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Capitol Region Education Council

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Headlines

CREC Civic Leadership High School Students Volunteer in Community for Public Service Day

(Enfield, Conn.) Each year, as part of the school’s theme, CREC Civic Leadership High School (CLHS) holds semi-annual Public Service Days to provide opportunities to put learning into action. This school year’s first Public Service Day was Wednesday, October 17. But this year was special because of the school’s new broader theme of Civic Leadership. “The theme was public safety in the past, which is a niche kind of theme,” said CLHS Theme Coach Cory LaChance, who organized the day with fellow Theme Coach Nancy Rosenbaum. “So we were able to broaden it to Civic Leadership, which Public Safety is an important part of, but it’s not the whole thing.”“This our fourth Public Service Day, and one of the things that we wanted to instill into our school was the importance of public service. And we think it’s so important that we shut down the school for a whole day and everybody goes out,” said CLHS Principal Jeff Larson. “It’s fantastic a lot of our kids walk out and are saying, ‘Ugh, where am I going?’ or ‘What am I doing?’ and then they come back and they all have smiles on their faces because they know they just did something great.”At 8 a.m., CLHS ninth, tenth, and eleventh-graders boarded buses, bound for a variety of sites throughout the Greater Hartford area to serve the community. “We do the event twice a year in fall and spring, as a theme coach, we book the outside sites by reaching out to community organizations to see who needs assistance,” said LaChanceThe list of organizations and locations helped by CLHS this year is extensive:Charities of Hope, Hartford – sorted clothing donations Charter Oak Greenway, Highland Park to Charter Oak Park, Manchester – trail clean-upCharter Oak Greenway, Sunset Ridge in East Hartford to Manchester Community College – trail clean-upCongressman Joe Courtney Campaign, 312 Hazard Ave, Enfield – assisted with mailings to constituentsCREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary, Avon – tutored elementary studentsCREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School, Hartford – tutored middle school students CREC International Magnet School for Global Studies, South Windsor – tutored elementary studentsCREC Soundbridge, Wethersfield – grounds clean-upCREC University of Hartford Magnet, West Hartford – tutored elementary studentsGlory Chapel of Hartford – cleaned the church groundsGoodwin Park, Hartford – helped to set up for Holiday Light FantasiaManchester Area Conference of Churches – prepared meals for the homeless, sorted and organized stock in a food pantryNew Dimension Christian Center, Hartford – church nursery and kitchen clean-up“I think that Public Service Day gives you such a great idea, perspective, of what you want to do,” said CLHS junior Tiron Cannon, of Hartford, who traveled with his political science class to make calls and send postcards for Connecticut Democrats at Congressman Joe Courtney’s Enfield Office. “At first, I had a closed mind, I didn’t want to do this. But then being here, it’s not bad! The people are nice, we’re making phone calls. I think it’s good, it instills a lot of good characteristics into the students.” “They’re actively campaigning, experiencing by doing, which is better than just learning in the classroom,” said Kevin Brown, the teacher of the political science class. “They’ve learned about what races are up for election this fall, taken a side, identified their ideology, researched the candidates, written letters to the editor in support, and now this is the piece where they’re out actually doing some campaign work. So this is a chance for them to see it firsthand.”Supervising the students on Public Service Day is a unique opportunity for teachers and staff as well.“It’s an opportunity for us all to get out of the classroom and learn more about each other but also learn about different public service modalities and connect with community members from all walks of life and charities and organizations,” said Jamie Roderick, a Spanish teacher who traveled with students to Goodwin Park in Hartford to help set up for the Holiday Light Fantasia that benefits the Channel 3 Kids Camp.“It’s important that the kids feel ownership and have a genuine interest in bettering the community,” said Keely Ouellette, a chemistry teacher overseeing students sorting clothes for the Charities of Hope thrift store in Hartford’s South End. “ A lot of students live near this location so they’re familiar with the community and it’s important that they realize they can have a role in making it better”Back at the school in Enfield, CLHS seniors hosted a variety of activities for eighth-graders from CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School. The gamut of activities was modeled after CBS’s “The Amazing Race.” “They go all around the building and use their CREC Essential Skills, like problem solving and communicating, and they get hands-on with a lot of our theme-related equipment while the seniors take a leadership role,” said LaChance.“Today, helping eighth-graders, I think this is just an opportunity for me to show them what we do so I can guide them with an opportunity for their future,” said senior Evan Silverio of South Windsor.CLHS students accrue over fifty hours of community service during their time at the school. “If they understand, by the time they walk across that graduation stage in four years, how important it is to give back to their community, we’re doing better than most,” said Larson.CREC Civic Leadership High School’s website is http://clhs.crecschools.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 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 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.

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