Letter: ‘After the Bell’ a big step forward

With the “After the Bell” program just announced, the Board of Education has taken a significant step in improving the lives of children in the area of South Norwalk (District 99).

As chairman of the South Norwalk District of the Republican Party, I wholeheartedly endorse this idea and commend BOE Chairman Mike Lyons for delivering on the plan put forward by School Superintendent Manny Rivera.

The leadership of Mr. Lyons and Mr. Chiaramonte, a South Norwalk business owner, really made this accomplishment possible. As driven by Dr. Rivera, “After the Bell” will offer an alternative to the parents of approximately 500 children who attend school outside of their immediate neighborhoods and who otherwise might not, because of transportation issues, have access to after-school activities.

That the program will be managed and operated by the school system means there will be professional standards, no nepotism or cronyism, and all involved should benefit — most of all, the kids.

The Common Council, specifically Council President Doug Hempstead, now has the ball. The space needed for the program exists within the South Norwalk Community Center (SNCC). The space that would be used for classrooms is in need of renovation. Also needed are a computer lab, an early childhood center, and a reception and waiting area. An application for a $100K grant is before the Common Council’s Planning Committee, under the Community Development Block Grants Program. The result will be a place for learning and a diversion from activities that might otherwise attract the attention of young children in a negative way.

I am proud to be a small part of the larger team that is working to make things better in South Norwalk and in the entire city. Chairman Lyons and Councilman Hempstead are doing the right things and I am sure they know that the District B Republican Committee supports them fully.

Harold Bonnet


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