Carver Students Tour Connecticut Universities

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Each election day, as they did this year, some 30 Carver students visit and experience life at several prominent colleges in Connecticut. This year, students visited the University of Hartford and the University of Bridgeport.

For many students, the process of figuring out which school best fits their needs is an overwhelming and confusing task. Carver's fall College Tour transforms this experience into an enriching adventure, in which students take campus tours, have meetings with admissions representatives and receive materials to help evaluate each school. Tour participants are shown how to get the most out of their future college visits. For example, students learn what questions they should be asking of campus officials, how to compare schools to one another, and what factors are most important for their personal college selection process. Many tours are led by the admissions office staff, depending on the campus and tour dates. 

Carver's 10-day Spring and one-day Fall College Tours offer a wonderful opportunity for students to tour numerous college campuses and evaluate their college options. Students visit a wide variety of campuses, including private and public schools in both urban and rural areas. Participants are able to determine if a large or small school suits them and, with the comparison materials we give them, they can review their options back home. Students also have the opportunity to experience great American cities. 

Fairfield County Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma returns to read to our CASPER students!

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The Fairfield County Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma returned to Carver on November 7 to read to our youngest children attending our CASPER after school program.

Among the volunteers are two Kappas who are also dedicated Carver volunteers, Meri Erickson and Dr. Susan G. Weinberger.

The Kappas, Meri, Susan, Julie McLaughlin and Betsy Evans each read a book around the theme of young children who nurture STEM ideas. 

The reading of books are always followed by a treat. Apple cider and a yummy and decadent chocolate cake baked by Betsy were a winner. Carver staff loved the cake so much the last time that Betsy baked an additional cake for them as well!

For more then a decade, the Fairfield County Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma has been volunteering at Carver’s after school program.

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.

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!

Dick Whitcomb is the New Canaan Community Foundation Hall of Fame Awardee

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The New Canaan Community Foundation will present this year’s annual Volunteer Recognition Awards on Thursday, November 15th at 5:30 PM at New Canaan Town Hall. This annual event honors local volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation honors inspirational volunteer efforts and Carver is honored that Dick Whitcomb is the 2018 Hall of Fame recipient!

As most Carver visitors here know, Dick Whitcomb has been a stalwart and inspirational Carver volunteer, donor, advocate and board member for decades! Without question, Carver’s year after year growth and success would not have been possible with our Dick’s leadership in so many ways and times.

Dick Whitcomb did not just take up his career in education to make a living. He did it because he could not imagine living any other way. That passion took Dick from Vermont to the pinnacle of his profession in Connecticut.

In 1961, Dick Whitcomb began preparing students for success in life in at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan. In 1980, Dick was named Headmaster and was pivotal in the growth and stature of the school where he remains Headmaster Emeritus. In 2002, Dick retired and then founded a scholarship fund to enable economically challenged students, many from Norwalk, an opportunity to attend St. Luke’s School. In late 2010, Dick founded the Richard and Barbara Whitcomb Foundation to extend his philanthropy to many others, especially to the Carver community. For many years, Dick’s unofficial office has been the conference room in the Carver Community Center. In addition to general operating support, Dick is especially committed to financially supporting  Carver’s college scholarship fund.

Since his earliest years at St. Luke’s School, Dick and his students have been volunteering at Carver. Several years ago, Dick formed Carver’s Strategic Planning Group, which brought many new resources and leaders to the Carver community. Dick also recruited the significant financial and in-kind support necessary to renovate the Carver Community Center, which had not benefited from such thoroughgoing renewal since the day the building’s construction in 1975. Carver awarded Dick its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Carver’s 75th anniversary year.

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Each year, Dick is a leader on the Carver Board of Directors, the committees serving each of Carver’s major special events, such as Carver’s annual gala and golf outings, and a close counselor to Carver’s longtime executive director, Novelette Peterkin. Dick is also a mentor to any number of Carver students, not a few throughout their college and graduate school careers.

Throughout all of his success as an educator, philanthropist, and volunteer, what has inspired Dick the most and something he has never forgotten, is the help he received as a young man growing up. He remembers all the hard work and dedication his mother gave as a single mother of three. He recalls the many individuals who stepped into his life, guided and supported him. “That’s why I’ve never been big on individual accomplishments. I don’t think anyone can be successful individually. You can’t accomplish anything without the support of others.”

 Carver certainly could not have achieved what it has to date for Norwalk’s youth without Mr. Whitcomb’s unwavering and extremely generous commitment to Carver’s success.  

Congratulations and THANK YOU!

Here are some of the Quality Design Principles that guide Carver's work

 Carver adheres to these Quality Design Principles and more as a guide to the ongoing development of Carver’s competency-based learning practice to ensure that every Carver student succeeds. The use of design-orientation allows for schools and afterschool and summer programs like Carver’s be intentional in their purpose and creating positive outcomes for their students.

Carver adheres to these Quality Design Principles and more as a guide to the ongoing development of Carver’s competency-based learning practice to ensure that every Carver student succeeds. The use of design-orientation allows for schools and afterschool and summer programs like Carver’s be intentional in their purpose and creating positive outcomes for their students.

You are invited to a ribbon cutting for new street artwork on Saturday, 11/3, 5:30PM

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For all Carver friends of Wall Street and Downtown Norwalk, some of you may know that Marc Alan at Factory Underground curated the painting of a traffic box on Wall Street. The work is completed and you are invited to a ribbon cutting on Saturday, November 3, at 5:30 pm. The location is just to the left of Wall Street Theater at 71 Wall Street.

This project was done in association with the Wall Street Neighborhood Association, including Factory Underground, Rene Soto Gallery, Norwalk Arts Commission, and made possible by David Shockley and Norwalk Redevelopment. In all, a great community effort. 

The theme for the work is "Music and the Arts, reflecting the multi-cultural diversity of Norwalk." The artist is Cesar Alvarez, a local Connecticut painter, and sculptor, whose work is shown at Rene Soto Gallery.

Following the ribbon cutting, there will be a reception and art show at Rene Soto Gallery starting at 6pm. We hope to see you there!

See the Halloween Party 2018 photos!

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See all the photos in Facebook here.

This year Community Costumes, a charitable organization, brought 100 free costumes to distribute at our party. Community Costumes had representatives available at the party to help our children pick out the perfect Halloween costume. ALSO, Greens Farms Academy donated costumes that also brought great joy and fun to this evening party for Carver kids!

Everyone enjoyed the Haunted House upstairs!

Thank you everyone for making this Halloween so special for the Carver community!

Celebrate the 19th Annual Lights On Afterschool

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Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year. 

The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things-such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do and poetry-and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs.

Carver's Halloween Party this Friday just got better!

 Alexandra Budnick and Ryan Benevento

Alexandra Budnick and Ryan Benevento

New Addition to Carver's Annual Halloween Party!

This year Community Costumes, a charitable organization, will be bringing 100 free costumes to distribute at our party. Community Costumes will have representatives available at the party to help your children pick out the perfect Halloween costume.

Community Costumes, a charitable organization, was founded in 2014 by two New Canaan teens, Alexandra Budnick and Ryan Benevento. Since its inception, Community Costumes has collected and donated over 600 costumes. Community Costumes volunteers collect new and used Halloween, dress-up and dance costumes, and organize, label them by size and donate them to organizations supporting families in need across the tri-state area.

To learn more about Community Costumes please visit their Facebook page or contact them at community.costumes@gmail.com.

Carver students attend FCSC's annual Sports Night!

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The Fairfield County Sports Commission gifted Carver students (members of our Girl’s Development Program) with a table at its annual Sports Night gala at the Stamford Marriott last Monday evening.

The focus of the Fairfield County Sports Commission is creating and supporting programs for fitness awareness education, primarily geared toward combating childhood obesity that threatens school age youngsters in the 16 communities the Commission serves. Giving time, effort and money back to the county residents is the main role of the Commission, and one of the Commission’s primary beneficiaries is the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, home to the Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy and a recent recipient of a generous grant to support Carver’s Girl’s Development Program at the Carver Community Center.

See the entire article about Sports Night in the New Haven Register here.

Monday night at the Stamford Marriott, Mleczko Griswold was among six honorees being inducted into the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame.

“It is hard to put into words what something like this means. Especially 20 years after winning a gold medal because 20 years goes by in a flash,” Mleczko Griswold said. “We did so many amazing things as a team and we got asked to speak to so many groups. I cherish that time but it was chaos. Now, to have a moment like this, to celebrate my roots in Fairfield County and what that meant to my hockey career is something pretty special.”

Mleckzo Griswold was being inducted into the Jackie Robinson Professional wing of the Hall of Fame along with former middleweight boxing champion Travis Simms.

Other Hall of Fame inductees were John and Paul Kuczo into the J. Walter Kennedy Service Wing and Rashamel Jones and Claire Beth Tomasiewicz Nogay into the James O’Rourke Amateur Wing.

Also honored were Ryan Boyle who was named the Chelsea Cohen Courage Award Winner as well as John Nash of GametimeCT and the Norwalk Hour, who was given the Bill Gonillo Local Media Award.

Recipients from 16 local towns were also honored as Sportspersons of the Year from their individual towns. Carver is so grateful to the generous support and caring of the Commission and its longtime leader, Tom Chiappetta. Thank You!

Carver's Fifth Annual Golf Classic!

 Event committee members, Michael Gregorich and Carol Howe

Event committee members, Michael Gregorich and Carol Howe

See all the photos here in our Facebook album. See the event program journal here!

Our Fifth Annual Golf Classic at Shorehaven Golf Club was postponed to October 15th, after the original date was rained out. The skies threatened but ultimately did not rain on what turned out to be a balmy and fun day of golf!

Our golf event committee (Rich Baudouin, Allen Church, Bill Gallagher, Michael Gregorich, Carol Howe, Janine and Michael Smith, Oscar Villalonga, Jonathan Whitcomb and Richard Whitcomb) joined their colleagues for a great day of good fellowship!

Mike Laganza, Head Golf Professional since 2011, a member of the PGA of America and a Certified Flightscope Professional, provided encouragement and support throughout the day. Master chef, Sergio Reyes, prepared the fine dining throughout the day and evening.

The day began with Putting & the Driving Range, followed by a Grill Lunch. Everyone began their day of golf from their assigned tees, and the day concluded with a Cocktail Reception, Dinner, Prizes, and a Silent Auction.

We are grateful to Moffly Media for serving as our exclusive media sponsor. Here is the event program journal highlighting all our sponsors.

Established in 1924, Shorehaven represents the vision of a dedicated group of local citizens who sought to bring superior golf to the Norwalk area. Shorehaven is a preeminent club in Fairfield County, hosting such events as the Connecticut Open and a 1940 charity golf match with Babe Ruth, Gene Tunney, Gene Sarazen and Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret.  In addition, Ralph Greenwood, one of Connecticut’s legendary golfers served as the club’s lead golf professional for 37 years, furthering enhancing Shorehaven’s reputation as a premiere golf destination. Now, almost a century later, Shorehaven continues to fulfill its founders’ vision.  Shorehaven Golf Club stands as one of the finest golf facilities and private country clubs on the Connecticut coast.

Thank you, EVERYONE!

Join us for the Halloween Party this evening! Donated costumes!

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This year Community Costumes, a charitable organization, will be bringing 100 free costumes to distribute at our party. Community Costumes will have representatives available at the party to help your children pick out the perfect Halloween costume. ALSO, Greens Farms Academy donated costumes that will also be given away this evening to Carver kids! Join us for the fun and especially for the Haunted House upstairs!

Join LiveGirl in celebrating International Day of the Girl

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The Carver community can join longtime program partner LiveGirl to Celebrate the International Day of the Girl at their Facebook Live: Raising A Confident Girl, Thursday, October 11th @ 11 am, featuring Catherine Bailey, Founder of Think or Blue. Bailey is an expert on gender norms, who will provide resources to help children be confident, kind, and proud to be themselves! CLICK HERE & join LiveGirl LIVE tomorrow to ask your questions!

This year’s International Day of the Girl is themed “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force”. Join the UN in standing with girls everywhere as they inspire, innovate and take charge of their own future.

The 1.1 billion girls of today’s world are challenging the status quo. They’re redefining girlhood, and they’re doing so against the odds.

Across the world, girls face adversities that hinder their education, training and entry into the workforce. They have less access to information, communication technology and resources, such as the internet where the global gender gap is growing.

quarter of young people, most of them girls, are neither employed nor getting an education or training.

This year alone, 12 million girls under 18 will be married, and 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years will become pregnant in developing regions.

And yet, they persist, they succeed. They are innovating technology to solve global challenges, they are standing up for the environment, they are raising their voices against violence and they are preparing to run for office.

Fairfield County Sports Commission renews its financial support of Carver's Girls' Development Program

 (L-R), Carver leaders Shannon Bates and Novelette Peterkin; Carver students Carsyn Langhorn, Siera Elmore, Amelie Scott, Jakara Murray, Sanaa Boyd, Ashley Wilson; and Tom Chiappetta, FCSC Executive Director

(L-R), Carver leaders Shannon Bates and Novelette Peterkin; Carver students Carsyn Langhorn, Siera Elmore, Amelie Scott, Jakara Murray, Sanaa Boyd, Ashley Wilson; and Tom Chiappetta, FCSC Executive Director

For the second consecutive year, the Fairfield County Sports Commission (FCSC) is partnering with Carver to provide a Girls’ Development Program led by Shannon Bates, Carver’s Director of Recreation Programs, and Career Coach Eve St. Surin.

FCSC also sponsors the Chelsea Cohen Fitness Academy at Carver.

The successful Girls’ Development Program will serve up to 25 female athletes ages 13-18 from Norwalk Public Schools. Activities will range from fitness and strength training to discussions about injury prevention and college sports scholarships, yoga and Zumba, to nutrition coaching and preparing meals together, as well as guest presentations from college-level athletes, coaches and scouts. The Girls’ Development Program will offer a supportive environment that celebrates teamwork, leadership and personal goals.   

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Students will learn the importance of balancing academics with a competitive mindset during the week and weekends after games and or practices. The student-athletes learn the value of teamwork while learning about and building self-esteem, nutrition, wellness, and self-confidence. The program instills lifelong lessons in Norwalk students through sports and fitness. Students embrace the program’s vision to be committed to excellence in sports as well as in academics.

The Girls’ Development Program provides many supports, including: tutoring; Ladies Night (recreation, activities and educational programs); mentors; nutrition education; academic support; SAT, ACT, and PSAT PREP support; community service opportunities; college preparation (college tours, FASFA, college essays), and assistance with and with obtaining financial aid; field trips and team building activities; and so much more! The Carver community is deeply grateful for the many years of support given to our youth by the Fairfield County Sports Commission.

Carver kids go on a chartered fishing a trip in Long Island Sound!

 Brian Alert, Carver’s Chief Program Officer, with four Carver students and the boat captain admiring the catch of the day!

Brian Alert, Carver’s Chief Program Officer, with four Carver students and the boat captain admiring the catch of the day!

Wondering what’s biting in Long Island Sound? Just ask Carver students!

A donor sponsored a charter fishing boat on Friday afternoon to give Carver kids an opportunity to discover nature up-close and personally.

Based out of Norwalk, Connecticut, Pelagic Beast Fishing Charters offer unforgettable fishing adventures, using tried and tested fishing techniques that worked for our students. 

The Pelagic Beast is a 32 ft Downeast style boat that offers a secure ride in almost any weather conditions. Cruising at 20 knots, this boat gave the Carver kids more time fishing and less time traveling. The boat comfortably accommodates six anglers plus three crew members. She is fitted with top of the range gear, with electronics by Raymarine to find fish. High-quality fishing equipment is also supplied on board, with rods by Seeker and St Croix, reels by Avet and hooks by Owner Hooks. 

Pelagic Beast Fishing Charters uses a range of fishing techniques on their trips, from trolling, bottom fishing, or jigging or popping with lures.

Connecticut offers some of the best saltwater fishing that few places can rival. With over 100 species of fish found in Long Island Sound, anglers can enjoy some of the very best striped bass, bluefish, summer flounder, scup, hickory shad, black sea bass and tautog fishing along the entire coast. The State of Connecticut offers anglers many fishing opportunities with excellent boat launches along the coast and great shore fishing locations at coastal state and city parks, and charter boat fishing.