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Capitol Region Education Council

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2019 CREC Locations Offering Free Summer Meals for Children

CREC announces its participation in the federally funded Seamless Summer Option Food Program (SSO) of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Under the program, nutritious meals are provided to all children 18 years of age and under and are free of charge at the...

CREC receives state approval for new Teacher Residency Program

(Hartford, Conn.) On, Wednesday, May 1, CREC’s new Teacher Residency Program was approved as an item on the consent agenda at the Connecticut State Board of Education meeting. The CREC Teacher Residency Program is an alternate route to elementary certification program that embraces a different approach to attract and retain minority teacher candidates. Ten residents chosen from the applicant pool will be assigned to ten master teachers in CREC schools to begin their 14-month road to certification starting in June 2019. Residents are each paid $32,000 per year with benefits to be mentored by their master teacher for one year. Residents are then guaranteed a full-time classroom teaching position in the second school year upon completion of the certification requirements. “For far too long we have been trying to simply recruit more teachers of color, and what we decided is that we need to certify more teachers of color,” said Tim Sullivan, Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools. “So this program is designed to help overcome some of the obstacles that have kept people from getting certified and give them an opportunity to get certification and work in the schools. We are most excited for the opportunity to create teachers from our own schools, instead of trying to recruit them from elsewhere.”Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, and preference will be given to applicants of color who graduated from Hartford Public Schools, CREC Magnet Schools, or the Hartford Region Open Choice Program.CREC’s idea is to prioritize minority candidates’ potential to work with diverse students and minimizes barriers to traditional certification program admission.“I thought to myself, ‘Yes! Someone understands the financial obstacle and time constraint many people of color face while pursuing graduate school,’” said Cyemone Douglas, one of the initial applicants and an Associate Instructor at CREC Montessori Magnet School, about her reaction to learning about the program. “I always had a passion to teach, but time and financial constraints prevented me from pursuing my certification.”Coursework will be required of the residents in the summer, after school hours, and on weekends. Courses were designed and will be delivered by practicing CREC educators and administrators, prioritizing skills necessary to be successful in a diverse classroom.“I am very proud to have been an active participant in the development of the CREC Teacher Residency Program,” said Lisa Cordova, president of the CREC Education Association, CREC’s teachers union. “Along with district administrators, CREC teachers, and support from the Connecticut Education Association, we spent close to two years developing this comprehensive program we have before us that addresses the continuing need to have teachers of color instructing CREC students. “ Application and rolling admissions for the program are open now until June 21, 2019. More information and the application link can be found at http://www.crecschools.org/careers/c_r_e_c_teacher_residency_program. ###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

CREC Athletics Receives $100,000 Donation from Vistra Energy to Fund Middle School Sports Program

(Windsor, Conn.) On Wednesday, April 24, Pete Ziegler, vice president of plant operations for Vistra Energy, a national energy company, presented the Capitol Region Educational Council’s (CREC) athletics program with a check for $100,000 at a ceremony at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering. This is the fourth consecutive year that the company has made the generous donation to support the continuation of middle school sports at four participating CREC schools for the 2019-2020 academic year. “Vistra Energy is dedicated to strengthening the communities where our employees and customers live, work, and, serve. As part of this commitment, we’re honored to continue our support for CREC Athletics and its numerous youth development programs,” said Ziegler. “At Vistra Energy, we understand the value of working together as a team to achieve a common goal. The programs offered by CREC Athletics teach critical skills – including teamwork, self-confidence, and leadership – among countless other life lessons that students can use in the workforce and as leaders in their communities.”During the donation ceremony, Ziegler met student athletes, listened to essays read by four award-winning student athletes, and participated in a ceremonial check presentation.“Youth sports in our country continue to move towards privatization, and more and more, family finances are now deciding which children will or will not have opportunities to participate,” said Jonathan Winer, CREC Athletic Director. “This further emphasizes the importance of the generosity of Vistra Energy as they allow our CREC athletic program to provide opportunities for all students through school-based, cost-free middle school sports.”Funds from the donation are also being used to continue the Vistra Energy Citizen-Athlete Scholarship Award for graduating seniors. Desaray Chapman, a three-sport athlete from CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, is this year’s winner and will receive a $1,000 scholarship for each of the next four years. Chapman will attend Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Mass. in the fall.The other senior scholarship finalists to present their essays were Colby Gray of CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, Samuel Agyei of CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, and Samuel Darko of CREC Civic Leadership High School. They were selected for their ability to meet challenges both on and off the playing field. Vistra Energy is a premier, integrated power company based in Irving, Texas, combining an innovative, customer-centric approach to retail electricity with a focus on safe, reliable, and efficient power generation. Through its retail and generation businesses which include TXU Energy, Homefield Energy, Dynegy, and Luminant, Vistra operates in 12 states and six of the seven competitive markets in the U.S., with about 5,400 employees. Vistra's retail brands serve approximately 2.9 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers across five top retail states, and its generation fleet totals approximately 41,000 megawatts of highly efficient generation capacity, with a diverse portfolio of natural gas, nuclear, coal, solar, and battery storage facilities. The company is currently developing the largest battery energy storage system of its kind in the world – a 300-MW/1,200-MWh system in Moss Landing, California.Also, Vistra’s power generation subsidiary, Luminant, operates two power plants in the area: Lake Road Power Plant in Dayville and Milford Power Plant in Milford.CREC offers eight different middle school sports for grades six-eight at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, CREC Civic Leadership High School, and CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School. Middle school athletes and their mascots with Jonathan Winer, Pete Ziegler, and CREC Schools Superintendent Tim Sullivan.2019 Vistra Energy Citizen-Athlete Scholarship Award Winner Desaray Chapman reads their essay.Vistra’s Pete Ziegler offers his admiration for CREC Athletics.###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

CREC holds groundbreaking ceremony for new Ana Grace Academy of the Arts School Building

(Bloomfield, Conn.) On, Tuesday, April 16, CREC held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new school building in Bloomfield. The state-of-the-art facility will eventually house the CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts, a Pre-Kindergarten to eighth-grade school that will combine two current CREC schools – CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School and CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School. Presently, CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School is located in Avon and is Pre-Kindergarten through fifth-grade, CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School is in the Colt Building in Hartford, and is grades six through eight.CREC renamed the Academy of the Arts Elementary School in 2014 to honor Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, daughter of CREC alumni and former teachers Nelba Marquez-Greene and Jimmy Greene, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. “As proud alumni and former employees of CREC, who deeply value arts education, it is a very fitting tribute to Ana Grace and all children to have a permanent and dedicated school for arts excellence in the early and middle years,” said Nelba Marquez-Greene. “May this day and every day forward on these grounds be ones of joy, peace, and beauty-making.  May every staff, every family, and every child feel safe; and know that love wins within its walls. We are so thankful to CREC for this dedication.”Members of the school community, the Bloomfield Board of Education and Town Council, the State Department of Education, CREC leadership, former and current students and parents, and special guests were in attendance. The ceremony, emceed by CREC Deputy Executive Director Sandy Cruz-Serrano, featured remarks by the school’s Principals Patricia Phelan and Bo Ryan, CREC Executive Director Greg Florio, Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan, Chair of the Bloomfield Board of Education Don Harris, and Ana Grace’s brother Isaiah Marquez-Greene. Over 40 students from the Elementary School came from Avon to perform three songs for the crowd as well. “The construction of the Ana Grace Academy of the Arts has been a long process over many years,” said Florio, “and the only part that was missing was a permanent home, and today we begin that process.”“We began with 20 teachers and 150 pre-K and Kindergartners seven years ago,” said Phelan, “since then our school has grown to over 475 students from Pre-K to fifth-grade, and nearly 80 educators. Today it is thrilling to realize our dream of a new school, one that is being specially designed for us.”“My wish for the families and students attending this school is that they truly value what an education in the arts can do. That they have fun and share their learning,” said Isaiah Marquez-Greene. “That they listen to their teachers. That they dream big. That they use what they learn to prepare them for a world that they might never imagine.”“Bringing kids together, to learn together, is going to make our society better,” said Sullivan during his closing remarks. “[The new building] is a down payment on our future so that our society when I get old, and [the students present] are the ones at the microphone, will be a better place.”The new building is slated to open in August 2021 on the 29-acre site. Plans call for more than 157,000 square feet of space, to accommodate 876 students. The bus loop will be lined with painted steel walkway canopies with photovoltaic panels, which will also serve as a roof covering. The East portion of the site will host a grass playfield, while the West portion will host playscapes, adjacent to the elementary school program. Plans also include middle school science labs, magnet-themed classrooms, and a combined lobby and art gallery space, which will surround a Black Box Theater for student performances.CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School’s website is http://agaaems.crecschools.org. CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School’s website is http://haams.crecschools.org. Members of the Marquez-Greene Family and CREC Executive LeadershipStudents with Nelba Marquez-Greene, Greg Florio, Tim Sullivan, Patti Phelan, and Bruce DouglasAn architectural rendering of the exterior of the building###The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

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Late Application Now Open!

Learn more about CREC and your school choice options for the 2019-20 school year by visiting:

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Accepting applications for grades 6 at
Two Rivers Magnet Middle

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