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Capitol Region Education Council

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CREC Computer Science Teacher Awarded

Heather Sutkowski, a computer science teacher at CREC Montessori Magnet School, Hartford, was selected from a pool of 1,000 nominees to receive the "Making an Impact in Computer Science" award in the “Teacher” category from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and code.org. She received her award during 2017 Computer Science Education Week, which was held in Palo Alto, California in December. This was the first time awards recognized “Champions for Computer Science” in the computer science education community. Sutkowski was one of four winners in her category.From developing a wristband and app to help parents monitor their young children, to serving as a hub to expand computer science to rural communities statewide, the winners represented the students, teachers, schools, districts, and organizations on the forefront of the national computer science education movement. Interim Executive Director of the CSTA Deborah Seehorn said, “The selection committee had a difficult time choosing the winners from so many exemplary entries. These are people who are truly broadening participation in computer science, advocating for computer science, innovating, and making an impact in their community.” ###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 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Students Win 2017 Congressional App Challenge

(WASHINGTON, DC) On Dec. 7, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced that a team of students who reside in Suffield have won the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for the Second Congressional District of Connecticut. The students are seniors Marissa Guzzo and Alexandra Smith, and sophomore Gianna Guzzo from the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Windsor. Their app, titled Feel Good, is designed to help people struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress find some relief through music, games, and other means. The National Congressional App Challenge is designed to inspire high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The competition is also intended to demonstrate the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and encourage students to enter these career fields. This week (December 4-8) has been designated as Computer Science Education Week. “I am pleased to announce that the winners of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for Connecticut’s Second Congressional District are Gianna Guzzo, Marissa Guzzo, and Alexandra Smith from Suffield,” said Courtney. “We had a number of exceptional submissions to the Second Congressional District App Challenge this year, but our team hailing from Suffield stood out. Our panel of judges from the University of Connecticut were convinced that the winning app showed both an advanced understanding of computer programming and a determination to improve the lives of people suffering with various mental health conditions. I applaud all three of the winning students, and all of the students who participated in the competition this year for their time and dedication in creating these incredible programs. “The National Congressional App Challenge is designed to engage high school students in computer science and teach them how to code by creating their own applications. We need to demonstrate the value of computer science and STEM education generally in order to encourage more young people to enter these fields.” The 2017 Congressional App Challenge was open to all U.S. high school students in participating congressional districts and one winner was selected per district. Challenge participants were invited, either as individuals or as teams of up to four students, to create and submit their own software application, or ‘app’ for mobile, tablet, or other computing devices on a platform of their choice. In the Second Congressional District, the submissions were judged by faculty members from the University of Connecticut.For more information, contact Tim Brown, communications director, Office of Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), at (202) 225-2076 or Tim.Brown2@mail.house.gov. ###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 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

PSA Civic Leadership High School Launches New Theme

(Enfield, CT) The CREC Public Safety Academy (PSA) has been renamed PSA Civic Leadership High School. It remains an interdistrict magnet school operated by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). CREC made this change to ensure the school’s name accurately reflects its theme. Beginning this year, the school is strengthening its focus on civic engagement, public service, and leadership. The school offers coursework and hands-on, community-based experiences for students in these areas, along with new opportunities for students to earn college credit while in high school. The revisions to the school’s theme are funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Magnet School Assistance Program. CREC and Enfield Public Schools were awarded nearly fifteen million dollars over five years to support enhancements in four Hartford region magnet programs. “This grant provides an exciting opportunity for our school,” said Jeff Larson, principal of PSA Civic Leadership High School. “With the additional resources provided by the grant, we will be able to provide our students an education like no other, with opportunities that no other school can offer. Upon graduation from the PSA Civic Leadership High School, students will have built a résumé that will include certifications, college credit, and over fifty hours of service learning, which will make them stand out to colleges, employers, and in their communities.” Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan said, “Under Mr. Larson’s leadership, PSA Civic Leadership High School plays an important role in the greater Hartford region. They are empowering young people to see themselves as agents of change, making a difference in the local community and beyond.”  PSA Civic Leadership High School is one of 16 CREC magnet schools and educates students in grades 9 through 12 in a state-of-the-art facility on King Street in Enfield. It remains committed to graduating students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in college and the workplace.  Students who wish to attend PSA Civic Leadership High School must apply to the school through the Greater Hartford Regional School Choice Office lottery, which is accepting applications through February 28, 2018. For more information about the school and a link to the lottery application, visit www.choosepsa.org.###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 changings 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 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

CREC Discovery Academy Read-a-Thon Benefits Hurricane Relief Center

(Hartford, Conn.) A Read-A-Thon at CREC Discovery Academy raised $819.45 to benefit hurricane relief efforts at Hartford’s Centro de Ayuda Para Nuestros Amigos Caribeños (Relief Center for our Caribbean Friends). The center assists people from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands who have come to the area because they were displaced by this fall’s hurricanes. On-site community organizations and volunteers provide social services and everyday necessities free of charge. The Capitol Region Education Council manages the center, which is located at 15 Van Dyke Ave.Literacy Coach Diane Leja spearheaded the Read-a-Thon, which was the first event of its kind at the school. It took place in October and was open to students from Pre-K through fifth grade. Participants pledged to read a certain number of books in three weeks and they secured sponsorships from family and friends. They could also take part by setting and reaching a goal for the most books read without sponsorships.The project was a team effort throughout the Wethersfield school. Students in the aftercare program even made and hung posters to remind their peers to participate.The students read 495 books in all. Fifth grader Andrew James Farrlley collected the most pledges, which resulted in $250 for the cause.  Most importantly, the event raised awareness that children can find age-appropriate ways to do their part to help others. “This event gave our students an opportunity to help others by doing something they love to do, which is read,” said Leja. “I am a huge supporter of teaching children to be global citizens and help others when needed. Most times, adults are the ones to donate to a cause,” she continued. Through this event, I wanted students to be aware that they could make a difference and help others through their love of reading. I am totally astonished at the amount of money the students collected.###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 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hurricane Relief

Displaced families and children, who are relocating to the Hartford region from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands as the result of recent hurricanes, can now get services and supplies at no charge at a temporary center.

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