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Opinion: Norwalk ACTS director’s shout outs

Anthony Allison

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Shout out to the Norwalk Public Schools administration, teachers, and staff for working to successfully reduce the city’s achievement gap in math and reading. Superintendent Dr. Steven Adamowski, a member of the Norwalk ACTS Advisory Board, was recently recognized for the district’s efforts and for scoring an 82.7 out of a possible 100 on a Board of Education’s evaluation. The district also achieved 23.5 out of 25 of the goals listed in the 2016-2019 NPS Strategic Operating Plan. Read more (Raising the Bar/Closing the Gap Priority Outcomes for the 2016-17 SY)

“Norwalk has cut its achievement gap by one-third, which is right in line with the goals of our Strategic Operating Plan,” said Dr. Adamowski. “We’re extremely proud of the progress our students are making, and of the teachers and administrators who are dedicated to the academic success of all our students. We’re committed to maintaining this momentum in the 2017-18 school year, and to continuing our work to raise the bar for all NPS students.”

Shout Out to fifth grader Christopher Santa of Norwalk, who has been named one of three 2018 Horizons Scholars chosen to attend New Canaan Country School this fall. Horizons, a member of Norwalk ACTS TEAM Summer, was founded more than 53 years ago, originally as a summer program. Horizons is now a year-round academic and student enrichment program which serves more than 400 students annually primarily from Stamford and Norwalk. The three 2018 Scholars have attended Horizon’s summer programs and have demonstrated a real passion for learning, according to Horizons’ Executive Director Kerry Stevens.

Shout Out to Curtis Law, who has shared his time and talent as Executive Director of the Norwalk Housing Authority for the past 42 years. Of the many initiatives Mr. Law has been involved in that support the children and families of Norwalk, he is most proud of starting the Norwalk Housing Foundation (NHF) Scholarship Program.

“I truly believe that the NHF Scholarship Program is a launching pad, not a landing pad, and education is the way to help people move up and out of housing,” he says. To date, the NHF Scholarship Program has awarded $1.7 million to 212 students. “We are making college more than a dream for our residents – we’re changing the culture at NHA so going to college is a possibility, even an expectation,” says Curtis.

Big Shout Out to all the volunteers and community leaders for supporting Back to School Night with Norwalk ACTS, Get into it! FREE recently at Stepping Stones Museum for Children. Close to 1,000 parents and children attended the annual event, where they enjoyed a host of activities, received a backpack donated by Antares Capital, school supplies donated by Key Bank, and free books provided by Norwalk Reads. Norwalk ACTS members and other community partners were on hand to speak with parents and offer resource materials to help families kick off the school year successfully. A special thanks to Norwalk’s First Lady Lucia Rilling for participating in Story Time, reading to children in Spanish!

Shout out to Vicki Oatis, Director of Youth Library Services, and her entire team who ran the highly successful 2017 Summer Reading Program. This summer, Norwalk Library’s Summer Game had 1,661 players, who read more than 17,000 books, smashing last year’s record by completing 4,355 challenges. There was also a 40 percent rise in the number of teen players this year, which increased from 400 to 567. The Norwalk Library is part of Norwalk ACTS’ TEAM Summer, working to provide an increasing number of youth with high-quality summer fun and learning opportunities to prevent “Summer Slide” when they return to the classroom in the fall.

Shout Out to all the principals and teachers at Norwalk Public Schools who will be administering a Summer Exit Survey this week and next in order to gain valuable information on what children grades 3 through 12 did this past summer. The Exit Survey is a joint effort between Norwalk Public Schools and Norwalk ACTS’ TEAM Summer, designed to provide data and insight into summer learning, summer slide, how prepared students feel for the current school year and individual access to technology at home.

2 comments

Diane Lauricella September 16, 2017 at 8:39 am

There are still many challenges to address, but thanks for bringing Norwalk citizens good news about the schools!

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