"Black Panther" is more than just a movie

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Carver took students to see "Black Panther" the movie yesterday. The movie is headed for breaking box office records,  not only because it is well received by the critics, but mostly because it has an important message that minority children are valued. The movie is elevating role models for Carver's young people. Carver and countless organizations around the world are raising funds to help send children to see the movie. 

Exploring issues of privilege and power, the movie is based on the black superhero character created in 1966 by Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. "'Black Panther' follows T'Challa who, after the events of 'Captain America: Civil War,' returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to take his place as King. However, when an old enemy reappears on the radar, T'Challa's mettle as King and Black Panther is tested when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the entire fate of Wakanda and the world at risk."

The movie may very well in the end be more impactful as something to contemplate and remember than to watch. 

 

 

Carver begins new after school program in Brookside and Tracey Elementary Schools

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Today, thanks to vital new financial support from 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Carver began its new after school enrichment services to 5th grade students attending Brookside and Tracey Elementary Schools. We will also provide a Summer Transition Program for these same students who will be entering Roton and West Rocks Middle Schools in next fall.

Carver’s after-school personalized learning model starting today will compliment regular school day learning for 5th grade students with certified teachers from their respective schools and other professionals delivering Literacy, Math, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Science, enrichment, recreation and wellness programming through structured activities that have been proven by Carver to achieve significant academic improvement. Carver will also provide a Summer Transition Program for 80% of these students who will be transitioning into Roton and West Rocks Middle Schools. Carver will offer parents literacy, technology classes and related educational opportunities and support. 

Carver’s after-school Youth Development Program (YDP) provides students (a minimum of 4 days per week, 2.5 hours per day, not including field trips, career fairs, etc.) with a variety of learning opportunities that compliment and enrich school-day instruction, utilizing the Scientific Research Based Interventions (SRBI) three-tier learning framework. YDP emphasizes successful instruction for all students through high quality core education practices, as well as targeted interventions for students experiencing difficulties. YDP ensures the differentiation of instruction for all learners, including students performing above and below grade level expectations and English language learners (ELLs). YDP offers services not available during the school day and collaborates with school day teachers, counselors and parents to assess students’ needs. The Summer Transition program deploys YDP education methodologies while helping students learn the basics of navigating their respective new schools. These after-school and summer programs incorporate comprehensive use of each school site. Carver employs certified teachers from each participating school. 

Carver Celebrates Black History Month

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Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and in the Netherlands (as of 2016) where it is known as Black Achievement Month. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, as well as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in October.

Of course, the Carver community is especially proud of its namesake, George Washington Carver (1860s – January 5, 1943). He was an American botanist and inventor. He became well-known to the public due to his active promotion of alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion.

While a professor at Tuskegee Insitutute, Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton. He wanted poor farmers to grow alternative crops, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, as a source of their own food and to improve their quality of life. The most popular of his 44 practical bulletins for farmers contained 105 food recipes using peanuts. Although he spent years developing and promoting numerous products made from peanuts; none became commercially successful.

Apart from his work to improve the lives of farmers, Carver was also a leader in promoting environmentalism. He received numerous honors for his work, including the Spingarn Medal of the NAACP. In an era of very high racial polarization, his fame reached beyond the black community. He was widely recognized and praised in the white community for his many achievements and talents. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a "Black Leonardo".

Carver's 80th Anniversary Kick-Off Event

See photos of the event at The Hour here. See The Hour's article about Carver's 80th anniversary year here. See Nancy on Norwalk's article about the 80th celebration event here. See Carver's Facebook photo album of the event here. See a short video of the event below. 

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On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 5:00-5:30PM, immediately following the annual Carver Career Fair at Carver Community Center400+ Carver students wearing WE ARE CARVER t-shirts joined Norwalk and Carver leadership and student speakers to celebrate Carver's 80 years of service. 

The event planning committee members were Dr. Susan Weinberger, Committee Chair; Marc Alan; Tasha Branch; Marge Costa; Meri Erickson; Richard Whitcomb; and Brenda Wilcox Williams. The Norwalk Arts Commission officially endorsed the event that launched a yearlong series of occasions to celebrate Carver’s 80 years of “Building Lifetime Achievers.” 

The speakers included Novelette Peterkin, Carver Executive Director; Diana Napier, Carver Board President; Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Introduced by Carver student Rodelin Constant; Ralph Valenzisi, Chief of Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, Norwalk Public School, Introduced by Carver student Joseph Jakpasu; Diane Jellerette, Executive Director, Norwalk Historical Society, Introduced by Carver student, Jordyn Powell; and Carver alumnae Gabrielle Pierre-Louis sang Carver’s new official song, “WeR1", Introduced by Marc Alan, Director of Marketing, Factory Underground Records. The event's DJ, was Steve Lou (DJ Connect), Diageo and a Carver alumnus. 

Carver in the News! Join us on Tuesday for our 80th Anniversary Kick-off Event!

Here is an article in The Hour today about Carver's 80 years of service with photos of our annual Breakfast With Champions that took place yesterday at the Carver Community Center. 

Here is another article in The Hour today about the continued significant support Carver receives from both the federal and state governments to help advance the closing of the Achievement Gap in Norwalk. 

Thank you, one and all, your part in making the Carver story so positive and enduring!

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WE ARE CARVER - The Video

The Carver Foundation of Norwalk in partnership with TracyLocke, a global Public Relations and Marketing Company, created a video to capture the excitement and essence of our afterschool programming. Students from our Junior Youth Development Program participated in an enrichment to write the script and during the recording process students served as co-directors. We are thankful for their eagerness to try new things and for their hard work as scholars! Thank you for your support of the Carver Foundation and its mission to build lifetime achievers. We are Carver!

Event to Kick-Off Carver's 80th Anniversary, Tuesday, 1/30/18, 5PM

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WHEN:  Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 5:00PM (immediately following the annual Carver Career Fair)

WHERE:  Carver Community Center, 7 Academy Street, Norwalk

WHO:  400+ Carver students wearing WE ARE CARVER t-shirts; Carver Foundation of Norwalk leadership and student speakers; Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, Norwalk Public Schools  Superintendent Steven Adamowski; Carver alumnae Gabrielle Pierre-Louis singing Carver’s                                 new official song, “WeR1”; audio support by Factory Underground.

WHAT: The Norwalk Arts Commission officially endorses this kick-off event that launches a yearlong  series of events to celebrate Carver’s 80 years of “Building Lifetime Achievers,” including Carver’s annual Child of America gala on Friday, April 27th, and “Carver Day” (a block party on Academy Street/”Richard N. Fuller Way”) on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

WHY: The Carver community will recognize and thank its students, parents and guardians, alumni, staff, many program partners, donors, advocates, and its countless other supporters, including our elected officials, today and over the past 80 years, for all that they have each invested in advancing the careers and lives of our children and in improving the City of Norwalk.

About Carver: Carver is the largest provider of after school and summer programs in Norwalk. Since 2005, 100% of Carver seniors graduate on time and almost 100% of these graduates become first generation college students; 85% of these Carver students graduate from four-year colleges within six years.  Carver’s Youth Development Program is conducted in the Carver Community Center, in Norwalk’s four middle and two high schools, and in Side by Side Charter School. Carver’s K-5 after school program at its Community Center offers intensive project-based learning in science, literacy and math. Carver produces summer learning programs in six locations throughout Norwalk. Carver also offers college scholarships, spring and fall college tours, food drives, community holiday events and more for the benefit of the Norwalk community.

 About WeR1 the Song: Written by Morris Pleasure, a recipient of Carver’s annual Child of America award. 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, Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera, Peter Cetera, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Bette Midler, and many others.

Mark Feinberg Brings Wealth Management Advice to the Carver Community

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Mark D. Feinberg, Carver donor and longtime volunteer, and a consummate wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, held a financial empowerment seminar in the Charlotte Naomi Horblit Technology Center at the Carver Community Center for Carver parents, the community, and Carver staff. Mr. Feinberg shared his insights into wealth building, investments, stocks and bonds, and secrets of the financial industry.

Guests sat among rows of computers with Retina 5K displays as Mr. Feinberg taught from the large touch-screen smart-board at the front of the room. Illustrations from Westport artist, writer and civil rights activist Tracy Sugarman adorned the walls. The technology center is typically used by K-12 kids from across Norwalk for math, reading and science programs. They use the iMacs for creative projects, using GarageBand and other publishing programs.

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Mr. Feinberg, a wealth management adviser at Merrill Lynch, made the technology center possible after donating $472,000 to Carver. He made the donation because he said Carver has had a profound affect on him, having served as a camp counselor at the center as a teenager. Feinberg named the Carver Foundation as one of seven charitable beneficiaries of the estate of his late aunt, Charlotte Naomi Horblit of Chestnut Hill, Mass. Horblit was an advocate of educational programs for children. 

Why Carver: Breaking down barriers for underrepresented kids could quadruple America’s pool of inventors

What could the future hold for this Carver student? Can we offer her enough opportunity to match her ability? What is society missing by limiting her chances at fulfilling her promise? 

What could the future hold for this Carver student? Can we offer her enough opportunity to match her ability? What is society missing by limiting her chances at fulfilling her promise? 

See the study here: Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation 

See a good summary of the study by Vox here

Traditional sources of data on innovation — mostly patents — don’t offer any meaningful information on who is doing the inventing, not even including cursory information about the inventor’s age and gender. But by linking patent application data from 1996 through 2014 to federal income tax returns, the team was able to track inventors’ lives from birth through adulthood to understand who is inventing things and where they come from. And by focusing on the geography of innovation, they show that direct exposure to a culture of invention and to role models appears to be playing a key role. 

  • Among affluent families, young kids who perform highly on math tests are much more likely to make successful inventions than low-ability kids. 
  • But this isn't true among low-income families. There, high-scoring and low-scoring kids alike are about equally unlikely to become inventors — suggesting that it isn’t a lack of aptitude that’s holding back poor kids; it’s that aptitude alone isn’t enough.
  • Kids are more likely to grow up to be inventors when they grow up in cities with other inventors, which means where you’re born has a lot to do with whether you’ll innovate.
  • This holds up even when we look into specific categories of invention. If you grow up in a city full of antenna innovators, you are more likely to innovate regarding antennas — suggesting that early life exposure to relevant networks is important. 
  • Fascinatingly, the effect is gender-specific — girls are likely to grow up to be innovators only if their city includes an existing stockpile of female innovators (and similarly, male role models for boys), underscoring the importance of role models and self-image. 

Particularly fascinating: The geographical aspects hold regardless of where you live as an adult. The Boston area has thriving industrial clusters in both information technology and medical devices. But Boston-area patent-holders who grew up in Silicon Valley are very likely to have computer-related patents, whereas those who grew up in Minneapolis where there’s a robust medical device industry are likely to have medical device patents. In other words, it’s not just that people are likely to work in locally thriving industries — the specifics of childhood experience seem to matter.

The moral of the story seems to be that a reasonably large number of children who have the capacity to grow up to be inventors end up not doing so. Through some mix of their parents’ socioeconomic status, the city where they grew up, and oftentimes their gender, they are prevented from obtaining access to the networks that would have facilitated that life choice.