We are 67% to our goal of raising $1,500 by this Sunday!

For its 80-year anniversary year, the Carver Foundation of Norwalk is recording a theme song written and sung by world-renowned artists and Carver’s own vocalist! This effort will help make the Carver story known worldwide and advance its mission of Building Lifetime Achievers!

Almost everything is already donated by the artists and producers. Please give generously to help Carver complete this important project. Your gift will support:

  • Recording Carver’s alumnae Gabbie Pierre-Louis on We R 1
  • Finishing the musical instrument recording for the song
  • The final mix and master of We R 1
  • Filming a short video of Gabbie and Carver students in the studio for a behind the scenes look
  • Releasing We R 1 as a worldwide single on iTunes, Spotify, and all major retail/streaming sites

Goal: $1,500

The Song

Carver alumnae Gabrielle Pierre-Louis will join renowned music artists Michael McDonaldPeabo BrysonOleta Adams and other international star vocalists to produce the song “We R 1” for worldwide distribution. “We R 1” was written by Morris Pleasure and his wife, Lori, in 2002, and recently gifted to Carver. Over the years, Morris Pleasure captured recordings of the artists named above for the future release of the song. The song is sung in the style of the charity single “We Are the World” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The advent of Gabrielle’s powerful voice brings the professional recording of “We R 1” now to completion.

The Recording

Factory Underground Records is a Norwalk-based independent recording studio. Universal Music Group/Caroline distributes Factory Underground’s label worldwide. “We R 1” will be available soon on Spotify, iTunes, and on many other platforms available in 115 countries. Carver after-school students will observe the recording process at Factory Underground as part of Carver’s STEAM programming.

Gabrielle Pierre-Louise

Carver alumnae and Norwalk resident Gabrielle Pierre-Louise (Gabbie, 21 years old) is currently studying to be a dentist at the University of Bridgeport, inspired by years of helping her mother and father and other family members deliver humanitarian relief and dental care in particular to Haiti and other places in need. Gabbie is a gifted vocalist who is using her prodigious talent to support Carver.

Morris Pleasure

Mr. Pleasure received Carver’s Child of America award at a performance at Carnegie Hall in 2014, the only time Carver ever conferred this honor apart from Carver’s annual gala. The award recognized Pleasure’s volunteer support of Carver’s “Youth Voice” initiative, WeR1Voice (named after his song). Born and educated in Connecticut, Pleasure is an American composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and touring musician. He has recorded and performed with artists such as Ray Charles, Najee, George Duke, Earth, Wind & Fire (a band member for 10 years), Roberta Flack, Christina Aguilera, Peter Cetera, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Bette Midler, and many others. Pleasure appeared in the documentary, This Is It, and Janet Jackson’s film, Janet: Live in Hawaii.

We R 1 Lyrics

WE ARE ONE…

WE KNOW OUR WORLD HAS GONE ASTRAY

EVIL AND VIOLENCE EVERYDAY

IT CAN’T GO ON THIS WAY FOREVER

FATHER HEAR OUR PRAYER FOR THE FUTURE

 

OUR CHILDREN GROW UP IN A WORLD OF PAIN

IN A LIFE WITHOUT DREAMS WHAT HOPE REMAINS

WE’VE GOT TO CARE FOR EACH OTHER

LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY

 

WE ARE ONE….

 

JUST LIKE THE SUN WILL CROSS THE SKY

EACH DAY A JOURNEY AS TIME GOES BY

WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER

WE MUST BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

WHEN LIFE GETS HARD TO UNDERSTAND

WE HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN THE MASTER’S PLAN

LET’S MAKE A NEW WAY FOR THE CHILDREN

HELP THEM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE…

 

ENOUGH OF THIS POVERTY AND DESPAIR

CORRUPTION, INJUSTICE EVERYWHERE

IT’S TIME TO MOVE ON, LET’S WORK TOGETHER

THROUGH UNITY, WE CAN MAKE IT BETTER

 

LET’S BE A BEACON IN THE NIGHT

SPREAD PEACE LIKE WE’RE ANGELS TAKING FLIGHT

A MESSAGE OF LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING

HEAL OUR WORLD TODAY

 

DON’T GIVE UP HOPE FOR YOUR BROTHER

HELP HIM BELIEVE

 

WE ARE ONE.

 

LOVE ALL AROUND AND YOU’LL KNOW

THEY’RE PEOPLE WHO’RE BELIEVERS WHEREVER YOU GO

A SMILING FACE WILL SHOW

WE NEED UNITY

IT’S UP TO YOU AND ME.

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Carver is among only 41 nonprofits in Connecticut to receive Charity Navigator's highest rating, far exceeding industry standards for financial health, transparency and accountability to donors. Only 17 charities received the 4 Stars in Fairfield County. The only other charity in Norwalk besides Carver to receive the 4 Star rating is the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Nationwide, less than 25% of rated nonprofits receive the 4 Star rating. 

Here is Carver's rating on Charity Navigator. 

Carver also received Guidestar's Platinum Seal, it's highest rating after the Bronze, Silver and Gold seals,  for organizational transparency and performance measurement. GuideStar is the world's largest source of information about nonprofit organizations. 

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Social Venture Partners Connecticut (SVP-CT), a program of Fairfield County's Community Foundation, is partnering with Carver to help build our organizational capacity in order to scale our programs and increase their effectiveness. SVP-CT's selection of Carver follows a lengthy review process. The SVP-CT team partnering with Carver includes Lead Partner Jim Corgel, Daniel Isaia, Randi Infusino, Rich Wenning, Paula Argosh, Clare Hare and two SVP-CT summer interns. 

Social Venture Partners (SVP) is a global network. SVP cultivates philanthropists, strengthens social ventures, and invests in collaborative solutions – building powerful relationships to tackle pressing social challenges. SVP helps individuals amplify their giving, and funds and strengthens nonprofits. SVP is comprised of a 3,200+ global network of philanthropists that tap into a wealth of experience and knowledge through network-wide conferences, online resources and virtual cross-city forums made possible by SVP International

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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.

 Carver board member, Dick Whitcomb, and Mark Feinberg, the benefactor who made the Charlotte Naomi Horblit Technology possible, standing before the portrait of the late Charlotte Horblit

Carver board member, Dick Whitcomb, and Mark Feinberg, the benefactor who made the Charlotte Naomi Horblit Technology possible, standing before the portrait of the late Charlotte Horblit

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.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton), Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling and several other community leaders were in attendance at the center’s official ribbon-cutting opening Friday at 4 p.m.

“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.

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Carver engages in International Programs in various ways. Sometimes partners approach Carver with opportunities such as NicaPhoto and Learning Everywhere described below. Sometimes Carver responds to specific opportunities such as providing a financial scholarship for a student to participate in cross cultural experiences such as one of our students traveling to Japan through a program sponsored by the Center for Global Studies described below.

Presently,  Carver students are given international experiences primarily through the Initiative we call WeR1Voice. This program had its start in 2013, inspired by Morris Pleasure, a world renowned musician. Mr. Pleasure is very much a global citizen who invites Carver students to participate in various ways in his world of music. Experiences range from Carver kids being invited to promote public awareness of the Ghana National Museum on Slavery and Freedom to introducing Carver students via social media and Skype to his countless friends and associates around the world such as with youth in Tanzania. Though based mostly in London, Mr. Pleasure is presently coaching a Craver youth to sing at Carver's Child of America gala on April 28th!

NicaPhoto

From 2011 to 2015, Carver YDP high school students partnered with NicaPhoto to learn alongside their peers in Sonrisa de Dios (Smile of God), one of the poorest barrios in Nagarote, Nicaragua. The students shared photography, poetry and stories via Skype and other digital means. A book based on this cultural exchange was published in 2014.  Students traveled to Nicaragua to help the students there establish this organic garden by which the young people learn about growing their own food, organic gardening and healthy eating. Subjects such as math, science, art and photography are applied in the garden, bringing classroom learning to daily life. 

Learning Everywhere

Concord Consortium invited Carver to participate in Learning Everywhere, a pilot program with partnering science museums in the UK, France, and throughout the US. Carver helped to test the project's concepts in Norwalk Public Schools and at the Connecticut Science Center. Using cutting-edge technologies including multitouch tabletop surfaces and mobile games, Learning Everywhere helps youth engage with and learn about about energy and engineering concepts including alternative energies, energy use and human impacts and green engineering and design. The project’s interactive experiences extend learning across settings—from museum to school to home and back—enhancing and connecting learning fluidly across boundaries. In the process, our goal is to build a greater understanding about how these learning opportunities interact than ever before. By collecting fine-grained data on user interactions throughout these experiences, we will obtain a detailed picture of learning over time and across venues.

Center for Global Studies

Some Carver students attend the Center for Global Studies, a magnet school within Brien McMahon High School. Nearly 300 students learn Arabic, Chinese or Japanese, study the cultures and history of Asia or the Middle East, read literature from around the world, and Carver helps some of its students with meeting the expense of traveling on two-week Study Tours to broaden their understanding of the world. CGS has a large community room for cultural events and a kitchen where students cook international foods. Students come for as little as one year but many stay for their entire high school career.  They study language, literature and history in the CGS, and they enroll in math, science, gym, health, and other electives in Brien McMahon HS. Our students' intellectual energy and curiosity create a vibrant sense of community in the Center for Global Studies.

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