Carver volunteer leader, Jacqueline Novotny, named among the "40 under 40" honorees by the Fairfield County Business Journal

The Fairfield County Business Journal named Carver volunteer and leader Jacqueline Novotny among its 2017 "40 Under 40 Awards" recipients yesterday evening. Jacqueline is a Vice President at CBRE, Inc., the world’s largest real estate services company. The Business Journal honored 40 professionals at its 13th annual event held at the Silicon Harbor in Stamford. More than 300 guests attended the event, which included a cocktail reception and the formal award ceremony.

Representatives from the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, Business Council of Fairfield County, Darien Chamber of Commerce, Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greenwich Chamber of Commerce and Wilton Chamber of Commerce presented the awards to their respective honorees.

The 40 awardees thanked their colleagues, mentors and loved ones. The Carver community likewise congratulates Jacqueline on receiving this exceptional award and thanks her for her exemplary service to Carver kids throughout the years. 

The Hour: Student Art Show Highlights Work with Several Media

See the article at The Hour here.

By Simone Jasper sjasper@mrt.com  June 11, 2017

The inaugural art show at Carver Center was more than an opportunity to display student work. The show was a culmination of a school year that introduced many students to new materials to use in their art. That show was spearheaded by fine arts teacher Kylie Carrell.

“Art is important to me, and I wanted kids to feel ownership and pride of what they’re working on,” she said. “I think everybody can be an artist. They don’t have to study it like I did.”

She said the show that premiered in May allowed students to share their artistic creations with their parents.

The show was held after school in the Carver Center gyms. In her first year teaching on the campus, Carrell was grateful to lead the effort.

The teacher’s instruction made an impact on students in the 2016-2017 school year, according to Principal Jan Rhodes.

“Because they were able to use different [media], I think they gained a confidence they didn’t have about their artistic abilities and exposure to different forms of art out there,” Rhodes said.

Students used a variety of materials including watercolors and ink, but they were also introduced to materials such as clay and pastels by Carrell that they had never used before.

“I try to give them a taste — a little bit of everything,” Carrell said. “I have different [media] based on the grades and what they would enjoy.”

For soon-to-be-fifth-grader Albany Solis, the introduction to pastels in Carrell’s class was a moment to remember.

“Since I was a little girl, I always liked art,” she said. “When I touched the pastel for the first time, I put my finger on it and put it on the paper. It blended all the colors together.”

Carrell tried a different approach to getting new materials for her students. She  turned to donorschoose.org, a website that allows people to support classroom projects at public schools. Through generous donations from the community, she received different types of media she and her students wouldn’t have used otherwise.

As students were learning to use a whole new palette of art materials, the teacher also  introduced students to famous artists and the history behind their work.

That information inspired Albany.

“I thought I could be like them one day when I heard about that,” she said. “Maybe I could do this, or maybe I could do that.”

Carrell also used well-known works to explain artistic movements  such as impressionism, surrealism and cubism as well as teach about portraying three-dimensional objects.

Brock Jones, who will be in sixth grade, learned about highlights and shadows while creating a planet in the solar system. He looked forward to sharing his work with others., but he also seemed to take something deeper from it all.

“When I finished, it was amazing,” Brock said. “You can express emotion through a piece and get to share.”

Juneteenth celebration at Carver!

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, WNLK 1350 AM and JEH-Productions invited everyone near and far to join together at the Carver Community Center to celebrate Juneteenth!

See more photos of our Juneteenth celebration here at our Facebook album!

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of  slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the word is a combination of "June" and "nineteenth". Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in most states.

The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and readings by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests.

2017 Carver Testimonial Dinner Photos!

Each year, the Carver Foundation of Norwalk awards Carver students, including current college students, with scholarships and recognition. We also recognized 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. Dozens of young people and their proud parents came together at the Carver Community Center for our Annual Testimonial Dinner on Friday, June 9, 2017.

HERE ARE THE NEARLY 150 PHOTOS OF THAT EVENING AWARD CEREMONY!

Darien Rowayton Bank leaders visit Carver

Darien Rowayton Bank was a major sponsor of our recent Hometown Love 2 community event at the Carver Community Center. Robert Mantilia, Pat Smith and Malcolm Hall visited the Carver Community Center to learn more about our kids and the work they do here to advance their academic careers. 

Darien Rowayton Bank is a bank with hometown roots!

At Darien Rowayton Bank and at their branches, the bank offers the financial services you expect, with the incredible conveniences, safety and personal attention. The bank also offers low rate student loan refinancing for alumni of a Bachelors or Graduate degree program or parents of Bachelor degree holders.

The bank supports many worthy organizations in our community. Their commitments include support of cultural institutions, sports programs and civic associations providing tremendous value and service to the community. In addition, their Rowayton branch conference room is available to community organizations looking for meeting space on an as-needed basis.

Thank you, Darien Rowayton Bank!

Standing with Carver students, (L-R) Joe Gallagher, Carver's Director of Philanthropy; Robert Mantilia, SVP; Malcolm Hall, Business Development Officer; and Pat Smith, Rowayton Branch Bank Manager

Standing with Carver students, (L-R) Joe Gallagher, Carver's Director of Philanthropy; Robert Mantilia, SVP; Malcolm Hall, Business Development Officer; and Pat Smith, Rowayton Branch Bank Manager

Deloitte Impact Day 2017 Transforms the Carver Community Center!

Deloitte’s annual day of service—Impact Day—is a longstanding tradition 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 THE PHOTOS HERE at our Facebook photo album page. 

Today is 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.

Deloitte’s research helps show the link between Impact Day—as well as their year-round volunteerism programs—and leadership development. The results of Deloitte’s 2016 Impact Survey of hiring influencers indicated that corporate volunteer programs might be able to help employees develop stronger professional and leadership skill sets and better prepare employees for leadership roles:

  • 92 percent of respondents agreed that volunteering improves employees’ broader professional skill sets
  • 92 percent of respondents agreed that volunteering is an effective way to improve leadership skills

And they know from a separate survey of their professionals who participate in Impact Day that they value the experience. In their 2016 survey of Impact Day participants:

  • 88 percent said they would participate in Impact Day again
  • 87 percent said they would recommend Impact Day volunteering to a colleague
  • 83 percent said Impact Day increased their impression of Deloitte as being a socially minded organization
  • 81 percent said Impact Day increased their pride in working for Deloitte

Making an impact that matters is at the core of what they do at Deloitte -- and the Carver community is grateful!

Help Halstead Real Estate Feed Student Success!

We are proud of Carver's partnership with Halstead Real Estate on many projects. We write today to bring your attention to Halstead Real Estate's partnership with The Pantry @ NCC to help them alleviate the barriers of food insecurity so students can remain in school, and ultimately, earn their degrees.

Food insecurity has increasingly become an issue on college and university campuses across the country with some data showing 39-59% of college student experience food insecurity - exceeding the national average and having negative effects on a student’s GPA, levels of energy, and concentration. And while there may be community resources available, it may be difficult to access them due to transportation or scheduling, or these resources are not able to accommodate students based on their eligibility guidelines. Bringing a food supply to the NCC campus eliminates some of the barriers students may face with outside sources and encourages academic success.

What Do We Need?

While we receive a variety of items here is a list of the items most needed and used:

- rice (5 lb bags are best);
- bags of beans (especially black & pinto);
- baking mixes (pancake, cake muffin, jiffy mix); - flour
- cereals & oatmeal;
- grab and go items - snacks
- condiments (mayo, ketchup)
- peanut butter, jelly
- oils (vegetable, canola, olive)
- spices (salt, seasoning)
- apple sauce, canned fruit, fruit cups;
- pasta & pasta sauce;

- canned meats (chicken, beef, fish); - progressive soup
- coffee/tea;
- juice (100% juice preferred);

- shampoo & conditioner; - toothpaste & deodorant; - toothbrushes & floss
- wipes

- lotion
- paper goods (all kinds);
- laundry and cleaning products.

Please bring donations of non-perishable items to one of our offices:

379 POST ROAD EAST, WESTPORT 21 RIVER ROAD, WILTON

#FeedingStudentSuccess

Op-Ed in The Boston Globe: After-School Programs are a Lifeline for Kids and Parents

By Lawrence H. Summers and Emily McCann   JUNE 05, 2017 See the op-ed here at The Boston Globe.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has announced its first full budget, which calls for the elimination of federal funding for after-school and summer programs for low-income communities, known as 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

This cut would have drastic effects for working families. Federal funding for after-school programming supports 1.1 million students nationwide. An overwhelming body of evidence says that these programs help to close the opportunity gap in education, increase student academic and behavioral outcomes, and reduce school absences.

These programs are often a lifeline for working parents, especially working mothers. As Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen recently observed, programs that enable women to balance work and family life help foster greater workforce participation, which has real economic consequences: Increases in women’s workforce participation from 1948-1990 expanded the potential growth rate of real GDP by a half percentage point per year.

Federal investments in after-school programs yield a significant return on investment. The total cost of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is only $1.2 billion, approximately 0.2 percent of total federal spending, and only one-20th the expected cost of Trump’s border wall. Unlike the wall, federal investments in after-school programs yield a 3-to-1 return, according to state and national reports, by increasing students’ earning potential and reducing crime and other social safety net expenses.

At Citizen Schools, a national after-school organization that serves 5,000 students in five states, we have seen firsthand the difference that these programs make in young people’s lives. Consider a student named Nelson, who attends Joseph A. Browne Middle School in Chelsea. Nelson has struggled during the traditional school day. His mother works two jobs. She couldn’t afford the academic and extracurricular supports that Citizen Schools makes possible, so she relies on federal funding to ensure that Nelson is in a safe, enriching space after school. That matters, because these supports help change a student’s academic trajectory: On average, students at Citizen Schools are 25 percent more likely to go to college and twice as likely to graduate with a four-year college degree, as compared with their peers. At Citizen Schools, Nelson has thrived.

Even for those of us not currently juggling the demands of our children’s education with the obligations of work, we need to ask ourselves, as a society: Do we have a responsibility to help educate our neighbor’s children? Among those members of Congress who ultimately will be responsible for accepting or rejecting the administration’s proposal, we hope that the answer is a resounding “yes.”

We need to recognize as a nation that education is about more than the school day and school year. It is about what happens before children are ready to enter school, what happens during half the days in the year they are not in school, what happens after school ends and before a parent comes home, and about how students transition from school to work. Yes, school reform is essential. But it is not enough to meet the challenge of opportunity for the next generation. We must work more broadly to assure adequate education for all our kids.

The reality is that a significant majority of Americans support federal funding for after-school programs because those programs measurably benefit students, working families, and the broader economy — and that’s good for all of us.

Lawrence H. Summers is president emeritus of Harvard University and former secretary of the US Treasury. He chairs the Board of Citizen Schools. Emily McCann is the CEO of Citizen Schools.

Our 14th Annual Rowayton Connections Party!

We are so grateful to this year's hosts, Sarah Mulvaney and Matt Schimenti, for providing the Carver community with a stunning setting to celebrate another year of student success and for the 2017 Rowayton Connections event committee for inviting such a generous host of guests! 

Here are the photos of the party in our Facebook album.

The joyous fellowship and extraordinary giving upholds Carver's commitment to maintaining  high expectations for Carver children and youth with the goal of graduating high school on time and college-ready. The Carver mission lives on after 79 years of people like our Rowayton donors making personal commitments through the decades to help our youth succeed in school and life.

Thank you, EVERYONE!

Carver meets its summer adventure crowdfunding campaign on The Impact Vine!

See our campaign at The Impact Vine crowdfunding site to send 40 Carver summer campers on the schooner SoundWaters for a scientific adventure: today we we raised the final gifts to reach our $1,095 goal!

See this May 11th news article that describes The Impact Vine and Carver's role in its overall success.

Summer programming at the Carver Community Center and at Columbus Magnet School is among the most affordable and high-quality programs available to Norwalk students ages 5 through 13 years old.

The summer literacy program, facilitated by certified teachers, uses the Lexia Reading Core 5 software to provide personalized learning. Certified teachers also teach math sessions. Summer camp program partners include Girl Scouts, The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis and The Norwalk Seaport Association. Field trips reinforce learning, e.g., Peabody Museum, CT Science Center, Discovery Museum, NBC Studio Tour, Stamford Nature Center, Beardsley Zoo, Bishop Orchards, New York Botanical Gardens and Maritime Aquarium.

And now with the support of The Impact Vine we can add  the schooner SoundWaters to our field trips this summer!

From their web site, “The Schooner SoundWaters is The Teaching Vessel of Long Island Sound. A representation of a 19th century sharpie schooner, the SoundWaters is an ideal platform for learning and experience for both students and adults.

For students, this three-masted, 80’ ship, typically serving forty students, is a teaching platform for the Science of the Sound, a hands-on, science-infused learning experience aboard the Schooner SoundWaters.”

Carver kids will experience the Long Island Sound, and schooner SoundWaters educators will lead students through grade-appropriate on-board labs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) data-collection activities. Carver summer campers will learn science by using real scientific equipment to perform experiments while connecting to the natural world.

The Hour reports about Carver's Sarah St. Surin winning the Chelsea Cohen Memorial Scholarship

By John Nash    See the article at The Hour here

NORWALK - The legacy of Chelsea Cohen lives on strongly, even nearly a dozen years after her tragic death to cancer in 2006.

Two city athletes very familiar with Cohen now find going to college just a little bit easier because of that legacy.

Norwalk High basketball standout Sarah St. Surin and Brien McMahon soccer and lacrosse player Bella Bean have been named the first recipients of the Chelsea Cohen Memorial Scholarship.

Photo: John Nash / Hearst Connecticut Media

Photo: John Nash / Hearst Connecticut Media

Each student-athlete will receive $2,500 for use toward college expenses. In the future, a single $5,000 scholarship will be awarded from candidates from both schools.

The scholarship is awarded to the candidate that best exemplifies the spirit and qualities of the late Chelsea Cohen, according to the Fairfield County Sports Commission, which oversees the awarding of the scholarship.

Criteria for nomination included academic honors, participation in one or more varsity level sports, community service and displaying high levels of sportsmanship, leadership and character. 

"There have been many tributes to Chelsea over the years, but this scholarship is exceptionally meaningful, " said Barbara Rittner, Chelsea's mother. "To recognize someone who most exemplifies Chelsea, her spirit, her drive, her accomplishments, this not only rewards the recipients but reminds us of Chelsea and why her story stays alive. The scholarship winners this year, Sarah and Bella, are remarkable young women who in addition to all their academic, civic and athletic accomplishments have that special spark like Chelsea had.”

Both athletes are very familiar with the Cheslea Cohen story and what the scholarship means.

St. Surin, a 6-foot-3 center from the Norwalk High basketball team, has played in the shadow of Cohen’s retired number, which hangs in the Scarso Gym, while Bean is a soccer player who took part in the annual inner-city game against the Bears. Each team receives an MVP honor from that game named after Cohen.

“It’s definitely a big honor,” St. Surin said. “I was like there is no chance I’m going to get this. How could it possibly be me that receives it? I didn’t know what my chances were, but when I got the call I was so shocked to get it. When I talked to Barbara she said, ‘When I saw you, you reminded immediately of Chelsea,’ and that touched me. It means a lot.”

Bean also said that having a scholarship devoted meant to just a female athlete in the city is something that means a lot to her and would mean a lot to future athletes, as well.

“A lot of my friends are student-athletes, too, so I was nervous going after it,” Bean said. “Winning a scholarship for a girl athlete means a lot because there are so many up-and-coming (girls) sports in Norwalk right now.”

Bean, who will be attending the University of Virginia, is a four-year high honor roll student and was a two-year captain of the lacrosse team as a four-year starter and captained the soccer side her senior year. She worked at Horizons in New Canaan the last two years as a second grade tutor for the summer program there.

St. Surin, who is headed for UMass Boston, was a four-year player for the Bears basketball team and captain as a senior. She is also a high honors student as well as a talented musician and serves as a volunteer coach and summer counselor at the Carver Center in Norwalk.

The award is the latest in a long line of efforts to keep Cohen’s memory alive.

“We believe that in taking this next step to keep Chelsea's legacy vibrant and relevant the scholarship will have a strong impact for young women in Norwalk striving to succeed in college both in the classroom and on the field of play,” said FCSC Executive Director Tom Chiappetta. “Providing significant financial support to that end is another key role the Commission can play in meeting our mission and goals.”

In addition to hosting the Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy at the Carver Center in Norwalk, the Fairfield County Sports Commission also hands out the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award at its yearly Hall of Fame banquet.

Carver's Sarah St. Surin is awarded the Chelsea Cohen Memorial Scholarship

Photo: John Nash / Hearst Connecticut Media.  Sarah St. Surin, left, of Norwalk High, and Bella Bean of Brien McMahon are the first two recipients of the $2,500 Chelsea Cohen Scholarship Award. Starting next year, the scholarship will be worth $5,000 and given to a female athlete from either Norwalk or McMahon who best exhibits the character and flair that Cohen did before her death 12 years ago. See The Hour article here.

Photo: John Nash / Hearst Connecticut Media.  Sarah St. Surin, left, of Norwalk High, and Bella Bean of Brien McMahon are the first two recipients of the $2,500 Chelsea Cohen Scholarship Award. Starting next year, the scholarship will be worth $5,000 and given to a female athlete from either Norwalk or McMahon who best exhibits the character and flair that Cohen did before her death 12 years ago. See The Hour article here.

The Fairfield County Sports Commission announced today the first recipients of its Chelsea Cohen Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes a female scholar/athlete who is a graduating senior from Norwalk high schools with a financial award toward higher education.

Norwalk High's Sarah St. Surin and Brien McMahon's Isabella Bean were named as the two winners and each will receive a $2,500 grant as support for their college freshman year this fall.

The scholarship is awarded to the candidate that best exemplifies the spirit and qualities of the late Chelsea Cohen, a graduate of NHS who passed away in 2006 and whose name is memorialized through FCSC's annual Courage Award. Criteria for nomination included academic honors, participation in one or more varsity level sports,  community service and displaying high levels of sportsmanship, leadership and character.

"There have been many tributes to Chelsea over the years, but this scholarship is exceptionally meaningful, " said Chelsea's mother Barbara Rittner. "To recognize someone who most exemplifies Chelsea, her spirit, her drive, her accomplishments, this not only rewards the recipients but reminds us of Chelsea and why her story stays alive. The scholarship winners this year, Sarah and Bella, are remarkable young women who in addition to all their academic, civic and athletic accomplishments have that "special spark" like Chelsea had. "

For the first year the Commission felt it was important to recognize a winner from both schools to have each fully engaged at the start. Going forward the scholarship amount will be raised to $5,000 for one student/athlete from either NHS or BMHS.

"We believe that in taking this next step to keep Chelsea's legacy vibrant and relevant the scholarship will have a strong impact for young women in Norwalk striving to succeed in college both in the classroom and on the field of play," remarked FCSC Executive Director Tom Chiappetta. "Providing significant financial support to that end is another key role the Commission can play in meeting our mission and goals."

Bean, who will be attending the University of Virginia, is a four-year high honor roll student and was a two-year captain of the lacrosse team as a four-year starter and captained the soccer side her senior year. She worked at Horizons in New Canaan the last two years as a second grade tutor for the summer program there.

St. Surin, who is headed for UMass Boston, was a four-year starter for the basketball team and captain as a senior. She is also a high honors student as well as a talented musician and serves as a volunteer coach and summer counselor at the Carver Community Center in Norwalk.

See the latest newsletter here from the Fairfield County Sports Commission.