Archive | July, 2018

CRT to Offer Financial Literacy Class

HARTFORD — Greater Hartford residents looking to brush up on financial literacy can do so in Hartford.

Thanks to the Community Renewal Team, which is currently accepting applications for its 8th annual Financial Literacy Institute.

Beginning Sept. 11, the free, 14-week program for adults will be offered at CRT’s main office at 555 Windsor St. in Hartford.

The deadline to apply is July 31.

The class will provide participants with an in-depth and engaging way to educate themselves and their family members about a wide range of financial matters, including household budgeting and managing cash flow; saving and investing; credit and credit rebuilding; various types of insurance; the psychology of money, financial goal setting and more.

“Our financial literacy mantra is: ‘Make your money work for you!’ This mindset, embraced and practiced, can lead you and your family on a journey to a more secure financial future. All you need to do is to take that first step with us,” said Eileen Feliciano, CRT’s Financial Literacy Coordinator.

Individuals that are interested in participating in this free educational program are encouraged to apply online:

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Black Teachers Leave Schools at Higher Rates — But Why?

In recent years, there’s been an increased push to get more teachers of color into the classroom, often highlighting large gaps between student and teacher demographics.

National data shows the problem isn’t just recruiting those teachers, but retaining them as well. Now a new paper offers a detailed look at the reasons why in one state, and hints at potential solutions.

That’s important because a spate of recent researchhas linked teachers of color to better outcomes for students of color; some advocates point to inherent and democratic benefits for all students of a more diverse teaching profession. “With the increasing diversity of student populations and a societal striving to achieve educational equity, the issue of developing a diverse and effective teaching workforce remains urgent and pressing,” writes researcher Min Sun of the University of Washington.

Sun’s paper, published in the peer-reviewed journal AERA Open, uses detailed data from 2004 to 2015 to focus on black teachers in North Carolina.

First, the study documents higher turnover rates — meaning leaving one’s school either for a different one or departing teaching altogether — among black North Carolina teachers. The gap was around four percentage points, although it fluctuated somewhat between years and grade levels. In a given year, about 12 percent of black teachers left public school teaching in North Carolina, compared to 10 percent of white teachers. Another 10 percent of black teachers switched between schools; eight percent of white teachers did.

National data points to a somewhat larger overall turnover disparity of about seven percentage points between black and white teachers (22 versus 15 percent, respectively).

But when the North Carolina paper digs into this more, a striking finding emerges: once factors that might predict turnover — such as school type and a teacher’s age — are controlled for, the racial turnover gap disappears. In fact, in schools with more black students, black teachers were actually slightly more likely than their white colleagues to remain in the classroom.

So why does a raw gap exist?

“The schools where Black teachers worked also had weaker principal leadership, less effective mentoring, and lower-quality professional development,” Sun writes. “The observed Black-White retention gap can be partially explained by these challenging work context and professional characteristics.”

For both black and white teachers, working in a school with more black students and in higher poverty neighborhoods predicted turnover; similarly, schools where the teachers rated the professional support and leadership as worse saw more teachers leave. In general, when teachers moved schools they moved to ones with higher test scores, more white students, and better working conditions.

In other words, black teachers in North Carolina aren’t necessarily more likely to switch schools or professions; they’re more likely to teach in schools that lead to higher quit rates.

“Black teachers tended to work in hard- to-staff schools that serve a larger proportion of students of color or underperforming students, have poorer school supports, and are in lower [socioeconomic] communities,” Sun wrote.

Of course, the study is based on just one state, where there are few teachers of color who are not black. But insofar as the results apply in other places, efforts to retain teachers of color might require making the schools they teach in more appealing places to work — though how to do so is often debated.

Research has shown that salary increases and bonuses can boost retention, including in high-poverty schools. Mentoring programs and higher-quality principals have also been linked to lower turnover. Programs have also emerged to specifically support teachers of color, including initiatives for male teachers of color in New York City and Memphis .

Sun concludes the paper by calling for more “rigorous studies of programs or policy that aim to attract and retain effective teachers of color in schools serving historically underserved students.”

This story was originally posted July 25, 2018 on Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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State Rep Brandon McGee Faces Challenger

HARTFORD — The 5th Assembly District State Rep. Brandon McGee will face off his challenger Lawrence Jaggon at a forum on Tuesday at Hartford Public Library.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The fifth district includes parts of Hartford and Windsor.

McGee, 34, was first elected in 2012. He is a marketing and communications coordinator at Capitol Region Education Council.  McGee failed to get an endorsement of the 5th Assembly District Convention in May.

Jaggon, 55,  is a registered nurse at Community Health Services, and he is the endorsed Democratic candidate. Jaggon is an alternate on the Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission since 2013.

The democratic primary is set for Aug. 14.

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Hartford Receives Grant to Fight Frog Hollow Blight

HARTFORD — The Frog Hollow neighborhood will soon get a face lift.

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from Cities of Service City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block competition.

Hartford will receive $25,000 to be used as mini grants and resources to support the efforts of citizen groups and local nonprofits to prevent or eliminate property blight through home repairs, lot transformations and community clean ups in the Frog Hollow neighborhood.

In addition to the grant, two AmeriCorps VISTA members will be working with the city’s Blight Remediation Team to support Love Your Block projects in Frog Hollow.

Using the Cities of Service Love Your Block blueprint, city leaders will engage citizen volunteers and local nonprofits in co-creating solutions to urban blight. Cities of Service will provide expert technical assistance to winning cities for two years.

Cities of Services City Hall AmeriCorps VISTA Love Your Block was made possible with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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Trio to Perform at Cedar Hill Cemetery Concert

HARTFORD — The Cedar Hill Cemetery Foundation on July 27 will present a free concert showcasing the popular Connecticut trio Last Fair Deal.

The concert will be held on the lawn at 453 Fairfield Ave. in Hartford.

Known for their stellar vocals and unique acoustic synergy,  Last Fair Deal guitarist Paul Howard, fiddler Tom Hagymasi and banjo player Phil Zimmerman will perform an eclectic selection of old time string band, blue grass, swing and popular music.

Last Fair Deal is influenced by blue grass, jazz, acoustic rock and contemporary singer-songwriters. Their repertoire include original music as well as interpretations of classic songs from John Hartford, Gillian Welch, Nat King Cole, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

For more information contact Beverly Lucas at blucas@cedarhillcemetery.or or 860-956-3311. Or visit

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Greater Hartford Groups to Hold Teach-In

HARTFORD —  The Charter Oak Cultural Center and the Jewish community will hold a “community teach-in” on July 23 in wake of the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S. border.

The event entitled “Community Teach-In: Responding to the Trauma of Children at Our Borders” will begin at 6:30 p.m. at B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom, 180 Still Road in Bloomfield.

The program will feature mental health experts, educations, students and child survivors.

Participants will gather “to learn more and to consider what we can do to curtail these heartless policies,” said Rabbi Debra Cantor, an organizer of the free event.

Participants will also learn about the impact and long-term ramifications of such abuse.

The event is sponsored by many community organizations, including: B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom/Neshama Center for Lifelong Learning; Charter Oak Cultural Center; Farmington Valley League of Light; Hartford Family Institute; Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford; Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford; Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford; University of Connecticut Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Life; CT Immigrant and Refugee Coalition; Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at UCONN; Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, University of Hartford; Beth El Temple; Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College; Christian Activities Council, Hartford; American Muslim Peace Initiative; Anti-Defamation League, CT; University of CT, Hartford.

For more information, contact Rabbi Donna Berman at (860) 573-7007 or  Rabbi Debra Cantor at (860)463-0986 or

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Hartford Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Colt Park

HARTFORD — Hartford’s Colt Park just moved to becoming a National Historic Park. Thanks to a $1.5 million grant package from government grants.

The package include the $750,000 grant from the National Park Services,  a $50,000 from the state and $300,000 from the city of Hartford.

With this package Hartford will be able to “renovate and innovate” Colt Park facilities.

Plans include two new softball fields and basketball courts, improving on existing facilities such as walkway access to fields and completing the loop road of the park.

Creating of the park won Congressional approval in 2014.

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Meet the Candidates Forum Set for July 18

HARTFORD — The Hartford Votes Coalition will present a candidate forum featuring Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor on July 18 at the Hartford Public Library.

The public is invited to this free event to meet, hear from and ask questions of the candidates.  All candidates who will be on the Aug. 14 primary ballot have confirmed their attendance:  Candidates for Governor include Ned Lamont and Joe Ganim. Candidates for Lt. Governor include Susan Bysiewicz and Eva Bermudez Zimmerman.

The moderator will be Emmy Award Winning Journalist Diane Smith.

The event will be at Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. Meet and greet will be at 5 p.m. and the forum will begin at 5:30 p.m.

For Spanish-English translation, child care, bus passes, or other accommodation, please call by July 16 at 860-201-6510.

The Hartford Votes ~ Hartford Vota Coalition is a non-partisan coalition of the organizations listed below working to increase voter engagement in Hartford. Hartford 2000 – Blue Hills Civic Association – CT Community Nonprofit Alliance – MetroHartford Alliance Hartford Public Library – League of Women Voters of Greater Hartford – Achieve Hartford! CT Center for a New Economy – Common Cause in
Connecticut – City of Hartford Registrars of Voters, A Better Way Foundation, Nancy A. Humphreys Institute for Political Social Work Office of the Secretary of the State – Hartford Listens/Community Capacity Builders.

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East Hartford Police to Hire New Officers

EAST HARTFORD — The East Hartford Police Department is hiring.

The Department is accepting applications for the position of entry-level police officer.

East Hartford is a demographically diverse community with a population of about 50,000 in an urban/suburban environment. The East Hartford Police Department is one of the largest municipal police departments east of the Connecticut River with 122 sworn officers, specialized units and great promotional opportunities and career advancement.

To qualify you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and be a non-smoker.  Experience or education in some phase of law enforcement or criminal justice will be very helpful.  Motivation, enthusiasm, and commitment to the community are mandatory.

East Hartford is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  Applications from women and members of minority groups are encouraged.

If you have any further questions regarding the job, please email them to For more information, requirements and application process please click Police App.

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Stowe Center Presents “Quakers and Civil Rights”

HARTFORD — The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s Salons at Stowe will present “Quakers, Anti Slavery and Civil Rights: The Past and Present of Faith-Based Activism” on July 21 at the Stowe Center.

The free event will be from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 77 Forrest Street in Hartford.

The discussion will be on the history of Quaker involvement in the antislavery and civil rights movements as well as faith-based activism embodied by Quakers today.

From Levi and Catherine Coffin to Bayard Rustin, Quakers or the Religious Society of Friends have a long-standing history of social activism. From abolitionists to civil rights leaders, Friends have participated in causes furthering social equality for centuries

Speakers will include George J. Willauer, Professor Emeritus of English and Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Connecticut College and John Humphries, Governor’s Council on Climate Change.

For more information, call 860-522-9258 x 317.

Posted in A & E, HartfordComments (0)

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