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Capitol Region Education Council

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CREC Partnership Awarded $4.9 Million by USDOE

(Hartford, Conn.) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) has been awarded a grant for $4.9 million from the U.S. Department of Education to fund and design the establishment of a Statewide Family Engagement Center (SFEC). The five-year grant is a collaboration between CREC, the African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities (AFCAMP), the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC), the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), and the State Education Resource Center (SERC). The grant will enable partners to work with communities across the state, providing resources and promoting the engagement of parents, families, students, and other community stakeholders to improve students’ academic, social and emotional development.“This is a unique and timely opportunity to support family engagement statewide. This grant will give all stakeholders—students, parents and families, school and district leaders, state-level policy makers, and community partners—the opportunities and support needed to increase engagement and impact outcomes for our students,” stated CREC’s Executive Director, Greg Florio. “CREC is honored to lead this work, and committed to promoting full, equal and equitable partnerships.”Through the grant, partnering agencies will implement and expand proven family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement. “SERC is excited about the announcement of the award for funding a new CT SFEC,” said SERC’s Executive Director, Ingrid Canady. “We have long approached family engagement as a pillar of our work on behalf of Connecticut’s students and families, including as operators of the CT Parent Information and Resource Center. The award for the new center demonstrates Connecticut’s commitment to family engagement.”The purpose of the SFEC grant program is to provide financial support to organizations that provide technical assistance and training to state educational agencies and local school districts. “We look forward to working with our partners to strengthen the family voice and improve educational outcomes for all of Connecticut’s children,” said Ann R. Smith, Executive Director of AFCAMP. “This investment presents a significant opportunity to expand family participation in Connecticut’s evolving family engagement framework.”John Flanders, CPAC Executive Director, echoed support for the work of the SFEC partnership. “CPAC enthusiastically looks forward to working with the partners to bring mothers and fathers more fully into collaboration with their children’s schools. The $4.9 million award over five years to engage school systems and families to work together for better education outcomes is an incredible opportunity.” The U.S. DOE permitted each state’s central education agency to endorse one applicant per state; CREC was the chosen recipient of the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)’s endorsement. Connecticut joins ten other states awarded similar grants: Arizona, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. ###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 more than 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 holds groundbreaking ceremony for new Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School Building

(Rocky Hill, Conn.) Thursday CREC held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new school building in Rocky Hill. The state-of-the-art facility will eventually house the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School.Members of the school community, the Rocky Hill Board of Education, the State Department of Education, CREC leadership, former and current students and parents, and special guests were invited to attend the event which featured remarks by many involved with the project, followed by a photo opportunity for attendees to actually get their shovels dirty. “Now the time has come to realize our dream: a home built specifically for us,” said Gayle Hills principal or CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School in her opening remarks. The new building, which will become the school’s permanent home, will be located across the street from the current location, 525 Brook Street, and it is slated to open in August 2020. The new building will take over more than 17 acres of the property at Gardner’s Nurseries. Plans call for more than 89,000 square feet of space, which will include a radial layout that provides a safe student gathering and play courtyard, away from the areas of vehicular circulation. “The property selected for the new school facility is going to provide these students with a wonderful opportunity to learn both indoors and outdoors,” said Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan about the planned, versatile learning space. “When I look at the site behind us, I don’t see a construction project; I see the fruition of a social justice mission. This building is going to send a message to all 700 students… that we believe all children have value.” CREC’s Executive Director Greg Florio served as master of ceremonies for the speaking portion, offering his own remarks and recognizing members of the community, the State Department of Education, and the CREC Council. “I’m thrilled today to celebrate the groundbreaking and to give a deserving group of kids and staff their forever home,” said Florio. “Students, family, staff, and the community will hopefully see concrete evidence of our investment in this theme and the students’ future.”“We are thrilled to have this school going up in our town,” said Ed Charamut of the Rocky Hill Town Council and candidate for State Senate.“This is a partnership that we are looking forward to,” said Kermit Thompson of the State Department of Administrative Services.“On behalf of the CREC Council and the 35 districts in the region, thank you for this opportunity, and good luck with your new building,” said David Joy of the South Windsor Board of Education and chair of the CREC Council for the 2018-2019 School Year.The interdistrict magnet school opened in 2013. The school’s theme focuses on developing strong foundational knowledge for students in four interrelated domains of STEM literacy: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The curricula provides students with opportunities to conduct investigations, gather and use information, and solve problems using scientific methods of thinking and technology as tools. The goal is to engage children in these practices to help them develop a deep understanding of the world around them.The CREC Academy of Aerospace Elementary School’s website is http://aae.crecschools.org Superintendent Tim Sullivan (left) and Principal Gayle Hills (right) with studentsMembers of CREC Leadership and the community with students###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 Partners with CHR for Outpatient Mental Health Clinic

(East Hartford, CT) In the spring, as part of a competitive bidding process, Community Health Resources (CHR) of Windsor was selected by CREC to assume management and provide all clinical services at the CREC Polaris Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in East Hartford. CHR is a non-profit behavioral healthcare agency that has worked with patients in central and eastern Connecticut for over fifty years.At the CREC Polaris campus, CHR will offer outpatient services for the entire family. This includes expert care for depression, anxiety, trauma and other mental-health challenges, as well as state-of-the-art care for substance use disorders and addictions. Services will include individual, group, family and intensive outpatient services for all ages.“We are excited about our new collaborative partnership with CHR,” said Deborah Richards, director of Student Services at CREC. “We look forward to expanding our services in the behavioral health arena for our students, families, and the greater community. CHR is well known for their services across the state and we value the addition of this expertise to our organization.” Additionally, as of this school year, CHR will coordinate school-based behavioral health clinics in five CREC schools:Two Rivers Magnet Middle School – East HartfordCREC Polaris Center – East HartfordPublic Safety Academy Civic Leadership High School – Enfield Academy of Science and Innovation – New BritainAcademy of Aerospace & Engineering – Windsor"CHR is delighted to begin providing personalized behavioral healthcare services to people of all ages at the CREC Polaris site in East Hartford,” said CHR’s President and CEO, Heather Gates. “Our mission is to provide real hope for the challenges of real life by giving people the tools and resources they need to achieve and maintain recovery and lead happy, healthy and productive lives. We look forward to serving the community in East Hartford and within the CREC schools.” The school year began Wednesday, August 29 for CREC Schools.More information about the schools and services offered by CREC’s Division of Student Services can be found at www.crec.org/ss. CHR’s website is chrhealth.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 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.Community Health Resources is the most comprehensive, non-profit behavioral healthcare agency in the state of Connecticut, with more than five decades of experience meeting the healthcare needs of adults, children and families whose lives have been touched by mental illness, addictions or trauma. CHR delivers services throughout central and eastern Connecticut, including outpatient care, residential services, therapeutic group homes, therapeutic foster care services, a robust supportive housing program and more. CHR is accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by the state of Connecticut. The agency has repeatedly been named among the region's Top Workplaces by the annual Hartford Courant survey and is led by a visionary President and CEO, Heather Gates.

Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts juniors are Fresh Voices Poetry Competition Winners

Alexander Nordlund and Rachel Justice, 2018 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition winners(Hartford, Conn.) Two junior creative writing students from CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts are among the six winners of this year’s Fresh Voices Poetry Competition, which was held at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington in April. Alexander Nordlund is a half-day student from Glastonbury and Rachel Justice is a half-day student from Enfield. The students wrote poems suitable for presentation and publication and competed against other high school students from throughout New England. The competition has nurtured young poets since 1993.Nordlund, Justice, along with the other winners, will read their poems at the museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s Young Poet’s Day on Sunday, August 5. Their winning works will also be featured in Hill-Stead’s online poetry journal, Theodate, and printed in a chapbook published by Antrim House Press and available for purchase in the Hill-Stead Museum Shop. The other high school student winners are:Vanecia Fultz – Rockville High School, VernonYoussef Mezrioui – Rockville High School, VernonSarah Lewis – Hall High School, West HartfordEllis McGinley – Arts at the Capitol Theater Performing Arts Magnet High School, WillimanticTheir judges were Daniel Donaghy, an English professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Adriane Jefferson, arts program manager and special programs coordinator for the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.Visit www.hillstead.org/sunken-garden-poetry-festival/poetry-programs-students-educators/fresh-voices-poetry-competition/ for more information.###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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