Archive | Youth

Hartford Police Arrest Shooting Suspect


HARTFORD — A Hartford man is facing charges of  attempted murder after shooting a Windsor man six times, leaving him in critical condition.

Deshawn Walton, 20, of Hartford, was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

Walton allegedly shot  Tequan Vail, 25, of Windsor on on July 18  at about 8 p.m. inside a building at 2006 Main St., police said. Vail suffered six gunshot wounds to his head, neck, chest, back and shoulder.

Walton, who goes by the street name of “Debo” and is a suspect in other shootings, was arrested on Thursday in Hartford.

Walton is being held on a $3.5 million bond.

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Children’s Museum Receives Grant


WEST HARTFORD —  The New Children’s Museum received a $20,000 grant from SBM Charitable Foundation and a $5,000 grant from the programs for Manchester schools.

Through its SAFA programs, the Museum engages students at low-income schools with innovative, hands-on STEM activities. SAFA programs span a wide range of subject matter including engineering, chemistry, zoology, astronomy, physics, and environmental science. Programs are designed to excite children about learning and help close the achievement gap.

Support from SBM and the Ruddell Fund will allow the Museum to purchase new equipment for ecology activities, develop new curricula, and carry out SAFA programs with K-6 Manchester students throughout the 2015-2016 academic year. These enhancements will build upon last year’s programs, in which students learned real-life scientific skills. In one SAFA class, students collected water, sediment, and microorganism samples at a nearby stream, collaboratively analyzed the samples, and translated their findings into visual data.

The New Children’s Museum is positioned as a premier STEAM education center, integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Home to over 100 live animals, the Museum features hands-on science exhibits, out-of-this world digital planetarium shows, and programs for young children and families.

The New Children’s Museum and Roaring Brook Nature Center are the region’s premiere destinations for science and nature exploration. The New Children’s Museum and Preschool are located at 950 Trout Brook Drive in West Hartford and Roaring Brook Nature Center is located at 70 Gracey Road in Canton. More information is available at www.TheChildrensMuseumCT.org.

For more information on Science Achievement for All or to sponsor an educational program, please contact Julie Barnofski Portfolio, Grants Manager, at jportfolio@thechildrensmuseumct.org or (860) 231-2830 x51.

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Hartford Receives Federal Grant for Teen Pregnancy


HARTFORD — Despite a 20 percent decline in teen births over the past five years, Hartford still has a teen birth rate that is higher than the national average.

Thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health, Hartford will have financial support for a new teen pregnancy prevention program. The $4,999,995 five-year grant will support a replicated evidence-based program in Hartford within the Hartford Health and Human Services Department.

Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced on Tuesday that Hartford is one of 50 cities across the country to be awarded a grant under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health  Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.

Despite a 20 percent decline in teen births over the past five years, Hartford still has a teen birth rate that is higher than the national average. The grant will focus heavily on a partnership with Hartford Public Schools, local service providers and clinics, city official said.

The funding will also focus on implementing programs in schools, clinics, and community-based settings to allow adolescents and teenagers to receive multiple medically accurate, age appropriate, evidence-based services during their adolescence. Vulnerable youth, such as those in foster care, juvenile detention, expectant and parenting teens, and older youth will be served through this initiative.

“The City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services has played an active and successful role in Teen Pregnancy Prevention since 2010,”  said Mayor Segarra. “This funding, and partnership with key agencies, will help Hartford to continue providing the level of expertise and services to youth and those most in need throughout the city.”

The U.S. HHS Teen Pregnancy Prevention Evidence –Based Initiative provides an opportunity for a broad range of programs to have a lasting impact on reducing teen pregnancy, HIV and STI’s among middle school and high school youth across the nation. For a list of all grant winners visit U.S. HHS Office of Adolescent Health 2015 Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Grants.

 

For questions regarding this initiative or other teen pregnancy prevention questions, please contact Carmen Chaparro at chapc001@hartford.gov or visit www.urlifeurchoice.org.

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Cal Ripken, Jr. Opens New Athletic Fields


By Rosie Garcia, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Major League Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr. hosted a youth baseball clinic at Global Communications Academy on Wednesday to celebrate the official opening of three new athletic fields in Hartford.

 

Thanks to donation from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.

 

The fields feature an all-weather, low maintenance synthetic surface and will accommodate softball, baseball, football, and soccer, city officials said. The fields are located at Global Communications Academy at 85 Edwards St., Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School at 280 Plainfield St., and at Hyland Park at 355 New Britain Ave.

 

“It is an honor to host Cal Ripken Jr. in Hartford and to give our young residents an opportunity to learn from this baseball legend. We are grateful to him and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for being our strategic partner in building three fields in the Capital City. These sacred community spaces will benefit many young residents and families, promoting physical exercise and activity for years and years to come,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra.

 

The city funded the total cost of the three new, multi-purpose artificial turf fields. Officials authorize $1,865,000 for Hyland Park, $1,700,000 for Annie Fisher, and $1,300,000 for Global Communications. The total investment was almost $5,000,000.

 

This brought the total investment in park infrastructure to $17.6 million since 2010.

 

The partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is part of the organization’s national Youth Development Park initiative, which aims to develop unique, multi-purpose, low maintenance fields with synthetic turf to provide a cohesive recreational and educational experience for underserved young people across the United States.

 

“It is amazing to look back and see how far we have come in the past 14 years,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. “Without the continued support of our partners, none of this would have been possible. Thanks to them, we can continue to expand our reach across the country and make a lasting impact on our youth.”

 

There are currently youth development parks operating in Maryland, Texas, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

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East Hartford Schools Receive Grant


EAST HARTFORD — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded the East Hartford Public Schools a grant to start pre-Kindergarten services.

The $641,205 start-up funding for pre-K services would allow up to  260 students to participate in the federal Head Start grant.

This grant–for the last 25 years, was coming from the Community Renewal Team.

But this year, the East Hartford Public Schools was a direct grantee, receiving the money directly from Health and Human Services

 

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Stanley Park to Host Outdoor Fun Event


NEW BRITAIN — It’s that time again to experience Tarzan swings, obstacle courses and other outdoor activities.

Go Ape, a highly interactive treetop adventure course, will hold a grand opening celebration on May 29 at 11:30 a.m. at the A.W.Stanley Park.

As part of the festivities, the Holmes School there will be will be doing their Wounded Warrior walk through the Park.

Then, the Holmes school Choir will sing the National Anthem with the Pulaski School Band, followed by a ribbon cutting and remarks from New Britain Mayor Erin E. Stewart, Go Ape USA Managing Director Dan D’Agostino, and New Britain Parks & Recreation Director Bill Demaio.

Participants at the Grand Opening will get to swing from the trees, participate in a raffle for prizes and enjoy a light lunch.

Go Ape offers Connecticut residents and visitors a unique outdoor experience that encourages them to swing from the trees and live life adventurously.

 

 

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Charter School Advocates Fight Budget Cuts


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Nearly 40, 000 Connecticut children attend under performing schools and many of them can’t read or do math at grade level, charter school advocates said this week while touting the number of people signed a petition demanding support for charter schools.

 
The Coalition For Every Child on Wednesday announced that 3,782 people have signed on to a petition to state leaders demanding that they support a great school for every child. The petition will remain open to collect more signatures until the end of the legislative session.

 
“Right now, there are 40,000 Connecticut children who attend under performing schools where the majority of students cannot read and do math at grade level,” the petition reads. “Most of them are low-income students or children of color. This is unacceptable. All children deserve the opportunity to get a great education, and they need it now. Connecticut needs expanded access to high-quality public schools for all children.”

 
Advocates said that the solution for under performing schools is to “continue to open high-performing public schools, fund all public schools equitably, and hold all schools accountable for results while also protecting the flexibility of individual schools to effectively serve the needs of all students, regardless of race, economic status or zip code.”

 
The announcement comes after 1,500 people from across the state attended a rally on the North Steps of the Capitol to voice their opposition to the Appropriations Committee budget, which proposed cuts for new public charter schools in Bridgeport and Stamford.

 
Funding for both schools and seats at existing charter schools was previously included in the budget release by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in February.

 
There are currently more than 3,600 students on wait lists for charter schools in the state. The budget proposed on Tuesday by the Appropriations Committee would do little to, charter schools advocates said.

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White House Honors East Hartford Teacher


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — The White House recently honored one of Connecticut’s best teachers.

President Barack Obama honored Cara Quinn, one of 55 teachers from across the nation who gathered in the Rose Garden on a sunny afternoon. a East Hartford resident.

Quinn, who is not teaching now because of her father’s illness, has taught sixth grade at Sunset Ridge School for more than 10 years.

During her career, Quinn has developed programs to prepare students for college, including a college immersion experience. She said she focuses not only on academics, but on character development.

“I think its important to nurture students to be globally aware,” she said.

Last October, Quinn was also named Connecticut’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.

“In her classroom, Mrs. Quinn not only teaches the material, she also teaches her students about their community and about their world,” Former Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said in a press release. “She encourages her students to give back through service and inspires them to make a difference.”

A teacher of 11 years, Quinn was chosen from over 100 district-level Teachers of the Year.

Quinn succeeded the 2014 Connecticut Teacher of the Year,  John Mastroianni. He is a music teacher at William H. Hall High School in West Hartford

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School Choice Begins in Connecticut


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD —  School Choice Week starts on Monday in Connecticut and across America.

From now until Jan.  31, there will be 153 school choice events across the state.

The events are part of National School Choice Week, which will feature 11,082 events across America – the largest celebration of educational opportunity in US history. In Hartford, several educators plan to discuss the future of North End schools on Jan. 31 at Liberty Christian Center at 9: 30 a.m.

The event is sponsored by Achieve Hartford!, African Caribbean American Parents of Children with Disabilities, Hartford Parent University, Daughters of Eve, and the Blue Hills Civic Association.

School Choice Week events in Connecticut include open houses, information sessions, policy roundtable discussions and more – planned by schools, organizations, homeschool groups and individuals.

“Connecticut families have choices when it comes to where to send their children to school, and National School Choice Week provides an opportunity for families to look into the options available to them, and, if they feel they want greater opportunities — to have their voices heard,” said  Andrew R. Campanella, president, National School Choice Week

Officials said the goal of the events is to inform parents about the K-12 education options available for their children, while raising awareness of the benefits providing families with a variety of different options for their children’s education.

Connecticut cities with the most events will also be in  New Haven,  Bridgeport,  and Waterbury.

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US Attorney: CT Faces ‘Alarming’ Number of Complaints


By Candice Dodd, Staff Writer

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut is facing “an alarming number” of complaints from parents about the discrimination of children in public and private schools.

Deidre M. Daly, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said that the office receives a large volume of complaints from parents and caregivers across the state alleging that schools, after-school programs and summer camps because of the child’s disability, gender, gender identity, or limited ability to speak English, discriminated against their children.

Daly recently announced the formation of the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group to address the violations of children from public and private educational institutions.

“Civil rights violations in educational and camp settings undermine the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens – our children,” Daly said.

The U.S. Attorneys Office has received complaints about bullying, sexual harassment and school segregation in public and private schools.

Most recently, they reached a settlement with Quinnipiac University to resolve allegations that the university violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by placing a student who had been diagnosed with depression on a mandatory medical leave of absence without first considering options for the student’s continued enrollment.

Over the last several months, the office has settled a number of cases against schools, after-school programs and daycare centers for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974. These settlements have resulted in monetary agreements to parents; comprehensive training for providers and sweeping policy changes to entire educational programs and systems, state officials said.

Recognizing a greater need to address these issues and help prevent further civil rights violations in educational and camp settings, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has partnered with federal and state agencies and numerous advocacy groups to form the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group. Participants include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Development and the U.S. Department of Education.

Officials said that the Working Group is on its way to develop and implement a strategic plan of action to resolve civil rights violations through educational outreach programs as well as law enforcement actions.

“Through aggressive outreach and enforcement initiatives, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our working group partners strive to eliminate these violations to improve the health and welfare of all children and young adults,” Daly said.

To contact the Educational Opportunities Civil Rights Working Group,  call 203-821-3896.

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