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Capitol Region Education Council

Press Room

Contacts

For Press inquiries:
Hilda Muñoz
Communications Specialist
Central Office: (860) 509-3663
Email: himunoz@crec.org

For other information:
Aura Alvarado
Director of Communications and Community Relations
Central Office: (860) 524-4065
Cell Phone: (860) 490-9676
Email: aalvarado@crec.org

Recent Press Releases

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.“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.###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 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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Hundreds of CREC Public Safety Academy Students Give Back During Public Safety and Community Service Day

(Enfield, CT) On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, hundreds of CREC Public Safety Academy students participated in Public Safety and Community Service Day, a school-wide effort to have students learn more about careers in different public safety fields and involve them in giving back to their communities. Like previous years, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and first responders from surrounding towns set up equipment and vehicles at the school for students to learn more about the different public service professions. However, only ninth-grade students participated in the Public Safety portion of the event. This year, CREC Public Safety Academy added Community Service to the event. More than 300 students in grades 7, 8, 10, and 11 volunteered in several community service projects across Greater Hartford. This is the first year that CREC Public Safety Academy hosts a large-scale community service effort.This is about teaching our students how to be stronger leaders, better people, and to show them the value of giving back in their communities,” said Principal Jeff Larson. This event will allow PSA students to embrace the concept of public service by actively participating in various projects designed to give back to veterans, the elderly and disabled, children, and the community at-large.CREC Public Safety Academy students participated in the following activities on Public Safety and Community Service Day:Grade 7 – 66 participated in a cleanup along the Connecticut River by Adriaen’s Landing in HartfordGrade 8 – 62 students provided public safety and reading lessons to students at either CREC International Magnet School or CREC Museum AcademyGrade 9 – 101 students participated in the Amazing Race and Skills Challenge at CREC Public Safety AcademyGrade 10 - 74 students participated in off-site community services activities: Veterans Home and Hospital (Rocky Hill); State Veterans’ Cemetery Cleanup (Rocky Hill); Cleanup of Veterans Cemetery (Windsor); Enfield Adult Day Center Grade 11 – 71 student participated in: Recreation with Patients at Blair Manor (Enfield); Recreation with Patients at Parkway Pavilion Health and Rehab Center (Enfield); American Legion presentation (Enfield) Grade 12 – 71 students chose from the following: Staffing of Amazing Race and Skills Challenge - 25 Seniors as Team Captains, 10 Seniors to Staff Event (35); Student co-chaperones at IMS – (15) NHS; Student co-chaperones at Museum - (15); Student co-chaperones to Adriaen’s Landing - (13)###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 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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Education, Community and Behavioral Health Leaders Attend Statewide Symposium on Childhood Trauma, Mental Health

(Storrs, CT) Approximately 100 school, mental health, and community leaders from across the state gathered at the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to discuss childhood trauma and the impact it can have on a child’s education, as well as possible strategies for responding to children who have experienced trauma or have behavioral health issues. The event, “Symposium on Trauma-Informed School Mental Health,” was the result of collaboration between the Capitol Region Education Council, the state Department of Education, the University of Connecticut Collaboratory on School and Child Health and Neag School of Education, the Ana Grace Project, Clifford Beers Clinic, and the Child Health Development Institute. The symposium’s main goals were to increase awareness among participants of important issues in childhood trauma, discuss creation of a common framework for addressing trauma, violence and mental health needs among children, and to stimulate the development of a trauma-informed school mental health plan.“We are excited to have this collaborative effort on behalf of students and families in Connecticut. This is our first united approach to determine how to best meet the needs of students with mental health needs and those impacted by trauma. We know that our school districts are anxious to become part of this initiative and to be at the table. Hopefully this is the first step in this process,” said Deborah Richards, CREC Director of Student Services.According to Dr. Judith Meyers, President and CEO of the Child Health and Development Institute, "Ensuring children’s health and wellness is a true team effort requiring participation from all child-serving sectors so that children can access needed services and supports where they live, learn, and play. Schools are a critically important setting for supporting and addressing children’s social and emotional well-being, so they can thrive.”When asked about the value of hosting this type of event, Dr. Sandra Chafouleas, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor in the Neag School and Co-Director of the UConn Collaboratory on School and Child Health, indicated that “we are excited to facilitate important conversations about the what and how of a trauma-informed lens in our school systems. Collaborative efforts such as this symposium form an essential piece of moving toward why it might be important to how do we collectively work together to make it happen.Following opening remarks by Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell and a kick-off discussion hosted by the Child Health and Development Institute’s Jeff Vanderploeg and Alice Forrester of the Clifford Beers Clinic, participants broke into groups, with each breakout session using a similar set of questions to focus on issues pertaining to a different topic in school mental health: workforce development; financing school mental health and accountability systems; promotion, prevention, and early identification; and interventions that bridge schools, families, and communities. Participants later re-convened to summarize the big ideas, with plans to integrate the discussions into a document to drive next steps in facilitating a statewide framework for trauma-informed school mental health. ###...

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CREC Athletics Receives $100,000 Donation from Dynegy, Funds to Support Middle School Sports Program

(New Britain, CT) On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the Capitol Region Education Council hosted representatives from Dynegy, a national energy company whose $100,000 donation to CREC Athletics will support the continuation of the middle school sports program at five participating CREC middle schools for the 2017-2018 academic year. Funds from the donation will also be used to launch a scholarship award for graduating seniors. Dynegy Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Martin W. Daley, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Julius Cox, Managing Director Pete Ziegler, and Head of Communications Meredith Moore, visited the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, where they met with student athletes and their parents, toured the school, and participated in a ceremonial check-passing. Interscholastic athletics are valuable to a student’s personal, social, and academic growth. They promote team building, enhance self-confidence, and provide incentives for students to do well academically. CREC is certainly grateful to Dynegy for investing in our students school experience and their futures,” said CREC Athletic Director Jonathan Winer.“Many of our student athletes don’t have the benefit of playing sports in their communities. CREC Athletics provides that experience for them and we are grateful to Dynegy. Because of their generous donation, our middle school students will be able to run track, play softball, or can choose from a variety of other sports,” said CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio.The 2017-18 school year will be the second consecutive year that a $100,000 donation by Dynegy saves the middle school sports programs from being cut due to budgetary constraints. During the 2016-17 school year, 1,121 students participated in eight different middle school sports at CREC schools: CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, CREC Public Safety Academy, and CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School. A portion of the donation will also fund the brand new Dynegy Citizen-Athlete Award. This $1,000 annual award will be given to a graduating high school senior at one of the four CREC high schools that offer athletics. The scholarship will be renewable for four years as long as the student is enrolled at a four-year institution.Dynegy generates reliable, environmentally-responsible energy primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Texas. Dynegy operates power generating facilities capable of producing more than 31,000 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power the homes of 25 million U.S. families. The company has plants in Dayville and Milford, Connecticut and several more plants in Massachusetts. ###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 17 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org....

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