopy village: Lynn is in the center, Saba is to her left, Aden and Sophia are kneeling on the right in the front row.


  • See photos and stories from Robotics Camp in our next newsletter
  • We invite you to join the Canopy community! Be a volunteer or a donor.
  • The answer to what you call a world-wide attack by a worm? Global worming.