See the article excerpted below at THE HOUR here.
NORWALK — Novelette Peterkin peeled a sheet of white paper off the three-window panel in the second-floor hallway of the Carver Center late Friday afternoon.
The faces of a few dozen community members and leaders in the crowd before her lit up as she revealed the new Charlotte Naomi Horblit Technology Center.
Rows of 24 PCs, eight iMac computers with Retina 5K displays and brand new neon green chairs and desks filled the room. A 3-D printer sat in the back. A touch-screen smart-board hung on the wall in the front of the room.
Illustrations from Westport artist, writer and civil rights activist Tracy Sugarman lined the walls.
“This will be a wonderful addition to support our strong STEM programing,” said Peterkin, the executive director of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk.
The Carver Foundation provides after-school programs from Norwalk Public Schools students along with five summer learning programs reaching more than 600 students.
The new technology center will be used by K-12 kids from across Norwalk for math, reading and science programs. They will eventually be able to use the iMacs for creative projects, using GarageBand and publishing programs.
Mark D. 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.
The gift inspired additional donations to bring the total financial commitment for the tech center to $500,000.
“This is an exciting, exciting day,” Rilling said. “The Carver does so much for so many.
“When you’re investing in our children, in our young people, you’re going to get a return on your investment more so than any other investment than you’ll ever make.”
Feinberg agreed, calling his donation “a great investment” in brief bout of remarks.
The Carver’s new tech center expanded on a STEM education investment made by General Electric about five years ago. GE’s funding provided STEM education at six sites - Carver Center, Side by Side School and Norwalk’s four public middle schools.
Peterkin and those in attendance thanked Feinberg for his contribution and making the technology center possible.
“I am thrilled for the Carver to be the recipient of this wonderful gift,” Peterkin said.