NORWALK, Conn. – The Carver Foundation of Norwalk’s traditional summer camp has received a financial shot in the arm in the form of a $35,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF).
Carver’s summer enrichment programs serve 178 Norwalk children ages 5 to 13 at the George Washington Carver Community Center. Campers engage in hands-on activities led by certified science and math teachers and aligned with the Common Core State Standards, according to a press release from the Carver Center. Field trips will take campers to museums, zoos, nature centers and other destinations to reinforce learning.
Summer camp program partners include Girl Scouts, The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and The Norwalk Seaport Association.
A new Freshman Summer Success Academy transition program for students from West Rocks and Roton Middle Schools who will enter ninth grade at Norwalk High School in September will also benefit from the grant.
“More students fail ninth grade than any other grade. Many ultimately drop out,” said Novelette Peterkin, executive director of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, in the release. “Emerging evidence suggests that eighth-grade transition programs increase pass rates, boost enthusiasm for learning, improve academic skills, enhance self-esteem, and reduce discipline problems.”
For five summer weeks, future freshmen from West Rocks and Roton Middle Schools will engage in project-based activities and field trips with their new Norwalk High School English, math, science, technology, and history teachers. This program was piloted last summer at Brien McMahon High School. Principal Suzanne Brown Koroshetz said, “No freshmen were suspended for the entire month of September. This is a first in the school’s memory, if not history.”
Latino Unidos says ‘thank you’ to Easter event volunteers
Latinos Unidos de Connecticut (LUC), a group new to Norwalk this winter, drew “dozens” to Ryan Park and the South Norwalk Community Center on Sunday for an Easter egg hunt, games, face painting and more. “We were extremely happy with the turnout and how much the children enjoyed themselves,” said Interim Vice President Gabriela Perelli in a prepared statement. “We would like to thank Officer Hector Delgado and the NPD (Norwalk Police Department), all the volunteers of LUC, St. Joseph Church and SoNoCC for their collaboration. The use of Ryan Park was vital to the success of our hunt, so we’d also like to thank Parks and Recs Director Mike Mocciae.”
The celebration included face painting, egg painting, bowling, hula hoops, a piñata and an egg hunt at Ryan Park, the statement said.
New group rescues Norwalk SafeRides
In March, NancyOnNorwalk reported on the Norwalk SafeRides program, which had run into a legal glitch over insurance.
That glitch has been overcome, thanks to a new local organization.
Impact Others, a non-profit organization founded in 2013 in New Canaan, has created an arm called SafeRidesUSA.org, and SafeRidesUSA.org has issued its first charter member to SafeRides Norwalk. As a national public service organization, SafeRidesUSA is a named entity on the insurance police, which is identical in coverage with that of other national public service organizations that would have cost SafeRides four times as much
When Melissa Rojo, a 2012 Norwalk High School graduate, started SafeRides Norwalk last winter, she went to the South Norwalk Community Center as the sponsor. However, she found out that the 60 16- and 17-year-old drivers she had signed up were not qualified for an exemption from age restrictions provided by section 14-36g(6)(b) of the Connecticut General statutes. The 2011 state law says that the young drivers must be signed up in a SafeRides program sponsored by the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America or other national public service organization.
She also was told that SafeRides must be sponsored by the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America or other national service organization to qualify for the insurance exemption. Impact Others solved that problem.
The SafeRides program now has 500 youths signed up for rises, and the 60 volunteer dirvers provide an average of 20 rides rides a night, according to SoNoCC Deputy Director Pat Ferrandino, who volunteers as a supervisor.
According to the website FindTheBest, Impact Others lists as its purpose “Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Grantmaking Foundations.”
PAL Gala Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Enjoy some wine and support the Police Activities League with a little vino Thursday, April 24, at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center.
The fifth annual event sponsored by BevMax in Norwalk will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. Sample a variety of wines and a wide variety of food items.
According to the city website, “the Norwalk Police Activities League is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the youth of Norwalk positive alternatives to the all too available paths of idleness and delinquency that can ultimately lead to crime. The league provides various cultural, educational, and athletic experiences to these youngsters who are in the greatest need of leadership, guidance, and understanding.”
The PAL plans to sponsor a summer basketball league at Ryan Park.
For more information, email [email protected] or call Susan Zecca at (203) 854-3053.
Energy Task Force forum to offer money-saving ideas
The Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force will hold a forum at 7 p.m. April 29 in the City Hall Community Room to educate the public about ways citizens can save on energy.
The event will list state and federal programs that help residents understand how to reduce utility bills while increasing the value and comfort of their homes. Experts from CL&P will explain the Clean Energy Communities program; Sagewell, Inc. will unveil a free offer showing homeowners through an innovative thermal imaging program where heat is leaking through throughout the house; Certified home energy assessment companies Next Step Living and New England Smart Energy will explain the benefits of a home energy assessment; Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) will review financing options; and the taxing districts will describe their programs.