CREC Schools | Greater Hartford CT Magnet SchoolsCREC Schools are a system of tuition-free schools, each focused on a specific theme, that serve a diverse group of students across Greater Hartford Connecticut.http://www.crecschools.orghttp://www.crecschools.orgenHartford Area Families Celebrate New School Year at Third Annual CREC Back-to-School Block Partyhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/hartford-area-families-celebrate-new-school-year-at-third-annual-crec-back-to-school-block-partyhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/hartford-area-families-celebrate-new-school-year-at-third-annual-crec-back-to-school-block-party(Hartford, CT) Hundreds of families from Hartford and surrounding areas attended the Third Annual CREC Back-to-School Block Party on Wednesday afternoon, a free community event hosted by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) and CREC Foundation to celebrate the upcoming school year and prepare students for class with a backpack and school supplies giveaway. The Hartford Fire and Police departments, My Brother’s Keeper, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, The Village for Families and Children, and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center were among more than 30 local organizations that offered information and resources to parents throughout the event. The block party kicked off at 3 p.m. with free face painting, hot dogs, music from Hot 93.7, field games, and ice cream provided by Ice Cream for a Dream. The Back-to-School Block Party’s main event was the giveaway with 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies given to children from the Hartford area.

“It’s wonderful to see how the Back-to-School Block Party has grown in these few short years. I want to express our sincere gratitude to all of our sponsors because none of this would have been possible without their support. Thank you for joining CREC in our effort to make sure that kids in Greater Hartford are ready for school,” said CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio.

“Having the basic supplies like pens, pencils and notepads can make a big difference and we want to make sure students get off to a good start,” said Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan. “I’m grateful to everyone from the community, including CREC employees, who donated funds or supplies.”

Contributions from five sponsors, including Owens Realty, and CREC employees were used to purchase the backpacks and school supplies. The offices of Congressman John Larson and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy collected supplies from state employees. Members of the community also dropped off donations of school supplies at local restaurants, including Tangiers International Market, Bear’s Smokehouse Barbecue, Blind Pig Pizza Co., and Chango Rosa. The event was free and open to anyone from the Greater Hartford area.

A second back-to-school event focused on preparing parents for the school year is scheduled to take place in the afternoon on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at the Wilson-Gray YMCA. The “Parent & Student Back-to-School Fair” is a collaboration of the Wilson-Gray YMCA and the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center.

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:47:00 -0500
Two CREC Locations Serve Free Breakfast and Lunch to All Students This Yearhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/two-crec-locations-serve-free-breakfast-and-lunch-to-all-students-this-year-1http://www.crecschools.org/news/view/two-crec-locations-serve-free-breakfast-and-lunch-to-all-students-this-year-1(Hartford, CT)  Capitol Region Education Council is participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) as part of the National School Lunch Program for school year 2017-18.  Under this provision, participating districts and schools provide free breakfast and lunch to all students at all times.  All students enrolled at the following schools will receive meals through the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program at no charge.  Household income applications are no longer required to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals at schools participating in the CEP, but the school may distribute applications to collect household income data for other programs that require this information.
 
All students will be served breakfast and lunch at no charge at the following sites:

•    CREC John J. Allison Jr. Polaris Center
•    CREC Public Safety Academy

For additional information please contact:

Jeff Sidewater, Food Services Program Coordinator
CREC (Capitol Region Education Council)
147 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106  
O: 860-509-3774  F: 860-524-4001   Email: jsidewater@crec.org

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)    mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2)    fax: (202) 690-7442;
(3)    email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This document is available at www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/word_docs/deps/nutrition/cep/ceprelease.doc. For more information on the CEP, visit the Connecticut State Department of Education’s CEP Web site.

The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966 and is celebrating 50 years of academic excellence. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 18 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.

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Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:42:00 -0500
CREC in the Newshttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-in-the-news-12http://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-in-the-news-12Here are some recent media stories featuring CREC students and staff, and their accomplishments:

An article in The 74 about METCO, a busing program similar to Open Choice, very briefly mentions Hartford.

The Hartford Courant reports that, Justin Carlin, the former band director at CREC Aerospace has been hired to direct the New Britain High School Golden Hurricanes.

The Hartford Courant also covered Operation Fill-A-Box.

Fox61 did a segment on “Operation Fill-A-Box,” a school supplies drive for the Back-to-School Block Party.

In an interview with WNPR about her resignation from the school choice program for Hartford Public Schools, Enid Rey says that Sheff goals should be expanded.

The Hartford Courant covered the state board of education’s decision to approve 504 additional seats in charter schools next year, including 154 seats at Capital Prep Harbor School in Bridgeport.

The Register Citizen published a blurb about the 100 scholarships that Camp Jewell YMCA gave to CREC.

An article in the Norwalk Hour about the school district’s new chief of specialized learning mentions a 2015 CREC report that outlined various issues within the district’s special education department.

WTNH reports on CREC’s new guidelines for free and reduced lunches for school children.

A story in the Journal Inquirer about “Breakdancing Shakespeare” at Hartford Stage names cast members, including a 15-year-old student from the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

The Hartford Courant writes about CREC and other magnet school operators that stand by their decisions to enroll certain students outside the lottery.

The Journal Inquirer wrote about the planning grant awarded to CREC Public Safety Academy to cover the initial steps of creating a school for disengaged students.

The New Haven Register reports that Greg Florio was recently elected to serve as president of the Connecticut Association for Public School Superintendents.

The Hartford Business Journal picked up the story about the $4.8 million Walton Family Foundation grant to the University of Hartford and MTCNE to start an undergraduate Montessori program.

Fox61 aired a piece on CREC Two Rivers students and their schoolwide composting program.

The Hartford Courant covered the graduation last night at the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.

CT Mirror writes about a judge’s ruling on Friday blocking the state’s request to fill empty seats in magnet schools with more black and Hispanic students.

The Hartford Courant reports that a Superior Court judge granted a request by Sheff plaintiffs to extend the settlement agreement and blocked efforts by the State of Connecticut to change school integration standards.

The Hartford Courant covered the graduations for CREC Public Safety Academy and CREC Metropolitan Learning Center.

The Windsor Journal has a story on the CREC Metropolitan Learning Center Leos raising funds for a guide dog harness.

Hartford News published a story on the various classes and services offered by CREC Transition to Employment Services. You can view our version of the article here.

Here is continued coverage on WNPR and the Hartford Courant of the Sheff court hearing where the state argued in favor of opening up the share of minority students in magnet to 80 percent, but only for schools that are struggling to stay under current limit of 75 percent. The state says this would help Hartford students, while Sheff attorneys argue that this would hurt integration efforts.

The Hartford Courant wrote about the court hearing to argue extending the Sheff desegregation plan. Tim Sullivan, CREC's incoming superintendent of schools, was quoted.

A $100,000 donation from Dynegy to CREC Athletics was covered in stories that appeared in the New Britain Herald, the Hartford Courant, WNPR, WFSB, and the Journal Inquirer.

The CT Mirror published a story on Sheff vs. O’Neill going back to court and efforts to redefine “segregated schools.”

New Britain Herald Athletes of the Week are Innovation's Stephanie Ortiz and St. Paul's Jack Bator, newbritainherald.com

Innovation girls track and field places in top 10 in several events in Class S Championship, newbritainherald.com

Innovation softball wins first ever tournament game over MLC, newbritainherald.com

New Britain Herald Athletes of the Week are Innovation's Lianna Giles and Southington's Jeremy Mercier, newbritainherald.com

The Hartford Courant wrote about Tim Sullivan’s new role as Superintendent of Schools and Dina Crowl’s retirement.

An article in the Hartford Courant about the GOP state budget proposal says it would flat-fund charter schools and Open Choice.

An article in the Hartford Courant outlines Gov. Dannel Malloy’s revised budget plan, including a new proposal to “cut the state’s major education grant – education cost sharing – by $10 million and redistribute the funds to struggling cities...”

The CT Mirror did a town-by-town impact of the governor’s revised budget.

A CT Post article about charter school enrollment practices mentions Sheff v. O’Neill and Capital Prep.

CT News Junkie posted an op-ed about the lessons learned from the Capital Prep enrollment debacle.

This Hartford Courant article on the school lottery last night includes info about other magnet schools mentioned in the state’s audit, including four CREC schools.

An editorial in the Hartford Courant demands a full investigation of the magnet school lottery system.

This piece in the Atlantic Monthly about proponents of school diversity looking beyond the federal government for support, mentions Sheff v. O’Neill and proposes whether courts may “be newly open to lawsuits that seek to encourage efforts to ensure that children of different backgrounds have the opportunity to learn together and from one another.”

The Hartford Courant followed its story on Capital Prep with an article about “dozens” of magnet schools students that enrolled out of the lottery process.

An editorial in the Hartford Courant says it is time to consolidate Hartford schools.

The CT Mirror wrote about Capital Prep, the anticipated state audit of magnet school enrollment and the upcoming lottery.

The CT Mirror reports that data from the Department of Education shows that public schools suspended or expelled nearly 1,674 students in Pre-K to grade 2 last year.

Broadway World wrote about In the Heights at the Theatre of the Performing Arts. It was written by GHAA alum Christopher Castanho.

An article in Newsweek about segregation in schools across the country quotes a superintendent calling magnet schools “essential” and refers to Hartford’s “much-praised integration plan, which pulls in students from the wealthy white suburbs that surround the impoverished urban core.”

Bridgeport News reported on agencies, including CREC, and individuals who were recognized by Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut at their annual Achievement Awards Luncheon last week.

Channel 3 was at CREC Discovery Academy for their Earth Day event.

The Norwalk Hour wrote about the parents of a student at Soundbridge who have organized a comedy fundraiser to benefit Soundbridge.

The Valley Press has a story about officials in Canton delaying their budget decisions. One official questions the financial impact of Open Choice.

The Hartford Courant published an article about players from the UConn Women’s Basketball Team giving bicycles away to kids from Hartford Public Schools and the Trude Mero CREC Family Resource Center.

A segment on Channel 3 about the Baby Study Project, a program for first-graders that integrates multiple subjects, at CREC Discovery Academy.

The Hartford Courant writes about the Hartford superintendent’s proposed school budget.

The Greenwich Daily Voice writes about Cindy Rigling, a local school principal and former founding principal of CREC Magnet School for Global Citizenship, moving on to a new position in Chicago.

The Hartford Courant covered a public forum yesterday where Leslie Torres and Tim Sullivan, the two finalists for the job of superintendent, touted their credentials.

Game Time CT and the Hartford Courant published stories about Maurice Lloyd, the new CREC Colts football coach.

As part of its series on segregation in Maryland schools, the Baltimore Sun explores the challenges and rewards of Hartford’s integration efforts and magnet schools. The article and video feature CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Magnet High School.

The New Britain Herald writes about the Fifth Annual Dance for Ana With Love fundraiser at the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation this weekend.

Channel 3 recently aired a story on the CT State Troubadour’s visit to the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School.

The Hartford Courant published a story about CREC continuing to administer the Advanced Route to Certification for Special Education Cross Endorsement program and a story about boys basketball. It also published a photo of CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship’s Literacy Night and a story about Kim Stroud, of the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, winning an Excellence in Education Award.

The Windsor Journal and The Bloomfield Messenger published a story about the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering cross country teams. The story was written by student Vivian Ngo.

The Connecticut Mirror published a story about school choice, and CREC schools are mentioned.

Enfield Patch published a story about CREC’s boys and girls basketball teams.

The New Haven Independent published a story about Common Ground High School and a federal grant. CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School is mentioned.

The Hartford Courant published a photo of Paint Night at CREC Reggio Magnet School of the Arts, a photo of the CREC Public Safety Academy’s recent trip to the Connecticut Army National Guard base, and a photo of CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship’s appreciation campaign.

The New England Real Estate Journal published a story about the design of the CREC Academy of Science and Engineering.

The Hartford Courant published a story about Girl Scouts from Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School and a photo of CREC Soundbridge’s Thanksgiving parade.

The Hartford Courant published a story about the Hartford Region Open Choice Program’s recent Dine & Discuss event and a story about CREC’s All-State athletes. It also published a photo of CREC Academy of Science and Innovation student-athletes helping at their local library, and a photo of a recent sports clinic led by student-athletes at CREC’s Public Safety Academy.

WNPR aired a story about mindfulness that featured CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship’s Jessica Gruttola.

The Hartford Courant published a picture of curriculum night at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School, a picture of the “Piano Lesson” cast’s visit to CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, and a picture of Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School students with their food pantry donations.

The Middletown Press published a story about CREC Montessori Magnet School student who will perform in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

The Hartford Courant published a story previewing high school girls basketball season, and CREC schools are mentioned. It also published a photo of members of the CREC Colts accepting their sportsmanship award.

ESPN aired its SportCenter 10 top plays, and the student-staff basketball game at CREC Discovery Academy was named No. 9.

WFSB aired a video about its Athlete of the Week, CREC’s Manny Sanchez.

The Collinsville Press published a story about CREC’s football team.

The Ridgefield Press published a story about Election Day recounts, and Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School was mentioned.

Wethersfield Life published a story about CREC Soundbridge’s anniversary. It made the front cover, and the story spanned four pages!

Rocky Hill Life published a picture of curriculum night at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering Elementary School.

The Windsor Journal and The Bloomfield Messenger published stories about Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s relationship with CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering and CREC athletics.

The Hartford Courant published a story about Open Studio weekend, and CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School is mentioned. The Courant also published a story about CREC football.

Windsor Patch published a story about CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering boys soccer and a story about the school’s girls soccer team.

The Register Citizen published a story about CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Citizenship’s victory over Wolcott Tech in boys soccer.

Enfield Patch published a story about CREC Public Safety Academy’s girls soccer team.

The Hartford Courant published a story about the Design Lab at CREC Discovery Academy.

The New Britain Herald published two stories about the CREC Science and Innovation Academy’s girls soccer team.

FOX 61 published a story and aired a video about a CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School student who will be named 2016 Young Philanthropist of the Year for the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation.

The Hartford Courant published pictures of the CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies and CREC Public Safety Academy soccer game and a story about CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering student-athletes working with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

The Hartford Courant published a story about a CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School graduate who is hosting a new Bravo show.

The Hartford Courant published a story about CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School faculty member Sonia Plumb.

We-ha.com published a story about Melanie Valdes, a senior at CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School. She will be named the Aurora Foundation’s 2016 Young Philanthropist of the Year.

The Hartford Courant published a story about a bird banding activity at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.

The Record-Journal published a story about CREC’s upcoming football game.

WFSB published video of CREC’s recent football game.

FOX 61 published a story that mentions CREC football.

The Journal Inquirer published a story about Beth Sholom B’Nai Israel’s Jazz Festival, and the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School is mentioned.

Windsor Patch published a story about the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering’s cross country team.

The New Britain Herald published a story about the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation’s girls soccer team.

The Journal Inquirer published a story about bird banding at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.

Windsor Patch published a story about the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering’s cross country team.

The New Britain Herald published a story about Victoria Piechota, of CREC’s Academy of Science and Innovation. She was named the newspaper’s athlete of the week. The Herald also published a story about soccer at both the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation and CREC Two Rivers Magnet High School.

CTNOW.com published a calendar posting about “Dislecksia: The Movie.”

Windsor Patch and Enfield Patch published stories about CREC athletics.

The Hartford Courant published a story about CREC’s latest football game, a photo of CREC Montessori Magnet School students using a large state map, and a photo of CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship students celebrating International Day of Peace.  

The Register Citizen published a story about the CREC Public Safety Academy boys soccer team.  

The Hartford Courant published a story about high school football, and it includes CREC.

CTNOW.com published a calendar posting about the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School’s upcoming Choreographers’ Showcase.

WNPR published a story about an upcoming new jazz festival in Manchester. CREC’s Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School will participate.

The Record-Journal published a story about CREC’s football victory this weekend.

Wethersfield Life published a story about new CREC Discovery Academy principal Kurt Stanco and CREC Teacher of the Year Sarah Worley.  

The Hartford Courant published a story about a new CPTV series. The executive producer is a CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School graduate. It also published a photo of a Japan school’s recent visit to CREC’s International Magnet School for Global Citizenship and a photo of CREC Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary School’s performance at Peace, Love & Music Together.

Vernon Patch published a story about an invasive plant found in June during BioBlitz, which was held at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.

The New Britain Herald published a story about the changes at CREC Medical Professions Academy.

The Journal Inquirer published a story about a jazz festival in Manchester. CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School staff and students will perform.

The Hartford Courant published a picture of CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center’s Back to School event.

CT-N published a video of CREC’s recent FallStaff event.

WFSB published a story and video of its Liberty Bank Surprise Squad visiting CREC’s Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies. The squad delivered free lunch to teachers at the school on Tuesday.

The Metro Hartford Alliance published a story about CREC’s Back to School Block Party.

The New Britain Herald published a story about changes at the CREC Medical Professions Academy.

The Hartford Courant published a story that previewed BioBlitz, which is happening this weekend at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School.

The Windsor Journal published two stories written by CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering students. It also published a story about two CREC students who will be interning at Yale University this summer.

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Fri, 04 Aug 2017 08:52:00 -0500
CREC Kicks Off School Supplies Drive, “Operation Fill-A-Box,” in Preparation for Annual Back-to-School Block Partyhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-kicks-off-school-supplies-drive-operation-fill-a-box-in-preparation-for-annual-back-to-school-bhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-kicks-off-school-supplies-drive-operation-fill-a-box-in-preparation-for-annual-back-to-school-b (Hartford, CT) – Today, the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) kicked off “Operation Fill-A-Box,” a school supplies drive seeking donations of classroom essentials, including pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, notebooks, etc. The items will be placed in backpacks that will be given to students during the third annual Back-to-School Block Party in August. The event is open to students from the Hartford area and their families. Donations (new items only) are being accepted starting today, July 24, 2017, through August 13, 2017 at the following locations:

Bears Smokehouse Barbecue

25 Front Street, Hartford
Hours:
Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

The Blind Pig Pizza Co.

89 Arch Street, Hartford
Hours:
Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Chango Rosa
One Union Place, Hartford
Hours:
Sun – Wed., 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thu – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Tangiers International Market
550 Farmington Avenue, Hartford
Hours:
Mon – Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Each year, hundreds of children in our local communities return to school without basic school supplies. CREC started the Back-to-School Block Party two years ago with the goal of giving kids from the Hartford area the tools they need to learn. In addition to giving away backpacks filled with school supplies, the block party features food, music, and other family-friendly activities. This year’s event is scheduled to take place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on August 16, 2017 at CREC Central, 111 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford.

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The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changings needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.     

See the Press Release
 

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Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:12:00 -0500
CREC Students Experience Traditional Summer Camp Through Camp Jewell YMCA Scholarship Programhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-students-experience-traditional-summer-camp-through-camp-jewell-ymca-scholarship-programhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-students-experience-traditional-summer-camp-through-camp-jewell-ymca-scholarship-program(Colebrook, CT) Ten-year-old Hartford resident Ezequiel Lopez was annoyed four summers ago when his mom first signed him up for overnight camp at Camp Jewell YMCA in Colebrook.

“The first year I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay home and play video games. When I got here, it was pretty cool. They had a farm and a waterfront. I could go swimming,” said Ezequiel, who goes to school in Windsor Locks through the Hartford Region Open Choice program.

Ezequiel quickly grew excited about being at camp and was so eager to return the following year that he packed his bag a month in advance. This is his fourth summer at Camp Jewell YMCA and he plans on returning “till I’m a camp counselor.”

Ezequiel is among dozens of students in a CREC-managed program or CREC magnet school who are attending the camp free of charge through scholarships offered by Camp Jewell YMCA. CREC received spots this summer for 100 kids, some of which CREC shared with Hartford Public Schools and community organizations.

The scholarship program is part of an effort to serve kids from Greater Hartford and to bring diversity to the camp. The initiative started in 2012 after program leaders realized that hardly any of their campers came from Hartford or New Britain.

“We are the YMCA of Greater Hartford and we should be serving kids from Greater Hartford,” said Ray Zetye, Executive Director of Camp Jewell YMCA.

Ray sees the program benefitting all campers, not just those attending on scholarship. Diversity, he said, exposes kids to different life experiences and prepares them for the years ahead when they interact with people from varying backgrounds.

“We’re creating more empathetic adults through this program,” said Ray. “My dream is to have a cabin with a couple of kids from Hartford, three or four kids from the suburbs, a kid from Spain. I want to have religious diversity, all different dimensions of diversity.”

Camp Jewell YMCA is set on 540 acres of majestic woodlands right next to a lake. Although kids follow a rigid daily schedule, they choose which activities to participate in. Their options include, horseback riding, theater, pottery, archery, swimming, boating, outdoor cooking, among other traditional camp activities.

Ezequiel enthusiastically described playing Zombie Apocalypse, similar to a game of tag where players become zombies when they are touched by other zombies.

This is also the fourth summer at camp for Jada Mann, a 12-year-old from CREC Two Rivers Middle School. Jada enjoys candle-making, swimming. She’s taken basketball clinics, and practiced outdoor cooking. Her favorite thing about camp is making friends.

Seven-year-old Uriel Vaughn is experiencing his first year here. He is, “Excited because it’s very cool.”

“For a lot our kids, it’s their first time being outside of an urban environment or being away from their families. They get to explore a new environment, make friends and learn to be self-sufficient,” said Eric Crawford, director of the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center, during a site visit at the camp last week.

Crawford and his staff manage the camp scholarships given to CREC. They recruit students to attend and make routine site visits to check up on the kids.

The initiative started with approximately 10 students. It’s grown to about 450, with scholarships offered to students through organizations like CREC, Hartford Public Library, International Institute of Connecticut, Legacy Foundation, and Catholic Charities.

Approximately 1,300 kids between the ages of 7 and 16 from Greater Hartford to Fairfield County, as well as China, Spain and the Dominican Republic, participate in the residential camp program each year. The program runs four two-week sessions between June and August.

See the Press Release

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Tue, 25 Jul 2017 09:02:00 -0500
CREC Greater Hartford Academy Grads Urged To Think And Createhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-greater-hartford-academy-grads-urged-to-think-and-createhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-greater-hartford-academy-grads-urged-to-think-and-createhrthcgreaterhartfordhcpg1hc005466485720170619.jpgThe 98 students in the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts's Class of 2017 found opportunities to express themselves in their high school careers in many different ways.

No longer within the realm of the school student speaker Olivia Mitchell called "a second home," the graduates were challenged with staying artistically engaged and using their voices to bring positive change at the academy's commencement ceremony Friday night.

Full Story

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Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:21:00 -0500
Schoolwide Composting Program at CREC Two Rivers Middle School Making an Impacthttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/schoolwide-composting-program-at-crec-two-rivers-middle-school-making-an-impacthttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/schoolwide-composting-program-at-crec-two-rivers-middle-school-making-an-impact(East Hartford, CT) A schoolwide composting program at CREC Two Rivers Middle School has diverted 7,496 pounds of food scraps from the landfill since 2015, enough to offset emissions from 214 gallons of gasoline – the equivalent of 4,197 pounds of carbon dioxide. The figures come from Blue Earth Compost, a local food scrap pick-up service that CREC Two Rivers has been using since 2015 for its composting program. The company collects all types of food waste, including meat, sauces, napkins and milk cartons. Since switching to Blue Earth Compost, students have been encouraged to compost food scraps, milk cartons, and napkins in the cafeteria.

SchoolwideCompostingProgramatCRECTwoRiversMiddleSchool.jpg“What an impact!” said Kennan Poulakos, Environmental Theme coach at CREC Two Rivers Middle School. “The program is a work in progress and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. We are proud of what we have collected so far and plan on boosting those numbers in the future!”

CREC Two Rivers, an environmentally-themed STEM school, has composted on a small scale for years but started composting schoolwide in 2014 using bins on campus. They switched to Blue Earth Compost because it can accommodate more types of food. As a result, CREC Two Rivers was one of three Connecticut schools to be awarded the distinction of being named a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.
 

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Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:20:00 -0500
Young Singers Brighten Residents' Dayhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/young-singers-brighten-residents-dayhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/young-singers-brighten-residents-dayYoung people from the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts took time out of their school day to bring a smile to residents at a local assisted living facility. On Friday, May 26th, a group of students from the musical theater department sang, danced, and shared instrumental music at Avery Heights in Hartford. “Our residents are always so pleased to be in the presence of such talented young people” said Bill Englehart, Director of Operations. The afternoon became a memorable one for the kids and residents alike.

Almost a year ago, a group of students from the “Creativity in Community” class shared their visual art and musical talents with the Avery Heights community when they created a painting exhibit and performed music for the gallery opening. The exhibit is still on display and the residents still talk about it to this day.

 

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Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:19:00 -0500
Academy Filmmakers Selected for Festivalhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/academy-filmmakers-selected-for-festivalhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/academy-filmmakers-selected-for-festivalTwo Creative Writing/Media Arts students from the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts have had their documentary films selected for the New Haven Documentary Film Festival.  Verne Mackoff, full-day senior from Glastonbury, submitted the film “Civility”, which centers on accountability and language, exploring the words we use and how we perceive their political implications and how they unite or divide us.

Scott Timothy, half-day junior from Portland, submitted his film “Safe Spaces”, which addresses student and staff reaction to safe spaces in school environments and how much they feel students are free to be themselves.

The New Haven Documentary Film Festival runs from June 1st - June 11th. Both of the above films will be presented on the festival’s fourth day in the New Haven Public Library. Admission is free.

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Tue, 23 May 2017 11:58:00 -0500
CREC Announces Retirement of Superintendent of Schools Dina Crowl, Selects Tim Sullivan to Fill Rolehttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-announces-retirement-of-superintendent-of-schools-dina-crowl-selects-tim-sullivan-to-fill-rolehttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-announces-retirement-of-superintendent-of-schools-dina-crowl-selects-tim-sullivan-to-fill-roleCREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio announced Wednesday that Superintendent of CREC Schools Dina Crowl will be retiring at the end of June and that Assistant Superintendent for Operations Tim Sullivan has been selected to take over the position. The announcement was made at the CREC 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration after the CREC Council approved hiring Sullivan as the new superintendent.

“I received news of Dina’s departure with mixed emotions. Dina is among the most dedicated and talented administrators with whom I have had the pleasure to work. She is a champion for students and has worked tirelessly to help close the achievement gap for all children,” said Florio. “While Dina’s leadership will be missed, I am more than pleased that Tim is continuing his career here at CREC. Besides having a breadth of experience in education, Tim is a genuine advocate for quality education for all children and families. This is the essence of our mission at CREC and Tim has the drive and talent to see it through. His strong ties to the Hartford school community have also been an asset to CREC’s diverse student population.”

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity. CREC has a long history of providing high-quality, integrated educational opportunities for children in greater Hartford. I hope to carry that legacy forward, following in the footsteps of Dina Crowl. She is the strongest believer in the success of all children that I have ever met. I hope to continue her work and follow her example,” said Sullivan.

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served as an educator in Connecticut and to have worked alongside some of the greatest minds and most dedicated individuals in education. While closing this chapter in my life is difficult, I’m excited to open a new one in California,” said Crowl. She is relocating to San Diego, where her husband has accepted an executive transfer within his company.

In 2013, Crowl became the Superintendent of CREC Schools. During that time, student enrollment increased by 30 percent, as well as enrollment of Hartford students. She has a deep commitment to the academic success of every child, particularly in the area of literacy where she put supports in place to ensure children could read at grade level. Prior to joining CREC in 2006, Crowl worked for Hartford Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. She filled a variety of roles at CREC, including Senior Education Specialist, Division Director for the Institute Teaching and Learning, and Assistant Superintendent of CREC Magnet Schools.

Sullivan joined CREC in July of 2012 after a 23-year career as an educator with Hartford Public Schools. As Assistant Superintendent for Operations at CREC, Sullivan has provided leadership and overall direction for school operations, while facilitating effective communication between CREC schools and service divisions.

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Thu, 18 May 2017 12:11:00 -0500
Visual Arts Students Present Muralhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/visual-arts-students-present-muralhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/visual-arts-students-present-muralmuralupload.jpgJohn Gintoff's Friday class, Creativity for the Community, has created a jungle inspired mural which measures 8 x 12 feet. The finished piece was designed specifically for the Victory Academy for Gifted and Talented Students located at the Victory Cathedral at 185 Bellevue Street, Hartfordt. It will be permanently installed there.

The project was evolving process. During first semester, students were required to create a design for the background as well as three animals to populate it. Students painted the panels for the actual mural during second semester as well as one animal. Those students included Payton Anderson, Adrienne Baxter, Gabrielle Cilfone, Tatiana Davis, Ruth Figueroa,Stephanie Garcia, Charity Gregory, Emma Halloran, Johanna Weakley and Madison Woiten.

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Wed, 17 May 2017 17:11:00 -0500
Designer from GHAA Wins Awardhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/designer-from-ghaa-wins-awardhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/designer-from-ghaa-wins-award 

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A graduate from the Academy’s Theatre Design and Production Dept. is one of the latest to receive a Helen Hayes Award.  William (Billy) D’Eugenio, class of 2010, has won a 2017 Helen Hayes Award for best lighting design for his work on “World Becomes Flesh” put on by Theatre Alliance. The Helen Hayes awards are awards  given for recognition for excellence in theatre within the Washington DC area. They are named after famed DC actress Helen Hayes, known as the “first lady of American theatre.”

Billy studied technical theater at the Academy in the half day program where his focus was on lighting design.  After Academy, he went to the University of Maryland Baltimore where he continued his studies in lighting design.

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Tue, 16 May 2017 17:45:00 -0500
CREC Discovery Academy Moon Rocks and Meteorite Presentationhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-discovery-academy-moon-rocks-and-meteorite-presentationhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-discovery-academy-moon-rocks-and-meteorite-presentationEvent:           Moon Rocks and Meteorite Presentation

Date:             Friday, May 12, 2017
Time:            1:30 PM
Location:     CREC Discovery Academy
                      176 Cumberland Avenue in Wethersfield

Event:            Moon Rocks and Meteorite Presentation
Date:             Saturday, May 13, 2017
Time:            11:30 AM
Location:     Children’s Museum, 950 Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford

For the past two weeks, third-grade students at CREC Discovery Academy have been studying rock, soil and meteorite samples that were collected from the surface of the moon by NASA astronauts during Apollo moon landings. The students will share their findings and the samples with a third-grade class on Friday morning and will be featured guests Saturday at the Children’s Museum National Astronomy Day celebration. The samples are on loan from the NASA Astromaterials Curation Office as part of an educational program for K-12 schools.

“I decided to order the samples for this year when fifth grade taught the moon unit. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to share these national treasures with students and the general public!” shared CREC Discovery Academy STEM Coach Clare Neseralla.

Considered to be national treasures, the samples are secured at the Wethersfield Police Department overnight. Extra police security has been requested during the presentation at the Children’s Museum on Saturday. Neseralla was able to request the samples after completing a NASA certification workshop and is required to accompany the samples when they are not secured at the police station.

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Sat, 13 May 2017 13:39:00 -0500
GHAA Musical Theater Graduate Talks About Her Experience on Broadwayhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/ghaa-musical-theater-graduate-talks-about-her-experience-on-broadwayhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/ghaa-musical-theater-graduate-talks-about-her-experience-on-broadwayOpen in Separate Window.

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Tue, 09 May 2017 09:09:00 -0500
CREC Receives 100 Full Scholarships to Camp Jewell YMCA, Shares with Hartford Public Schools and Communityhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-receives-100-full-scholarships-to-camp-jewell-ymca-shares-with-hartford-public-schools-and-commhttp://www.crecschools.org/news/view/crec-receives-100-full-scholarships-to-camp-jewell-ymca-shares-with-hartford-public-schools-and-comm(Hartford, CT) The Capitol Region Education Council announced that Camp Jewell YMCA, a branch of the Greater Hartford YMCA, has provided CREC with 100 full scholarships to their summer program this year. For the past three years, Camp Jewell has allocated 50 of these scholarships to CREC students, providing them with the opportunity to attend the traditional, overnight summer camp free of charge. Camp Jewell YMCA decided to double that number this year. However, not all of the scholarships are going to CREC students; CREC is sharing 25 scholarships with Hartford Public Schools and 10 with community organizations. Approximately 30 of the students participating in the summer camp and their parents will visit the camp on Saturday, May 6, 2017 to become familiar with the grounds and volunteer in a cleanup.

“We are very grateful to Camp Jewell for their generosity in providing our students an enriching and unforgettable summer experience,” said CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio. “Given that many organizations and agencies across the state are struggling financially, it seems only right that we extend some of that generosity to our neighbors at Hartford Public Schools and members of our community.”

“We thank Camp Jewell and CREC for opening up more opportunities for Hartford students. Keeping our children engaged during the summer months is essential to their learning and social development,” said Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools.

“Our goal with the program is not only to provide the opportunity for kids to have access to the camp that they may not have had otherwise, but we also want to diversify our camp so that it is more representative of the Greater Hartford community that we are a part of,” said Ray Zetye, Executive Director of Camp Jewell YMCA. “The opportunity isn’t just for the kids from CREC schools. The opportunity is also for the kids, who have been coming here, to experience a more diverse population. It’s a win, win.”

Approximately 1,300 kids from Greater Hartford to Fairfield County, as well as China, Spain and the Dominican Republic, participate in the residential camp program each year. The program runs four two-week sessions between June and August. Campers between the ages of 7 and 16 practice archery, swimming, basketball, boating, arts and crafts, theater, outdoor cooking, and other traditional camp activities. Another goal of the program is to facilitate friendships among the campers. The cost per child is $1,700. About 450 scholarships are offered each year, including those offered to CREC. Anyone interested in supporting this effort, please contact Eric Crawford at the CREC Trude Mero Family Resource Center at (860)244-9358 or ecrawford@crec.org.

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Mon, 08 May 2017 10:01:00 -0500