New Canaan Advertiser: New Canaan helps Carver educate Norwalk kids

 A recent Connections Party to raise funds for the Carver Foundation of Norwalk drew 75 people. These include, top, from left, Joe Gallagher, Novelette Peterkin, Nick Williams, Shaniya Mesilien, Dick Whitcomb, Whitney Williams and Carla Romeus; bottom, from left, Ayasha Cantey and Nakai Steen. — Contributed photo. New Canaan recently helped educate kids whom are apart of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, and at the Carver Community Center also in Norwalk.

A recent Connections Party to raise funds for the Carver Foundation of Norwalk drew 75 people. These include, top, from left, Joe Gallagher, Novelette Peterkin, Nick Williams, Shaniya Mesilien, Dick Whitcomb, Whitney Williams and Carla Romeus; bottom, from left, Ayasha Cantey and Nakai Steen. — Contributed photo. New Canaan recently helped educate kids whom are apart of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, and at the Carver Community Center also in Norwalk.

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By New Canaan Advertiser on October 5, 2017

A recent fundraiser at the New Canaan home of Nick and Whitney Williams drew 75 guests and raised “significant funds” for the Carver Foundation of Norwalk.

The nonprofit, founded in 1938, provides after-school and summer programs for public school students in Norwalk in the schools and at the Carver Community Center. 

The Sept. 24 Connection Party was to raise funds and build awareness of Carver and its mission, said Director of Philanthropy Joe Gallagher.

“We serve 835 kids in after-school and summer programs,” he said. “We contract a late bus to bring the students home from the Norwalk Public Schools who are in the after school programs, and one of the bus routes stops at Carver for students that go there.”

Carver employs teachers from the city’s public schools and has van transportation for some of its students.

“I feel blessed that I’m associated with this place,” said Richard Whitcomb, a board member and advisor, interviewed by phone from the Carver Center recently.

A former headmaster at St. Luke’s School, he’s served as a board member and advisor for nine years.

“I get up the morning and have a place to go,” Whitcomb said. “When I retired I would do some volunteering. I searched. I do a lot in New Canaan. This is my number one cause. It’s extraordinary what they do. It’s an organization that’s one of the top organizations in Connecticut to do what they do in a state where everything was cut down. We’re still hanging in there. It’s all about helping kids.”

Nick Williams, a Town selectman and former New Canaan Board of Education member said many of the programs, like the tutoring that Carver provides for Norwalk students, are programs that parents in New Canaan can afford to pay for themselves, or are already provided in the New Canaan public schools.

“Since 2005, Carver students graduated from high school on time and nearly all have become first generation college students in their families,” Williams noted.

“Whitney and I went to a fundraiser in Darien and Joe Gallagher was there, and a number of students,” said Williams. “We toured the Carver Center in Norwalk and met a number of students. We spoke to advisors. We looked at a new computer lab which is fabulous. To have a social service organization that’s doing what Carver does so close to New Canaan where we forget how lucky we are. Working with and assisting Carver is an opportunity to spread some of that luck around. This in my mind is a great way to do that.”

 

Jim Schaffer