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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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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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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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