Help us build a new playground at the Carver Community Center!
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We are almost halfway to our goal of raising $30,000. The interns from New Canaan High School planned and implemented this campaign thus far. Help us bring the new playground all the way home for Carver kids! 

Here is the online giving platform for this campaign. Carver's current playground is aging and was build for pre-kindergartgen children. What we need is a playground with all the latest safety and fun learning features for K-5 aged children, including a new padded surface that ties together all the pieces of our planned playground together.

Ask children, “How was school today?” and you’re likely to hear about what they experienced in playtime. In Carver after school and summer programs, play can include robotics and many other hands-on project-based activities, but we never lose sight of the fundamental value of play as it’s been understood and enjoyed through the centuries.

For many children, the time on the playground represents the emotional core of their day. Whether they come home light- or heavy-hearted depends on what happened during play time. Researchers say that one of the best predictors of whether kids feel happy in school is whether they feel comfortable and competent during play.

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Philosophers and child development experts have been trumpeting the importance of play for centuries. Piaget said that children discover the world through play. Friedrich Froebel, who opened the first kindergarten in 1837, called play “deeply significant.” And Plato believed that children had to grow up in an atmosphere of play to become virtuous citizens. In the face of this accumulated wisdom, we are grateful to you for helping us reimagine and recreate the playground at the Carver Community Center.

Play requires the acquisition of a complex set of skills. It’s not just about exercising or letting off steam. It’s about making agreements with others as equals, stepping into an imagined structure, and accepting that structure even when things don’t go your way. This may be why Plato considered play the ideal preparation for citizenship.

Thank you for helping us build healthy and happy citizens at Carver!

 

Jim Schaffer
Fairfield County Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma reads to Carver kids!
 Betsy Kelley Evans (R) and Meri Erickson read to Carver kids

Betsy Kelley Evans (R) and Meri Erickson read to Carver kids

For more then a decade, the Fairfield County Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma has been volunteering at Carver’s after school program. Members of the sorority travel to the Carver Community Center quarterly with a special book to read to our CASPER K-5 students. It is followed with homemade desserts and an art project.

Kappa has a total membership of more than 260,000 women, with 140 collegiate chapters in the United States and Canada and 307 alumnae associations worldwide. Although the groundwork of the organization was developed as early as 1869, the 1876 Convention voted for October 13, 1870 to be recognized as the official Founders Day as no earlier charter date could be determined.

Kappa Kappa Gamma is a women's fraternity due to its founding before the term "sorority" came into use. Because men were able to create fraternities at the time, Kappa Kappa Gamma's founders did the same, but as the fraternity admits only women, it is referred to as a sorority. The fraternity is a founding member of the National Panhellenic Conference(NPC), an umbrella organization that includes 26 American sororities.

Here are just a few "firsts" that this prestigious sorority is proud to have.

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  • In 1942 Kappa was the first women's fraternity to set up Service Women's Centers during World War II.
  • In 1952 Kappa Kappa Gamma was the first to purchase a Headquarters building, and base their operations permanently in Columbus, Ohio.
  • In 1980 The Heritage Museum was established, and Kappa became the first fraternity to own and operate a public museum.
  • In 1989 The Minnie Stewart Foundation purchased the Stewart family home, which was then merged into the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation in 2000. Kappa is the only women's fraternity to own the home of a Founder and operate two historic house museums.
  • In 2000 Kappa Kappa Gamma launched Pathways – Kappa's Continuous Education Experience, leading men's and women's fraternities into new frontiers of education and training.
  • In 2002 Kappa Kappa Gamma released The Voyage of Discovery, a virtual tour through women's history.
  • In 2009 Kappa Kappa Gamma launched the Kappa Learning Institute, an interactive online portal which provides free e-courses to active members and alumnae.

Thank you to KKG for your on-going partnership!

Jim Schaffer
The John and Ethel Kashulon Foundation supports Carver's educational programs
 On behalf of the entire Carver community, Novelette Peterkin expressed her deepest gratitude for the generosity of the Kashulon Foundation to Martin McLaughlin, trustee of the Kashulon Foundation.

On behalf of the entire Carver community, Novelette Peterkin expressed her deepest gratitude for the generosity of the Kashulon Foundation to Martin McLaughlin, trustee of the Kashulon Foundation.

Carver is the recent recipient of a $5,000 grant for the advancement of Carver students. 

The mission of the John and Ethel Kashulon Foundation is to improve people’s lives through the funding of programs whose mission and projects align with its three unified goals of enhancing Educational, Children’s and Cultural opportunities.

Ethel Orco Kashulon was a lifelong Bridgeport resident until her passing in 2017. She graduated from Saints Cyril and Methodius Commercial High School, and immediately began working at the Bridgeport Housing Authority, where she was recognized as being their longest serving employee, retiring at age seventy after fifty-three years of employment.  
For many years, Mrs Kashulon also worked at the family business, Kashulon’s Market, on Sheridan Street in Bridgeport. Devout Catholics, she and her husband, John Kashulon, had been an active members of Saint Cyril and Methodius Parish, Bridgeport for over fifty years. John Kashulon and Ethel were married on Halloween, October 31, 1960, and enjoyed 36 years of marriage until the passing of Mr. Kashulton. 

The foundation was created in their memory and the Carver community is deeply grateful for being one of the recipients of the foundation's thoughtful giving. 

Jim Schaffer
Carver's 2018 Testimonial Dinner!
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Young people and their proud parents came together at the Carver Community Center for our Annual Testimonial Dinner on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Each year, the Carver Foundation of Norwalk awards Carver students, including current college students, with scholarships and recognition.

We also recognize our Volunteer of the Year, High School Volunteer of the Year, and our College Graduate of the Year. We honor all our college graduates, high school graduates, most improved students of the year, and many other levels of graduation and achievement. 

This year, Carver awarded $84,500 in financial college scholarships. 

See the photos on Facebook here!

 

Jim Schaffer
New Canaan High School student group organizes a walkathon to benefit Carver kids!
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Led by Carver Club founder, Kiera Russo, here are some of the young people at New Canaan High School who recently produced a walkathon raising $1,393 for the benefit of Carver kids: Nathiya Vasantha Kumaran; Emily Bacon; Skye Curren; Kaleigh McCarthy; Cait McCarthy; Kayla Homan; Erin Bean; Julia Tamburro; Ellie Scott; Betsy Marsh; Chloe Stanley; Sky Davidson; Ari Rothman; Isabella Hamilton; and Celia Sokolowski. 

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Walkathon sponsors included Mad Dog Sports Radio, Get OutDoors Club, and Vicolo's Pizza in New Canaan.

See the article here at the New Canaan High School Courant about the creation of the Carver Club at the school.

See the Carver blog post here about the NCHS students visiting with Carver kids and bringing them joy and wellness.

Thank you, Carver Club!

Jim Schaffer
Deloitte's Annual Impact Day at Carver
 Senator Richard Blumenthal greeting the employees making Deloitte Impact Day 2018 such a success

Senator Richard Blumenthal greeting the employees making Deloitte Impact Day 2018 such a success

Deloitte’s annual day of service—Impact Day—is a longstanding tradition (this is their 19th year) both globally and at Carver. The Impact Day at Carver is led by Deloitte employee and member of the Carver Board of Directors, and also Carver's Treasurer, Jude Earl Alaba!

See all the photos HERE on Facebook of their day at Carver!

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Today was a celebration of Deloitte’s year-round commitment to collectively making an impact that matters in our communities. It’s also one of the top reasons cited for why Deloitte was ranked No. 6 by Fortune and Great Place to Work on their 2017 list of the “50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back.”

On Impact Day, Deloitte professionals and leaders come together in 80 cities across the country to work on more than 1,000 projects for nearly 190,000 collective hours of service. At Carver, Deloitte volunteers refurbished the inside and outside of the Carver Community Center!

Together, they help tackle community and societal challenges on Impact Day—and year-round. Through these efforts, they focus on helping to strengthen our communities—whether it’s helping diverse, underserved groups reach their full potential or assisting community organizations—which in turn can help strengthen America’s future workforce and its economy.

THANK YOU, DELOITTE!

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Jim Schaffer
Rowayton Connections 2018!
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Thanks to our hosts, Allyson and John Griffin, and to our amazing annual Rowayton Connections committee, some 80 Rowayton residents and friends gathered at the Griffin's beautiful home to celebrate Carver students' success and to raise new funds for Carver college scholarships.

SEE ALL THE PHOTOS HERE AT FACEBOOK!

Carver students and staff were present to share their individual stories, and speakers such as Board of Education Chair Michael Barbis and Mayor Rilling. 

THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

Jim Schaffer
Carver alumnus, Kenneth Shuler (FNX), writes letter to The Hour
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Hi hop artist credits Carver center

Published Thursday, June 7, 2018 SEE THE LETTER AT THE HOUR HERE

My name is Ken Shuler, also known as FNX, and I am a hip hop artist and small business owner. I would like to open with a quote from George Washington Carver.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” 

(...and the letter continues at The Hour linked above)

Carver alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler (and here) wrote and rapped "We Are Carver" as a tribute to Sean Combs who received the Child of America award at Carver's 80th Anniversary gala on May 11th. FNX was joined by Carver alumnae Gabbie Pierre-Louis and a chorus of Carver youth. Kenny Cash produced the music, cinematography was by John Shyloski, and Marc Alan edited the music video. All are associated with Carver's great supporter, Factory Underground. "We Are Carver" will now live on as Carver's anthem! 

Jim Schaffer
New Canaan High School Interns are Transforming Carver!
 Standing fourth from left,  Miranda Malinowski , Global Head of Recruiting for Facebook, visiting the interns at Carver to share career advice and guidance. Janine Smith is standing first right. 

Standing fourth from left, Miranda Malinowski, Global Head of Recruiting for Facebook, visiting the interns at Carver to share career advice and guidance. Janine Smith is standing first right. 

Long-time Carver volunteer and donor (and former Carver board member), Janine Smith of New Canaan, recruited interns from New Canaan High School to assist Carver in accomplishing important projects over six weeks.

Janine is working with the group of interns as part of their high school senior year volunteer project. They began on May 22. They are working on their Carver projects 5 days per week. The program ends on June 20. 

The interns are divided into three teams of three with specific projects assigned. (1) Plan a weekly "Friday Fun Day” for CASPER students and facilitate the activities each Friday from 4PM to 5:15PM. They determine the hands-on learning activities and all the supplies and logistics for K-5th grade students. (2) Create a Carver Alumni Association. Research best practices and launch the initiative primarily on Facebook to reach alumni over the 80 years of Carver's existence. The Carver Alumni association will support Carver's goals and strengthen the ties between alumni and the community. (3) Design and raise the money needed to refurbish the playground at the Carver Community Center.

Here is an article in Newcanaanite.com about the program, and an excerpt below from this article that features the Carver interns. 

To intern Grace Brady, who works at the Carver Center in Norwalk, that made all the difference.

“I wanted to do this internship because I am able to directly give back to the communities surrounding New Canaan, and see its impact on a personal level,” Brady said. “I wanted to see if nonprofit work was something I’d be interested in in the future.”

She is working alongside nine other interns at the Carver Center, where they are tasked with three main projects—restoring the playground, creating an alumni association, and planning ‘Friday Fun Days.’

Since its debut in 2011, SIP has been received very well by participating employers. New organizations, such as the Carver Center, are seeing for the first time how high school interns can benefit their cause.

“I am thrilled to have nine dynamic, intelligent seniors interning with me to promote our mission of building lifetime achievers and helping kids with the most challenges graduate,” Director Janine Smith said. 

Jim Schaffer
Carver in the news: Carver Gala Honoring Sean Combs Raises $1 million+
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See the article here. Carver’s 80th Anniversary Gala Raises More than $1 Million

Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, Presents Child of America Award to Sean Combs

Carver’s 80th Anniversary gala on Friday, May 11th at Shorehaven Golf Club raised more than $1 million to advance the Carver mission of “building lifetime achievers.”

In addition to Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates presenting Carver’s annual Child of America award to Sean Combs, Mayor Rilling, Representative Bob Duff, Stamford Mayor David Martin and New Canaan Selectman Nick Williams joined the nearly 300 guests in making this gala a joyous and significant event. 

“This was a gala for the ages,” said Novelette Peterkin, Carver’s Executive Director. “At this event our gala committee, sponsors and guests kept faith with Carver’s founders and our namesake, George Washington Carver, in giving all we could to help this generation of Norwalk’s youth succeed in school and life. Carver was founded 80 years ago on values and built through the years on integrity. Carver’s original volunteer leaders may never have envisioned Carver’s reach and success today, but in all the important ways, Carver never changed. The success of this year’s gala demonstrates how much we care about achieving the very best for each Carver child.”

Sean Combs was especially appreciative of the Carver award and mission. He spoke at length about the pivotal role after school and summer programs played in his youth and his commitment to such programs across the country today.

For the live auction Mr. Combs offered his East Hampton mansion for a week where the famous “White Party” was held. Then he helped the auctioneer to auction it. He was up and engaging with our audience. Combs then doubled the auction offering, selling it to the two top bidders for $25K apiece. 

A number of Carver students and alumni spoke to resounding standing ovations. There were many other high points, including Carver alumnae Gabriel Pierre-Louis singing during the reception; a special video greeting by Carver kids; the high drama of the Silent Auction, Paddle Raise and Live Auction managed by the thrilling Robbie Gordy; a music video of Carver kids and Carver Alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler rapping Carver's new anthem, "We Are Carver"; and then the exuberant fellowship afterward.

Jim Schaffer
Fairfield County Bank sponsors 20 Carver students to attend "An Evening with Rebecca Lobo" at Stepping Stones
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Fairfield County Bank sponsored 20 Carver students to experience a fun and motivational evening with Rebecca Lobo! The UCONN legend and Basketball Hall of Famer visited Stepping Stones for a VIP reception followed by a personal and inspirational speech about the importance of balancing academics, family, and sports to achieve her goals. The audience had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask Rebecca questions during a Q&A session in the museum's Multimedia Gallery. 

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Proceeds from the event support the museum's summer learning programs. These programs work to educate the Rebecca Lobos of tomorrow by providing children from underserved backgrounds with little to no formal preschool learning, literacy- and language-rich learning experiences that will prepare them for entering kindergarten in the fall.

Jim Schaffer
Carver STEAM Student Showcase!
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Yesterday, Carver conducted another of its series of STEAM showcases. 

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills are in high demand among today’s workers, and one of the best ways to equip future employees with these skills is to start early. Carver STEAM programs help Norwalk students with these skills. After-school is a vital part of the solution for bringing more educational opportunities to kids, particularly for low-income kids and for kids who are in underserved populations. 

This study from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation found that 70 percent of students who participated in after-school programs such as those offered by Carver experienced positive gains in those subjects. The study found that 80 percent of students reported a positive gain in their science career knowledge, 78 percent said their interest in science had increased, 72 percent reported an increase in their perseverance and critical thinking skills and 73 percent reported an increase in the personal belief that he or she can do well and succeed at science.

Jim Schaffer
Join the Edisun Pre-Memorial Day Salute to Veterans Benefit at Wall Street Theater!
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Join many of Carver's friends at the Pre-Memorial Day Salute to Veterans Benefit at the Wall Street Theater on Saturday, May 26, 2018! The event will feature Norwalk, CT-rock group Edisun which has played for the United States Armed Forces overseas since 2005, touring in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. On their last tour in Afghanistan in 2016, the members of Edisun experienced a rocket attack by local insurgents, highlighting the ever-present dangers to performing in a war zone.  

Edisun is part of Factory Underground, a Norwalk record label and music studio that is a constant Carver partner on many important projects.

Edisun will receive an award from Connecticut State Senator Bob Duff at the show on May 26th. Mayor Harry Rilling will speak about Norwalk's proud history of military service. 

he performance will also feature Connecticut's Got Talent winner Riki Stevens, and Paul Green's Rock Academy Band. Paul Green is the original founder of School of Rock. This band is comprised of outstanding young musicians ages 15-18 from Norwalk and New Canaan.

The event is ten dollars, and all proceeds are going to Homes for the Brave, a highly regarded charity in Bridgeport that provides housing and support services for homeless CT Veterans. 

ickets are available online at: www.WallStreetTheater.co!

Jim Schaffer
Novelette Peterkin received award at the 2018 LIVE UNITED Celebration
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On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, at the Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT, the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County honored Novelette Peterkin, Carver's Executive Director, with the annual Elizabeth Roberts "Changing the Odds for Children Award."

The Live United awards are named for a key person in the life of each of the United Ways that came together in 2008 to form today’s United Way of Coastal Fairfield County:  Madison Sayles, United Way of Norwalk & Wilton; Norman Leeds, United Way of Eastern Fairfield County; and Elizabeth Roberts, United Way of Westport-Weston.  A few years after the merger, UWCFC created the August F. Serra Award, also given annually at our Live United Celebration.

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Elizabeth G. Roberts, known as Betty by those close to her, was considered by many as the driving force and inspiration of United Way of Westport-Weston.

Here is the list of all of this year's honorees at this annual United Way event..

Award of Distinction
Joseph M. Carbone, President & CEO, The WorkPlace

Bridgeport Prospers Partnership Award
William M. Jennings, President & CEO, Bridgeport Hospital 

Collective Impact Leadership Award
Carmen Colon, Vice President, Bridgeport Ys 

Carla Miklos, Executive Director, Operation Hope

The Elizabeth Roberts "Changing the Odds for Children Award"
Novelette Peterkin, Executive Director, The Carver Foundation of Norwalk 

The Madison Sayles "Neighbors Helping Neighbors Award"
William J. Haas, Ph.D., President & CEO, LifeBridge Community Services 

The August F. Serra "Community Engagement Award for a Lifetime of Excellence in Community Engagement Work Award"
Charles B. Tisdale, Executive Director, Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABDC) 

The Norman Leeds "Giving Back to the Community Awards"

Tocqueville Level Giving and Engagement
Carla Klein, The Klein Family Foundation 

Chairman's Circle Partnership: Aquarion Water Company; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; GE; People's United Bank; and Pepperidge Farm.

Jim Schaffer
Carver's 80th Anniversary Gala raises more than $1 million

Carver's 80th Anniversary Gala was truly an event for the ages!

Here is a Facebook photo album of 148 gala reception photos. Here is a photo album of 206 gala evening program photos

Joining us in this celebration were Ray Dalio presenting our Child of America award to Sean Combs, elected officials, Carver students and alumni, many generous supporters, program partners and staff, devoted friends and volunteers. It was a time of joy and of raising crucial support for the enduring work of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk. 

There were many moments during the evening that deserve their own blog posts. Carver alumnae Gabriel Pierre-Louis singing during the reception; a special video greeting by Carver kids; Carver alumni sharing their stories; the high drama of the Silent Auction, Paddle Raise and Live Auction managed by the thrilling Robbie Gordy; Ray Dalio presenting the Child of America award to Sean Combs; a music video of Carver kids and Carver Alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler rapping Carver's new anthem, "We Are Carver"; and then the exuberant fellowship afterward.

Jim Schaffer
See the music video: WE ARE CARVER!
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Carver alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler (and here) wrote and rapped "We Are Carver" as a tribute to Sean Combs who received the Child of America award at Carver's 80th Anniversary gala on May 11th. FNX was joined by Carver alumnae Gabbie Pierre-Louis and a chorus of Carver youth. Kenny Cash produced the music, cinematography was by John Shyloski, and Marc Alan edited the music video. All are associated with Carver's great supporter, Factory Underground. "We Are Carver" will now live on as Carver's anthem! 

Jim Schaffer
The 80th Anniversary Gala was truly an event for the ages!
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Carver's 80th Anniversary Gala was truly an event for the ages! Joining us in this celebration were Ray Dalio presenting our Child of America award to Sean Combs, elected officials, Carver students and alumni, many generous supporters, program partners and staff, devoted friends and volunteers. It was a time of joy and of raising crucial support for the enduring work of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk. 

There were many moments during the evening that deserve their own blog posts, Carver alumnae Gabriel Pierre-Louis singing during the reception; a video greeting by Carver kids; Carver alumni sharing their stories; the high drama of the Silent Auction, Paddle Raise and Live Auction managed by the thrilling Robbie Gordy; Ray Dalio presenting the Child of America award to Sean Combs; a music video of Carver kids and Carver Alumnus Kenneth "FNX" Shuler rapping Carver's new anthem, "We Are Carver"; and then the exuberant fellowship afterward.

And those are merely the headlines. This is the first post of more to come!

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Jim Schaffer