Summer activities for kids, Maritime Aquarium protocols, flag collections, busy Norwalkers and a youth symphony invite

(Courtesy photo)

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Out-of-School Time Summer Portal connects families to opportunities
  • Maritime Aquarium updates COVID protocols
  • Flag collection planned
  • Norwalk Youth Symphony holds virtual open house
  • Child Advocates to honor Norwalkers

Norwalk ACTS offers info

The “Out-of-School Time Summer Portal,” a detailed interactive menu of young people’s summer programs containing dates, fees, and registration forms, is available at https://bit.ly/3wIA7ti.  Compiled by Norwalk ACTS, the site not only offers program details but also enables timely signup, according to a press release.

Noteworthy opportunities include Crystal Theatre’s performing arts workshops, NPS sports and gym games camps, and STEM-themed Odyssey Summer Camp.

The portal will be continually updated to include new programs.  Also, users can contribute new program info via a survey form link on the site.  Questions should go to Norwalk ACTS’ Manager of Policy, Strategy, & Continuous Improvement Jesse Buccolo at (203) 858-8820 or email [email protected]

Since its inception in 2005, Norwalk ACTS has fostered community partnerships supporting Norwalk’s public school students.  Their website is at Home – Norwalk ACTS.


Maritime Aquarium info

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk has updated its COVID protocols according to a press release.

  • Unvaccinated guests must continue to wear masks.
  • All children ages 2-12 must continue to wear masks.
  • Vaccinated guests are “strongly encouraged” to continue to wear masks.
  • All guests aboard the Aquarium’s research vessel “Spirit of the Sound” must wear masks per U.S. Coast Guard rules.


“Our primary guests are children, and given that children are still required to wear masks, we want to provide an environment where adults continue to serve as role models for children and set a positive example,” Aquarium President and CEO Jason Patlis said. “We also want to foster an inclusive environment and – while some adults are not vaccinated or will still prefer to wear a mask even if vaccinated – by encouraging the use of masks by all guests, we are making it easier and more comfortable for those individuals.”


Other Aquarium news

  • The new 169-seat 4D theater will operate at full capacity.  The interactive “Sketch & Release” digital video wall is being reactivated as of Friday May 21, and the new 150,000-gallon seal exhibit is set to open on Tuesday June 8.  A special exhibit “A Slug’s Life: Facing the Climate Endgame” debuted in January. Meanwhile, virtual programs instituted shortly after the Aquarium’s  March 2020 closing have continued and expanded beyond the facility’s reopening.


The Aquarium’s vaccine clinic

  • Free Moderna (first or second dose) and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will be given to anyone age 18 and up by the Norwalk Health Department at the Aquarium entrance from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday May 26 and from 5-7 p.m. on the next three Wednesdays June 2, 9, and 16.  No insurance is needed.  More info is said to be at www.norwalkct.org/vaccine. The vax clinic doesn’t include Aquarium admission.


Tickets and info

  • Guests remain “strongly encouraged” to reserve advance timed entry tickets at www.maritimeaquarium.org.  The website also has info on the Aquarium’s exhibits, programs, and upcoming Long Island Sound cruises.




Flag collections

(Courtesy photo)

Worn-out American flags can be retired at either of two drive-through events to be hosted by State Rep. Terrie Wood (R-141), according to a press release.

  • Saturday May 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Darien Town Hall, located at 2 Renshaw Drive in Darien.   Co-hosted by Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson
  • Saturday, June 12 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Rowayton Community Center, located at 33 Highland Ave.  Co-hosted by Sixth Taxing District Commissioner Tammy Langalis

“I am proud to co-host these events with my friends First Selectwoman Stevenson and Commissioner Langalis,” Wood said.   “Our flags represent the freedoms and liberties we are all so fortunate to have, and they also honor the brave women and men who have fought to defend our way of life. It is important that we provide local residents to retire their old American flags with honor, respect, and dignity with a proper ceremony. I look forward to these events and I think we will have a great turnout.”


Learn about youth symphony

Norwalk Youth Symphony (NYS) will conduct a virtual open house at 7 p.m. on Wednesday June 9, in which the Symphony’s conductors and student musicians will describe their programs, audition process, and concert schedule, according to a press release.

Now in its 65th year, NYS offers classical music training for fourth grade through high school students from Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties.  A full slate of instruction, concerts and events is planned for the 2021-2022 season, including a 2022 summer performance in Italy.

During the pandemic, musicians from The New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, and the Cleveland Institute led one-on-one master classes with NYS students, while NYS conductors Jonathan Yates and Russell Ger began a series of adult music appreciation seminars.

Registration for the virtual open house is at NYS Open House | norwalkyouthsymphony.  For more info, call (203) 866-4100 or email [email protected],  NYS safety protocols conform to state standards.


Three Norwalk volunteers to be honored

From left, Wendy Baker and Jeannie Ballentine. (Courtesy photo)

Child Advocates of SW Connecticut (CAC), a Fairfield County-based nonprofit that trains and supervises volunteers who advocate for vulnerable children, is honoring Norwalkers Wendy Baker, Jeanne Ballentine, and Patricia Squires for outstanding volunteer advocacy, according to a press release.

Since 2010, over 165 CAC volunteers have contributed their time and abilities.  The group’s website states “For many of the children we serve, their CAC volunteer will be the one constant in an otherwise chaotic life.”

After completing 35 hours of training, CAC volunteers develop individual relationships with each child, and promote the child’s best interest via interface with families, teachers, doctors, social workers, therapists, and lawyers.  One CAC volunteer says “After working with 11-year-old Kyle for many months, it is clear that having an independent person focusing only on his best interest makes all the difference. Whether it’s just spending time together to show that another adult cares about him, or making sure he gets the right services at school and in his foster home, having someone on Kyle’s side guarantees that he can enjoy his childhood the way every child should.”

In lieu of CAC’s annual “Love Luncheon” fundraiser, an online campaign honoring the group’s volunteers is in effect.  “CAC is thrilled to honor our incredible volunteers,” Executive Director Stacey Sobel said.  “Vulnerable children have suffered disproportionately during the COVID pandemic, and our volunteers have done a tremendous job ensuring needs are being met.”

To donate, post a tribute, or learn more about CAC, visit www.ctchildadvocates.org


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