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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

CREC Announces Free & Reduced-Price Lunch Guidelines

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) today announced its policy for determining eligibility of children who may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) following family size and income criteria for determining eligibility....

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Capitol Region Education Council Celebrates FallStaff 51, Emphasizes Importance of New Core Values

More than 2,000 CREC employees representing 120 programs and services within the organization – from magnet schools to adult education and construction services to professional development – gathered at the Hartford Yard Goats Dunkin’ Donuts Park early Friday morning for FallStaff 51, an annual pep rally meant to energize everyone in attendance for the upcoming year. FallStaff, a tradition that started when CREC was founded 51 years ago, is the one time during the year when all CREC employees come together in one place. This year, the newly adopted core values – expect excellence, demand equity, act with courage and embrace collaboration – took center stage at the event with speakers and videos emphasizing their value to the organization. CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio said, “It is important to understand why we are all driven to live and work by those values and how important they are to assuring CREC fulfills its mission.”As the keynote speaker, CREC Deputy Executive Director Sandra Cruz-Serrano offered a single piece of advice.“Never underestimate the child, the parent, the person in front of you. Her looks, limited English, her zip code, her SAT scores are absolutely no indicator of her future success,” she said. “Be careful, for she may even be your boss one day!”CREC Superintendent of Schools Tim Sullivan said, “Moving forward Hartford Public Schools and CREC are going to work together on behalf of all children. It should not natter what color uniform you wear, we are here to help all children. The days of competition are over, we are ready to collaborate.” The new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Hartford was a perfect setting for a fun-filled, baseball-themed program. Staff snapped selfies with Yard Goats mascots Chompers and Chew Chew. CREC River Street School employee Carlos Perez, the longest tenured employee at CREC, kicked off the event with a ceremonial first pitch. There was a build-a-burger race and a T-shirt toss. Videos of employees describing how they apply the core values to their work played on the stadium screens, as well as videos of students and staff explaining why CREC 2017 award winners deserve recognition. The 2017 CREC Paraeducator of the Year, Victoria Gonzales from CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship, and the 2017 CREC Teacher of the Year, Krista Beyer from CREC University of Hartford Magnet School, were announced over the stadium speakers and they walked to home plate to accept their awards. Alan Daley of CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School received the 2017 CREC Distinguished Service Award. Long-serving staff members were also recognized. FallStaff also celebrated the upcoming 50th anniversary of CREC River Street School and the school’s director, Tom Parvenski, was presented with a special recognition.A heartfelt thank you goes to students from the former CREC Two Rivers High School, Alexander Ello (Two Rivers class of 2017), and Austin Raymond-Tricka (CREC Academy of Science and Innovation class of 2018) and to Bob Polselli, engineering and technology teacher, for providing drone footage of CREC facilities used in the event’s introductory video. FallStaff is coordinated and directed internally. It is largely funded by the generosity of sponsors, including top sponsor Owens Realty Services. Other sponsors are: Sullivan Investment Group, Transamerica Retirement Solutions, Aflac, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dattco, Delta-T Group, eesmarts, Friar Associates, Massage Envy, and Valley Communications.8382062357000083820191135002767330419417500###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 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 19 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC or CREC’s award-winning magnet schools is available at www.crec.orgAthletics captains from CREC high schools came together with CRILA students to discuss the role and traits of leaders. ...

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Hartford Area Families Celebrate New School Year at Third Annual CREC Back-to-School Block Party

Backpacks filled with essential school supplies were given to 1,200 students, twice as many as the first year the block party was held.(Hartford, CT) Hundreds of families from Hartford and surrounding areas attended the Third Annual CREC Back-to-School Block Party on Wednesday afternoon, a free community event hosted by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) and CREC Foundation to celebrate the upcoming school year and prepare students for class with a backpack and school supplies giveaway. The Hartford Fire and Police departments, My Brother’s Keeper, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, The Village for Families and Children, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center were among more than 30 local organizations that offered information and resources to parents throughout the event. The block party kicked off at 3 p.m. with free face painting, hot dogs, music from Hot 93.7, field games, and ice cream provided by Ice Cream for a Dream. The Back-to-School Block Party’s main event was the giveaway with 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies given to children from the Hartford area. It’s wonderful to see how the Back-to-School Block Party has grown in these few short years. I want to express our sincere gratitude to all of our sponsors because none of this would have been possible without their support. Thank you for joining CREC in our effort to make sure that kids in Greater Hartford are ready for school,” said CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio.Having the basic supplies like pens, pencils and notepads can make a big difference and we want to make sure students get off to a good start, said Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan. “I’m grateful to everyone from the community, including CREC employees, who donated funds or supplies.Contributions from five sponsors, including Owens Realty, and CREC employees were used to purchase the backpacks and school supplies. The offices of Congressman John Larson and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy collected supplies from state employees. Members of the community also dropped off donations of school supplies at local restaurants, including Tangiers International Market, Bears Smokehouse Barbecue, Blind Pig Pizza Co., and Chango Rosa. The event was free and open to anyone from the Greater Hartford area.A second back-to-school event focused on preparing parents for the school year is scheduled to take place in the afternoon on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at the Wilson-Gray YMCA. The “Parent & Student Back-to-School Fair” is a collaboration of the Wilson-Gray YMCA and the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center.###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....

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CREC Kicks Off School Supplies Drive, “Operation Fill-A-Box,” in Preparation for Annual Back-to-School Block Party

(Hartford, CT) Today, the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) kicked off “Operation Fill-A-Box,” a school supplies drive seeking donations of classroom essentials, including pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, notebooks, etc. The items will be placed in backpacks that will be given to students during the third annual Back-to-School Block Party in August. The event is open to students from the Hartford area and their families. Donations (new items only) are being accepted starting today, July 24, 2017, through August 13, 2017 at the following locations:Bears Smokehouse Barbecue25 Front Street, HartfordHours: Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.The Blind Pig Pizza Co.89 Arch Street, HartfordHours: Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.Chango RosaOne Union Place, HartfordHours: Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.Tangiers International Market550 Farmington Avenue, HartfordHours: Mon – Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Each year, hundreds of children in our local communities return to school without basic school supplies. CREC started the Back-to-School Block Party two years ago with the goal of giving kids from the Hartford area the tools they need to learn. In addition to giving away backpacks filled with school supplies, the block party features food, music, and other family-friendly activities. This year’s event is scheduled to take place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on August 16, 2017 at CREC Central, 111 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford.###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....

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CREC Public Safety Academy Awarded $150,000 Planning Grant from Barr Foundation

(Enfield, CT) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) today announced that CREC Public Safety Academy was named one of nine grantees in Engage New England: Doing high school differently, a new initiative by the Barr Foundation’s education program. CREC Public Safety Academy received a $150,000 planning grant to develop a program over the next year to help disengaged students graduate high school and guide them toward a postsecondary education or employment. The “Personalized Success Academywould offer individualized educational opportunities and address students’ social, academic and emotional needs. The staff to student ratio would be approximately one staff member for every 10 students, allowing positive relationships to develop and ensuring each students needs are recognized. The planning grant will be used to carry out key activities to prepare for the implementation of the Personalized Success Academy, including collecting and reviewing data, conducting research, refining the school model, recruiting staff and students, providing professional development and developing curriculum. CREC Public Safety Academy joins the first cohort of education innovators participating in the Foundation’s multiyear initiative to connect students to success in high school and beyond.“We are grateful to the Barr Foundation for their support and are excited to get to work on this new venture to help more students reach their education and career goals,” said CREC Public Safety Academy Principal Jeff Larson. “Young people need a safe place to learn and grow, and through this grant, we can provide additional supports for students who need them and be a launching point for postsecondary success.”New England: Doing high school differently is a $30 million investment over five years to help New England innovators improve existing high schools and bring new school models to life in their communities. Participants receive one-year planning grants to support technical assistance with planning and capacity building, with the potential to be invited to apply for implementation grants of up to $750,000 over two years. Intentionally designed around the principles of positive youth development theory, schools supported under this initiative will be as rigorous as they are flexible in developing content knowledge, successful habits, creative know-how and navigation abilities—the integrated knowledge and skills that are essential for today’s students to connect to success in high school, college, career and community.“This partnership brings together a diverse group of educators who share the belief that all students can meet high expectations when their schools engage their interests, empower their potential and fully prepare them for success in life,” said Leah Hamilton, the Barr Foundation’s Director of Education. “We are thrilled to include CREC Public Safety Academy in our first cohort of Engage New England: Doing high school differently grantees, and to support them in a planning process to refine their vision for cohesive school models that address the unique needs of their students and communities.”About the Barr FoundationThe Barr Foundation’s mission is to invest in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, and selectively engages nationally, working in partnership with nonprofits, foundations, the public sector, and civic and business leaders to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and connect all students to success in high school and beyond. With assets of $1.7 billion, Barr is among the largest private foundations in New England and has contributed more than $834 million to charitable causes since 1999. For more information, visit barrfoundation.org.BARR MEDIA CONTACT: Stefan Lanfer, 617-854-3404, slanfer@barrfoundation.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....

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