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Capitol Region Education Council

Press Room

Contacts

For Press inquiries:
Hilda Muñoz
Communications Specialist
Central Office: (860) 509-3663
Email: himunoz@crec.org

For other information:
Aura Alvarado
Director of Communications and Community Relations
Central Office: (860) 524-4065
Cell Phone: (860) 490-9676
Email: aalvarado@crec.org

Recent Press Releases

Walton Family Foundation Awards $4.8 Million Grant to University of Hartford and Montessori Training Center Northeast

(Hartford, Conn.) The University of Hartford and the Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE) have been awarded $4.8 million from a fund directed by James Walton of the Walton Family Foundation to establish an undergraduate Montessori education program at the University and conduct research about Montessori educator preparation over the next five years. In awarding this competitive grant, the Walton Family Foundation recognizes the decades-long partnership between the two institutions and the success of their collaborative master’s program which incorporates Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) teacher training delivered by MTCNE into the master’s in education curriculum. “We are honored that the Walton Family Foundation recognizes our rigorous academic programming and the exemplary long-standing partnership that makes a program of distinction possible,” said University of Hartford President Walter Harrison.“MTCNE is pleased to expand our partnership with the University of Hartford and to open the door to more individuals who are interested in becoming Montessori teachers through the opportunity that this grant provides,” said Tim Nee, Assistant Executive Director at CREC and Managing Director of MTCNE.“This award to the University of Hartford and MTCNE recognizes the quality, strength, and advanced learning the partnership’s graduate level Montessori concentration program delivers today,” said Paige M. Bray, Director of Montessori Studies at the University of Hartford. “Expansion to a bachelor’s program will allow our partnership to create a research-based model for Montessori teacher preparation in the Montessori community worldwide.” This is one of the largest educational grants the University has been awarded in its 60-year history. The funds will be used to establish the program, provide tuition assistance to eligible students who reflect a commitment to degree completion, and conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of the new program as well as potential implications for Montessori educators and educator preparation. The grant is designed so that the Montessori bachelor’s degree becomes a University of Hartford tuition-based, self-sustaining program by the end of 2022. “This groundbreaking collaboration between a university and a Montessori training center to provide a bachelor’s degree with a Montessori concentration is sure to be a model across the country,” said Nora E. Flood, Education Director for James Walton.“We celebrate this innovative, breakthrough initiative because it will give more children access to high-quality, AMI certified teachers in the public sector – an important pillar of AMI’s global strategic plan,” said Lynne Lawrence, Executive Director at Association Montessori Internationale.The partners will launch the bachelor’s degree program on campus this fall for both early childhood and elementary education with a Montessori concentration. Training with the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) at MTCNE, located in Hartford, Conn., will be incorporated in the curriculum so that graduates will earn a bachelor’s degree and an internationally-recognized AMI diploma. In addition, graduates will be eligible for Connecticut state teaching certification. The program is open to applicants who are adult learners, career enhancement candidates, community college transfers, and incoming first-year students. Visit hartford.edu/montessori for application and tuition assistance details.Currently, the University and MTCNE offer the only program in the northeast that combines Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) teacher training with a graduate degree.About the Partners The University of Hartford, centrally located in Connecticut, provides a distinctive educational experience across seven schools and colleges for one of the most diverse student bodies in New England. The University’s faculty are attracted by the opportunity to mentor, challenge, and support students as they pursue degrees in more than 100 programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions. The University’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions prepares students to earn career-relevant degrees in deeply collaborative and scholarly environments. Students participate in real-world learning and research with faculty mentors early and often in their academic careers. ENHP partners with local, regional, and international organizations which play an integral role in the development of our students. Learn more at hartford.edu.The Montessori Training Center Northeast (MTCNE) is a recognized AMI-teacher training center managed by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC). The center provides AMI-teacher preparation courses in primary and elementary Montessori education. CREC opened MTCNE in 2003 in response to an urgent need of an AMI-teacher training center in New England. Located in Hartford, MTCNE serves as a central location in the northeastern part of the United States for Montessori activities by offering AMI-teacher training, program consultation and support for alumni and area Montessori schools. Learn more at crec.org/mtcne.###...

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Schoolwide Composting Program at CREC Two Rivers Middle School Making an Impact

(East Hartford, CT) A schoolwide composting program at CREC Two Rivers Middle School has diverted 7,496 pounds of food scraps from the landfill since 2015, enough to offset emissions from 214 gallons of gasoline – the equivalent of 4,197 pounds of carbon dioxide. The figures come from Blue Earth Compost, a local food scrap pick-up service that CREC Two Rivers has been using since 2015 for its composting program. The company collects all types of food waste, including meat, sauces, napkins and milk cartons. Since switching to Blue Earth Compost, students have been encouraged to compost food scraps, milk cartons, and napkins in the cafeteria.“What an impact!” said Kennan Poulakos, Environmental Theme coach at CREC Two Rivers Middle School. “The program is a work in progress and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We are proud of what we have collected so far and plan on boosting those numbers in the future! CREC Two Rivers, an environmentally-themed STEM school, has composted on a small scale for years but started composting schoolwide in 2014 using bins on campus. They switched to Blue Earth Compost because it can accommodate more types of food. As a result, CREC Two Rivers was one of three Connecticut schools to be awarded the distinction of being named a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.###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....

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Hundreds of CREC Public Safety Academy Students Give Back During Public Safety and Community Service Day

(Enfield, CT) On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, hundreds of CREC Public Safety Academy students participated in Public Safety and Community Service Day, a school-wide effort to have students learn more about careers in different public safety fields and involve them in giving back to their communities. Like previous years, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and first responders from surrounding towns set up equipment and vehicles at the school for students to learn more about the different public service professions. However, only ninth-grade students participated in the Public Safety portion of the event. This year, CREC Public Safety Academy added Community Service to the event. More than 300 students in grades 7, 8, 10, and 11 volunteered in several community service projects across Greater Hartford. This is the first year that CREC Public Safety Academy hosts a large-scale community service effort.This is about teaching our students how to be stronger leaders, better people, and to show them the value of giving back in their communities,” said Principal Jeff Larson. This event will allow PSA students to embrace the concept of public service by actively participating in various projects designed to give back to veterans, the elderly and disabled, children, and the community at-large.CREC Public Safety Academy students participated in the following activities on Public Safety and Community Service Day:Grade 7 – 66 participated in a cleanup along the Connecticut River by Adriaen’s Landing in HartfordGrade 8 – 62 students provided public safety and reading lessons to students at either CREC International Magnet School or CREC Museum AcademyGrade 9 – 101 students participated in the Amazing Race and Skills Challenge at CREC Public Safety AcademyGrade 10 - 74 students participated in off-site community services activities: Veterans Home and Hospital (Rocky Hill); State Veterans’ Cemetery Cleanup (Rocky Hill); Cleanup of Veterans Cemetery (Windsor); Enfield Adult Day Center Grade 11 – 71 student participated in: Recreation with Patients at Blair Manor (Enfield); Recreation with Patients at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehab Center (Enfield); American Legion presentation (Enfield) Grade 12 – 71 students chose from the following: Staffing of Amazing Race and Skills Challenge - 25 Seniors as Team Captains, 10 Seniors to Staff Event (35); Student co-chaperones at IMS – (15) NHS; Student co-chaperones at Museum - (15); Student co-chaperones to Adriaen’s Landing - (13)###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....

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Education, Community and Behavioral Health Leaders Attend Statewide Symposium on Childhood Trauma, Mental Health

(Storrs, CT) Approximately 100 school, mental health, and community leaders from across the state gathered at the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to discuss childhood trauma and the impact it can have on a child’s education, as well as possible strategies for responding to children who have experienced trauma or have behavioral health issues. The event, “Symposium on Trauma-Informed School Mental Health,” was the result of collaboration between the Capitol Region Education Council, the state Department of Education, the University of Connecticut Collaboratory on School and Child Health and Neag School of Education, the Ana Grace Project, Clifford Beers Clinic, and the Child Health Development Institute. The symposium’s main goals were to increase awareness among participants of important issues in childhood trauma, discuss creation of a common framework for addressing trauma, violence and mental health needs among children, and to stimulate the development of a trauma-informed school mental health plan.“We are excited to have this collaborative effort on behalf of students and families in Connecticut. This is our first united approach to determine how to best meet the needs of students with mental health needs and those impacted by trauma. We know that our school districts are anxious to become part of this initiative and to be at the table. Hopefully this is the first step in this process,” said Deborah Richards, CREC Director of Student Services.According to Dr. Judith Meyers, President and CEO of the Child Health and Development Institute, "Ensuring children’s health and wellness is a true team effort requiring participation from all child-serving sectors so that children can access needed services and supports where they live, learn, and play. Schools are a critically important setting for supporting and addressing children’s social and emotional well-being, so they can thrive.”When asked about the value of hosting this type of event, Dr. Sandra Chafouleas, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Neag School and Co-Director of the UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health, indicated that “we are excited to facilitate important conversations about the what and how of a trauma-informed lens in our school systems. Collaborative efforts such as this symposium form an essential piece of moving toward why it might be important to how do we collectively work together to make it happen.Following opening remarks by Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell and a kick-off discussion hosted by the Child Health and Development Institute’s Jeff Vanderploeg and Alice Forrester of the Clifford Beers Clinic, participants broke into groups, with each breakout session using a similar set of questions to focus on issues pertaining to a different topic in school mental health: workforce development; financing school mental health and accountability systems; promotion, prevention, and early identification; and interventions that bridge schools, families, and communities. Participants later re-convened to summarize the big ideas, with plans to integrate the discussions into a document to drive next steps in facilitating a statewide framework for trauma-informed school mental health. ###...

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