August is Back Philanthropy Month

Black Philanthropy Month (BPM), held each August, was created in August 2011 by Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson and the Pan-African Women's Philanthropy Network (PAWPNet) as an annual, global celebration of African-descent giving.

Recognized by the United Nations as part of its Declaration of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent, and declared by Congressman Keith Ellison, with proclamations from Minnesota’s governor and the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, all Black communities and their allies are invited to use August and beyond to promote the power of giving to transform lives.

In 2013, a widespread and concerted effort began to invite public participation in a wave of high-impact events, media stories and service projects.  Expanding each year, the BPM civic engagement and awareness campaign occurs online and in communities with local and global dimensions.

Primary aims of BPM are informing, involving, inspiring and investing in Black philanthropic leadership to strengthen African-American and African-descent giving in all its forms. A new organizing concept frames the BPM campaign each year.

The theme for 2017 is: Giving Voice to Fuel Change.

Themes for past years were:                                                                                                                                   

2016: Elevating A Culture of Giving

2015: A Season of Change

2014: Generosity At Home and Around the Globe

2013: Of Dreams And Mountaintops

 

Help Carver kids sing a new song our nation needs right now - WeR1

GO HERE TO MAKE A DONATION ON THE CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM THE IMPACT VINE

WE HAVE RAISED $710 OF OF OUR $1,500 GOAL. HELP US MAKE THIS SONG A REALITY!

For its 80-year anniversary year, the Carver Foundation of Norwalk is recording a theme song written and sung by world-renowned artists and Carver’s own vocalist! This effort will help make the Carver story known worldwide and advance its mission of Building Lifetime Achievers!

Please give generously to help Carver complete this important project. Your gift will support:

  • Recording Carver’s alumnae Gabbie Pierre-Louis on We R 1
  • Finishing the musical instrument recording for the song
  • The final mix and master of We R 1
  • Filming a short video of Gabbie and Carver students in the studio for a behind the scenes look
  • Releasing We R 1 as a worldwide single on iTunes, Spotify, and all major retail/streaming sites

Goal: $1,500

The Song

Carver alumnae Gabrielle Pierre-Louis will join renowned music artists Michael McDonaldPeabo BrysonOleta Adams and other international star vocalists to produce the song “We R 1” for worldwide distribution. “We R 1” was written by Morris Pleasure and his wife, Lori, in 2002, and recently gifted to Carver. Over the years, Morris Pleasure captured recordings of the artists named above for the future release of the song. The song is sung in the style of the charity single “We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The advent of Gabrielle’s powerful voice brings the professional recording of “We R 1” now to completion.

The Recording

Factory Underground Records is a Norwalk-based independent recording studio. Universal Music Group/Caroline distributes Factory Underground’s label worldwide. “We R 1” will be available soon on Spotify, iTunes, and on many other platforms available in 115 countries. Carver after-school students will observe the recording process at Factory Underground as part of Carver’s STEAM programming.

Gabrielle Pierre-Louise

Carver alumnae and Norwalk resident Gabrielle Pierre-Louise (Gabbie, 21 years old) is currently studying to be a dentist at the University of Bridgeport, inspired by years of helping her mother and father and other family members deliver humanitarian relief and dental care in particular to Haiti and other places in need. Gabbie is a gifted vocalist who is using her prodigious talent to support Carver.

Morris Pleasure

Mr. Pleasure received Carver’s Child of America award at a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, the only time Carver ever conferred this honor apart from Carver’s annual gala. The award recognized Pleasure’s volunteer support of Carver’s “Youth Voice” initiative, WeR1Voice (named after his song). Born and educated in Connecticut, Pleasure is an American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and touring musician. He has recorded and performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Najee, George Duke, Earth, Wind & Fire (a band member for 10 years), Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera, Peter Cetera, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Bette Midler, and many others. Pleasure appeared in the documentary, This Is It, and Janet Jackson’s film, Janet: Live in Hawaii.

We R 1 Lyrics

WE ARE ONE…

 

WE KNOW OUR WORLD HAS GONE ASTRAY

EVIL AND VIOLENCE EVERYDAY

IT CAN’T GO ON THIS WAY FOREVER

FATHER HEAR OUR PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE

 

OUR CHILDREN GROW UP IN A WORLD OF PAIN

IN A LIFE WITHOUT DREAMS WHAT HOPE REMAINS

WE’VE GOT TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER

LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY

 

WE ARE ONE….

 

JUST LIKE THE SUN WILL CROSS THE SKY

EACH DAY A JOURNEY AS TIME GOES BY

WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER

WE MUST BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

WHEN LIFE GETS HARD TO UNDERSTAND

WE HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN THE MASTER’S PLAN

LET’S MAKE A NEW WAY FOR THE CHILDREN

HELP THEM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

ENOUGH OF THIS POVERTY AND DESPAIR

CORRUPTION, INJUSTICE EVERYWHERE

IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON, LET’S WORK TOGETHER

THROUGH UNITY, WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER

 

LET’S BE A BEACON IN THE NIGHT

SPREAD PEACE LIKE WE’RE ANGELS TAKING FLIGHT

A MESSAGE OF LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

HEAL OUR WORLD TODAY

 

DON’T GIVE UP HOPE FOR YOUR BROTHER

HELP HIM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE.

 

LOVE ALL AROUND AND YOU’LL KNOW

THEY’RE PEOPLE WHO’RE BELIEVERS WHEREVER YOU GO

A SMILING FACE WILL SHOW

WE NEED UNITY

IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME.

TMT Alumni Weekend at Carver

TMT wraps up successful alumni weekend

Contributed report; Wednesday, August 9, 2017             See the article at The Hour here.

NORWALK — The first Bub Classic TMT Alumni Basketball Tournament, hosted by the Teaching and Mentoring Through Basketball program, was a huge success according to those who ran the two-day event at Norwalk High and the Carver Center.

Four $500 scholarships were handed out Sunday, including two to alumni players Justice and Ian Gardner.

Norwalk High graduates Deandre Russell, left, and Sarah St. Surin were the recipients of $500 scholarships in honor of TMT Basketball founder Mike McElveen. The two were presented their scholarships as part of TMT’s alumni weekend at Norwalk High and the Carver Center.

Norwalk High graduates Deandre Russell, left, and Sarah St. Surin were the recipients of $500 scholarships in honor of TMT Basketball founder Mike McElveen. The two were presented their scholarships as part of TMT’s alumni weekend at Norwalk High and the Carver Center.

Norwalk High graduates Sarah St. Surin and Deandre Russell were also given scholarships in honor of TMT co-founder Mike McElveen, who died earlier this year.

The winning TMT alumni team included Evan Kelly, John Boykin, Brian Wade, Moriba Keita, Antwan Boyd, Lamar Tate, Takari Smalls and Tyler Shular.

TMT Basketball would like to thank everyone who supported the event, especially the event sponsors Carver Center, AFSCME LOCAL2405, Sign Smart, Jordan’s Too Restaurant & Pizza, Famous Pizza House, Slice of Italy Pizza, Prime Burger, C&S Grocery (The Yellow Store), SONO Harbor Deli, Pauli’s Bagels & Deli, Supreme Auto Collision, East Avenue Pizza, Gene The Barber, Inside The Locker Room with Ant and Jay and Crown Trophy. 

All proceeds will benefit the TMT Scholarship Program, the National Kidney Foundation and the TMT Basketball Program.

This team of TMT Basketball alumni won last weekend’s tournament. From left: front row, Evan Kelly, John Boykin, Brian Wade and Moriba Keita; back row, Antwan Boyd, Lamar Tate, Takari Smalls and Tyler Shular.

This team of TMT Basketball alumni won last weekend’s tournament. From left: front row, Evan Kelly, John Boykin, Brian Wade and Moriba Keita; back row, Antwan Boyd, Lamar Tate, Takari Smalls and Tyler Shular.

The Hour: TMT Basketball returns to Carver!

TMT Basketball alumni come back to give back

By John Nash                          See the article in The Hour here

NORWALK — In 2001, Terrence Fuller and Mike McElveen decided to reach out to the youth of their home city, teaching and mentoring through basketball.

That’s how TMT Basketball was born.

This weekend, more than 70 players who played either youth, travel, or AAU basketball at TMT Basketball are coming back to their home city to honor one of their own.

The first Bub Classic TMT Alumni Basketball Tournament will be held Saturday at Norwalk High School and Sunday at the Carver Center.

Multiple alumni teams are expected to be formed along with games involving present-day players at the two sites. All told, 11 alumni games are on tap.

The tournament’s moniker — Bub — is in honor of McElveen, who died last year after a short illness.

“Mike and myself, we had always kind of talked about getting some of our kids together that had graduated and gone on to college,” said Fuller, director of TMT basketball. “We wanted to put them in a tournament or something of that nature.”

Mike EcElveen

Mike EcElveen

An alumni tournament including all of his former players proved to be the most popular idea.

“We ran it past some of the guys and they were excited about it,” Fuller said.

Since TMT was founded it has helped to produce a who’s who of basketball players from the city.

Some of the alumni expected to be back this weekend are Evan Kelley (Sacred Heart), Steven Enoch (UConn/Louisville), Roy Kane Jr. (New Haven), Drew Sawyer (Endicott) and former McMahon basketball standout Lamar Tate, who now coaches with TMT.

As part of the weekend, TMT will be giving away four scholarships — two $500 scholarships to program alumni, and two $500 scholarships in honor of McElveen.

Norwalk High graduates Deandre Russell and Sarah St. Surin will be honored as McElveen scholarship recipients, while Notre Dame-Fairfield graduate Ian Gardner (Dominican College) and Trinity Catholic product Justice Page (Hartford) will receive alumni scholarships.

Those will be awarded during a special ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at the Carver Center.

The tournament will benefit TMT’s scholarship fund, the basketball program itself and a donation to the National Kidney Foundation in McElveen’s name.

“Mike has done a lot for this city as far as basketball and being a mentor and coach, not just inside TMT but outside, too,” Fuller said. “He was a phenomenal guy for this community.”

Honoring McElveen through those he helped mold as young men is a way for him to keep giving back, Fuller said.

“It’s our alumni and they meant a lot to him,” Fuller said. “This allows us to keep Mike’s legacy moving in the right direction.”

Games begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and will continue through 6 p.m. both days.

Help Carver Professionally Record & Distribute Its Theme Song, We R 1

GO TO THE IMAPCT VINE HERE TO MAKE YOUR DONATION. 

For its 80-year anniversary year, the Carver Foundation of Norwalk is recording a theme song written and sung by world-renowned artists and Carver’s own vocalist! This effort will help make the Carver story known worldwide and advance its mission of Building Lifetime Achievers!

Almost everything is already donated by the artists and producers. Please give generously to help Carver complete this important project. Your gift will support:

  • Recording Carver’s alumnae Gabbie Pierre-Louis on We R 1
  • Finishing the musical instrument recording for the song
  • The final mix and master of We R 1
  • Filming a short video of Gabbie and Carver students in the studio for a behind the scenes look
  • Releasing We R 1 as a worldwide single on iTunes, Spotify, and all major retail/streaming sites

Goal: $1,500

The Song

Carver alumnae Gabrielle Pierre-Louis will join renowned music artists Michael McDonaldPeabo BrysonOleta Adams and other international star vocalists to produce the song “We R 1” for worldwide distribution. “We R 1” was written by Morris Pleasure and his wife, Lori, in 2002, and recently gifted to Carver. Over the years, Morris Pleasure captured recordings of the artists named above for the future release of the song. The song is sung in the style of the charity single “We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The advent of Gabrielle’s powerful voice brings the professional recording of “We R 1” now to completion.

The Recording

Factory Underground Records is a Norwalk-based independent recording studio. Universal Music Group/Caroline distributes Factory Underground’s label worldwide. “We R 1” will be available soon on Spotify, iTunes, and on many other platforms available in 115 countries. Carver after-school students will observe the recording process at Factory Underground as part of Carver’s STEAM programming.

Gabrielle Pierre-Louise

Carver alumnae and Norwalk resident Gabrielle Pierre-Louise (Gabbie, 21 years old) is currently studying to be a dentist at the University of Bridgeport, inspired by years of helping her mother and father and other family members deliver humanitarian relief and dental care in particular to Haiti and other places in need. Gabbie is a gifted vocalist who is using her prodigious talent to support Carver.

Morris Pleasure

Mr. Pleasure received Carver’s Child of America award at a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, the only time Carver ever conferred this honor apart from Carver’s annual gala. The award recognized Pleasure’s volunteer support of Carver’s “Youth Voice” initiative, WeR1Voice (named after his song). Born and educated in Connecticut, Pleasure is an American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and touring musician. He has recorded and performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Najee, George Duke, Earth, Wind & Fire (a band member for 10 years), Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera, Peter Cetera, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Bette Midler, and many others. Pleasure appeared in the documentary, This Is It, and Janet Jackson’s film, Janet: Live in Hawaii.

We R 1 Lyrics

WE ARE ONE…

WE KNOW OUR WORLD HAS GONE ASTRAY

EVIL AND VIOLENCE EVERYDAY

IT CAN’T GO ON THIS WAY FOREVER

FATHER HEAR OUR PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE

 

OUR CHILDREN GROW UP IN A WORLD OF PAIN

IN A LIFE WITHOUT DREAMS WHAT HOPE REMAINS

WE’VE GOT TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER

LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY

 

WE ARE ONE….

 

JUST LIKE THE SUN WILL CROSS THE SKY

EACH DAY A JOURNEY AS TIME GOES BY

WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER

WE MUST BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

WHEN LIFE GETS HARD TO UNDERSTAND

WE HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN THE MASTER’S PLAN

LET’S MAKE A NEW WAY FOR THE CHILDREN

HELP THEM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

ENOUGH OF THIS POVERTY AND DESPAIR

CORRUPTION, INJUSTICE EVERYWHERE

IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON, LET’S WORK TOGETHER

THROUGH UNITY, WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER

 

LET’S BE A BEACON IN THE NIGHT

SPREAD PEACE LIKE WE’RE ANGELS TAKING FLIGHT

A MESSAGE OF LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

HEAL OUR WORLD TODAY

 

DON’T GIVE UP HOPE FOR YOUR BROTHER

HELP HIM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE.

 

LOVE ALL AROUND AND YOU’LL KNOW

THEY’RE PEOPLE WHO’RE BELIEVERS WHEREVER YOU GO

A SMILING FACE WILL SHOW

WE NEED UNITY

IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME.

Cost to professionally record and distribute Carver’s theme song, We R 1: $1,500

Summer learning is crucial to closing Norwalk's achievement gap

Summer learning stimulates curiosity, builds background knowledge, contributes to social and emotional development, and expands social networks. It prepares young people for the school year ahead. The damage of not having a summer of learning and discovery is direct and acute. On average, low-income students fall behind academically – and the effect is cumulative, furthering our persistent state achievement gap. Research shows that over half of the gap by ninth grade can be attributed to this phenomenon of summer learning loss.

The gap in spending on enrichment has nearly doubled over the past 30 years, with the top income quintile of households now outspending the bottom quintile by seven times. We also know more about the importance of these experiences to school performance. Most importantly, the economic, health, and educational stakes are higher for those who do not complete school successfully. Schools alone are unlikely to close achievement gaps or equip students with all the skills they need to succeed in college and careers. Summer is a key variable in the school success equation.

Carver's successful approach for more than 700 youth has been to engage kids based on their interests. They all learn the basics with support from certified teachers, but also learn new skills and make amazing discoveries in the field trips such as on the schooner Soundwaters, visiting the Maritime Aquarium and Stepping Stones Museum, and so much more. Throughout this network of programs, students are applying academic concepts in enriching “real world” experiences.

National research conducted by RAND, supported by The Wallace Foundation, reveals a significant advantage in math in the fall for summer learning program participants over their peers. Evaluations show students are improving their skills of critical thinking, collaboration, perseverance, and self-management over the summer. Summer learning presents a unique and targeted investment opportunity with solid returns.

Since many families throughout Fairfield County have the wherewithal to access national and inetrantaional summer programs, Carver focuses on those families who do not have the time, means, or language abilities to organize these activities for their children. Carver parents can work without the constant strain of finding childcare. And Carver students stay on track with their peers while adding positive—often transformational—experiences to their sense of who they are and can yet become.

Carver Campers' Summer Field Trip to Stepping Stones Museum

More than just a physical space, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children offers vital learning experiences that enable young people to discover, create, test, explore, observe, predict and make sense of the world around them.

Through their tours and workshops, young minds experience interactive, fun-filled learning spring to life. Engaging museum exhibits, spaces and programs support Carver's and the museum's guiding concept that children learn through play.

Thank you, Stepping Stones Museum, for all the excitement and wonder you instill in our summer campers!

West Rocks Middle School Summer Transition Program

The West Rocks Middle School Success Summer Academy is a 5-week summer program that helps 58 transitioning students from Cranbury, Tracey and Wolfpit elementary schools prepare to enter the 6th grade in the fall.

Research shows that one of the most difficult transition points in education is from elementary to middle school. Navigating a larger environment, excelling with grades, having multiple teachers, and juggling competing priorities can be challenging. The Middle School Success Summer Academy is an effective bridge into middle school.

Students participate in English, math, social studies, science, technology and study skills. They  begin developing an individual student success plan using Naviance. Students take field trips to enhance team building and the academic program. Transportation, breakfast and lunch are provided for free each day. 

The students are reading Bridge to Terabithia, a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Paterson and won the Newbery Medal. The novel tells the story of a fifth grader who becomes friends with his new neighbor after he loses a footrace to her at school. After meeting Leslie, his life is transformed. They create a kingdom for themselves, which Leslie names "Terabithia." When at the end something very tragic happens to Leslie, Jess learns to overcome it and stay strong.

The summer program helps practice the mathematical study skills necessary for success in middle school. Students participate in hands-on activities that include science literacy and numeracy. Using academic sources, discussion, and group work, students investigate exciting historical events. Students practice research and presentation skills in preparation for 6th grade research projects. Students learn how to prepare for class, develop textbook reading strategies, use effective note- taking techniques, strengthen their test-taking skills, and carry their skills forward. Using Naviance, students begin developing an individualized student success plan to address their specific needs and interests. Using Chromebooks, students start to utilize Google Apps for Education to be successful. The course focuses on Google Drive, Google Classroom and the keys to using technology for learning in Middle School.

Carver and West Rocks Middle School have successfully partnered for many years to conduct the after-school Youth Development Program. Carver is honored to be able to work with Dr. Lynn Moore and her staff this summer, led by teacher Michael Richards, to help their new 6th graders prepare for school in the fall. 

Carver's Summer Transition Program at Roton Middle School

Cooking class!

Cooking class!

Carver produces summer transition programs for students entering into middle and high school in the fall. Here are photos of our students attending our summer transition program at Roton Middle School.

A key indicator of a successful middle school experience is a positive transition from elementary school. Unfortunately, here are the questions most students are asking during the summer: 

"Will there really be that much more homework?"

"What if I can't find the bathroom in that big school?"

"Will I be able to open my locker?"

These questions and more pour through the minds of incoming middle school students the summer before school begins. They are the cause for many sleepless nights and a summer of anxiety and anticipation. (Notice there is no mention of academics or learning.)

What Carver Offers 

Carver offers a comprehensive "Transition to Middle School" program to help incoming middle school students be positive and look forward to the coming year. Lead by the school's certified teachers, Carver's program helps students form a realistic expectation of what middle school will be like, it provides a positive and successful first impression, and it insures a successful introduction to the middle school experience. Parents, too, have their concerns and questions answered about their children's transition from elementary to middle school. 

Carver Involves All the Stakeholders

Carver's program offers a systematic transition program involving all the stakeholders: students, school personnel, and parents. Incoming middle school students are involved in a variety of activities preparing them for middle school. They have the opportunity to meet middle school students and teachers. Educators provide activities for students that lessen their concerns, build their confidence, and reduce their anxiety. 

Making the transition into middle school is the first and most significant step to insuring a successful middle school experience. It deserves the time and attention that Carver gives it. Carver's well-planned transition program helps parents and students have a greater peace of mind by taking some of the stress out of the summer before middle school and providing the groundwork for a successful beginning of the middle school adventure.

Summer Campers Go Bowling!

20157783_2001703533188796_670737681993272404_o.jpg

In addition to the educational programs to prepare our campers for returning to school in the fall, we take our campers on field trips.

Today, some of our boys went to Nutmeg Bowl in Fairfield.

The game of ten-pin bowling is divided into ten rounds (called "frames"). In a frame, each player is given two opportunities to knock down the skittle targets (called "pins"). The player rolls the first ball at the pins. If the first ball knocks down all ten pins, it is called a "strike" and the frame is completed. When pins are left standing after the first ball, those that are knocked down are counted and then removed. Then the player rolls a second ball and if all the remaining pins are knocked down, it is called a "spare". There are bonuses for removing all the pins. Play passes to the next player until all players have completed the frame. Then play continues with the next frame. The final or tenth frame of a game may involve three balls.

Not sure everyone knew the all the rules, but we are sure everyone had a marvelous time!

The Y Teaches Our Summer Campers How to Swim!

The Riverbrook Regional YMCA at the Wilton branch is an integral part of the Carver community. The Y shares its human and physical resources with other agencies such as Carver that can benefit from collaboration. 

Right now, the Y Youth Swimming Lesson Program is helping Carver summer campers to become competent and confident swimmers! Children are introduced to the water through a graduated series of lessons developed and standardized by the YMCA of the USA. The program is divided into age groups, and children move through the levels at their own pace as their abilities and skills grow. 

Carver's beginning swimmers work on water acclimation, safety, and basic swimming skills. Children may or may not swim independently with a float belt. Our more advanced youth work on swim strokes for front and back, safety, self-confidence, and endurance. 

It's collaborations like this with the Y that makes the goals and dreams of our youth possible. THANK YOU, the Y!