And below is the greeting and report from Carver’s Executive Director, Novelette Peterkin.
As our milestone year comes to an end, we are as vibrant and relevant as any other time in our eighty-year history. We are executing our “2020 Strategic Plan” and making thoughtful adjustments along the way. There are solid commitments to strengthen our organization’s capacity to ensure we meet our goals and fulfill our mission. Giving equitable access and opportunity to hundreds of Norwalk youth is the cornerstone of our work through our three areas of focus: after school, summer, and community.
Thoughtful planning with emphasis on analysis of students’ performance and growth data continues to drive the expansion of our current after school and summer programs. Carver is operating after school programs at the Carver Community Center, at Norwalk’s four public middle schools (Nathan Hale, Ponus, Roton, and West Rocks), and at Side By Side Charter School. Carver conducts a 5th grade after school program at Tracey and Brookside Elementary Schools; we’ll be adding Naramake and Kendall Elementary Schools to this new program in January. Carver is also at work after school and during summer at Brien McMahon and Norwalk High School. This month, we are partnering by invitation of the Bridgeport Board of Education with the Classical Studies Magnet School in Bridgeport to provide after school programming for up to two- hundred 3rd through 6th grade students.
Today, Carver remains committed to providing the access that will unlock lifelong opportunities for our students. We are “Building Lifetime Achievers” as every Carver student’s future is full of potential and driven by his or her curiosity and eagerness to absorb knowledge. Our commitment to customized solutions is reflected in our work in the 2017-18 school year. In every community the success of our children depends on the actions of adults. With the support of a wide range of stakeholders and our many partners including Norwalk Public Schools, investors, community members, volunteers, staff and families, Carver students are growing and succeeding in healthy environments. All our young people deserve and receive an excellent education that helps them reach high standards of performance, regardless of their life circumstances.
I know that leaders cannot drive change alone. We need the power of many to be successful. How blessed am I to have the smart, energetic and generous support of so many. We have accomplished so much in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
Expanded our summer programming (adding two middle schools) and after school programming (adding two elementary schools) to serve 1,461 students (unduplicated). We served the largest number of students in Carver’s history: 1,358 Norwalk Public Schools students and 103 non-NPS students.
Raised more than a $1million at our annual gala, the most raised at any event in Carver’s history.
Secured more than $4 million in total revenue, the most operational funds raised in a single year in Carver’s history, exceeding our budgeted goal by 13 percent.
Replaced the HVAC systems on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Carver Community Center.
We continue to benefit from diligently seeking independent assessments of our work. To this end, we added a full-time data analyst, a school-based program manager, and a chief operating officer to our staff. Each of these new key strategic positions are necessary to ensure that we are implementing better evaluation tools, strengthening our connection between Carver and Norwalk Public Schools and ensuring continual improvements in our operations. Continued growth will require us to focus on building our organizational capacity, enhancing our data management tools, methodologies, and analysis, and expanding our fundraising and marketing initiatives. While projects and opportunities may change through the years, our determination to meet rising expectations for each and every child remains steadfast.
Our work today includes the following priorities:
Building our cash reserves to ensure the long-term financial stability of the organization.
Serving ever more students until Norwalk completely closes its achievement gap. This means a bold plan to work hand-in-hand with Norwalk Public Schools to identify high needs students and engaging more partners in addressing all barriers that frustrate strong academic performance.
Continuing to work closely with Norwalk Public Schools (NPS) to ensure that our programs are aligned with their 2016-2019 Strategic Operating Plan and their 2017-18 Priority Outcomes and Implementation Steps.
Partnering with NPS elementary schools to add two 5th grade after-school programs each year (4 programs this fiscal year).
Growing our middle school summer transition programming to serve 100 students per school to stem summer learning loss among students. Add a summer enrichment program at Tracey Elementary School in summer 2019 to serve 5 through 13-year old students.
Launching a capital improvement campaign to renovate the Carver Community Center gymnasium; convert the first-floor storage rooms into a large and inviting space for teens; and then offer this newly refurbished athletic center to the greater Norwalk community.
We have immense gratitude to our many partners and investors for their priceless contributions that helped us in shaping a culture of belonging and membership here at Carver. Carver students know that we never give up on them. We are especially grateful for our donors, parents, students, teachers and staff, volunteers, principals, Norwalk Public Schools and Side By Side Charter School administrators, and our program partners for all they do to advance the Carver vision of “Building Lifetime Achievers.”
We are Carver!