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Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts juniors are Fresh Voices Poetry Competition Winners

Alexander Nordlund and Rachel Justice, 2018 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition winners(Hartford, Conn.) Two junior creative writing students from CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts are among the six winners of this year’s Fresh Voices Poetry Competition, which was held at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington in April. Alexander Nordlund is a half-day student from Glastonbury and Rachel Justice is a half-day student from Enfield. The students wrote poems suitable for presentation and publication and competed against other high school students from throughout New England. The competition has nurtured young poets since 1993.Nordlund, Justice, along with the other winners, will read their poems at the museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival’s Young Poet’s Day on Sunday, August 5. Their winning works will also be featured in Hill-Stead’s online poetry journal, Theodate, and printed in a chapbook published by Antrim House Press and available for purchase in the Hill-Stead Museum Shop. The other high school student winners are:Vanecia Fultz – Rockville High School, VernonYoussef Mezrioui – Rockville High School, VernonSarah Lewis – Hall High School, West HartfordEllis McGinley – Arts at the Capitol Theater Performing Arts Magnet High School, WillimanticTheir judges were Daniel Donaghy, an English professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, and Adriane Jefferson, arts program manager and special programs coordinator for the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts.Visit www.hillstead.org/sunken-garden-poetry-festival/poetry-programs-students-educators/fresh-voices-poetry-competition/ for more information.###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 changing 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.

CREC Academy of Science and Innovation Team Named 2018 U.S. Nationals Robotics Team Champions

(Hartford, Conn.) Seventeen talented high school students from the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, New Britain, are the new 2018 U.S. Nationals Robotics Team Champions. The Ravens team was awarded the title at the 11th annual VEX Robotics World Championship held in Louisville, Kentucky, in late April. This is the first year the school qualified for this worldwide student competition by being in the top seven percent of all robotics teams. The event brought together 30,000 competitors, including 1,648 teams from 30 nations, for a weeklong celebration of STEM, diversity, and robotics. It also secured the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title of largest robot competition. In addition, the Ravens’ robot finished 39th out of 20,000 robots worldwide in robot skills, which assessed programming, design, build, and control skills. This means their robot was better than 99.8 percent of all robots in the world. Congratulations to team members:Cameron Hicks, grade 12, East HartfordJoe Schultz, grade 11, Vernon Tre Baroncini, grade 11, MarlboroughStefany Ferguson, grade 12, Manchester Muhammad Afzaal, grade 12, WindsorAaron Paladino, grade 12, Manchester Zack Koval, grade 11, BristolTyler Scheinblum, grade 12, Manchester Tyler Carr, grade 12, East Hartford Christus Akrong, grade 11, New BritainRadha Patel, grade 11, Meriden Manna Matthew, grade 11, Glastonbury Jared Kruger, grade 10, BristolGramoz Ajeti, grade 11, New BritainAustin Raymond Tricka, grade 12, New BritainHardhik Kumamaru, grade 11, Windsor LocksTyreke Martina, grade 12, GlastonburyEarlier in April, the Ravens won the U.S. Nationals Robotics Open Division Competition in robot skills at an event held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during National Robotics Week. They also took home the U.S. Robotics Nationals "Think" award, presented to the team that demonstrates "impressive and effective autonomous programming." They bested challengers from 19 teams from China, as well as other high schools, colleges, and professional engineers. The team's robot stood out from a programming perspective and their tireless efforts really impressed the judges, players, and coaches, “said Dr. Robert Polselli, the team’s robotics coach and the schools technology and engineering teacher. “We were also the first school in our region to qualify for the world championships in the last 10 years. ###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 changing 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.

CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School Nominated for High School Theater Halo Awards

(Hartford, Conn.) Waterbury’s Seven Angels Theatre will present its 15th Annual Halo Awards at the Palace Theater, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30. This year’s event recognizes theater students from more than 60 high schools across the state for all aspects of theater. Tickets are on sale at the Seven Angels Box Office or by calling 203-757-4676.CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School is nominated for a variety of awards for its recent production of “A Chorus Line.” They are Best Stage Management (Callum McCabe (SM), Tessa Trotta-Smith (ASM)); Best Dancing; Best Featured Dancer (Madeline Duval); Best Specialty Ensemble in a Musical; Best Standout Performance in an Ensemble Musical (Geo Mantilla as Paul); and Best Classical Musical.The awards are a gala, red carpet event for the students and their families and friends. Awards are given in numerous categories, including Best Actor and Actress in a Musical/Play; Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Musical/Play; Best Performance by the Cast in an Ensemble Production; Best Comic Actor and Actress in a Musical/Play; and Best Student Choreographer. There are additional categories for lighting, design, stage management, special effects - and more. One of the evening’s highlights is the presentation of the Gypsy Robe, which is given to a chorus member nominated by the director from the school awarded Best Chorus. The Gypsy winner receives a cash scholarship. Outstanding seniors also receive cash scholarships. In addition, Dance Molinari in New York City awards dance scholarships.For more information, contact Melissa Stemmer at 203-591-8223, Ext. 813 or halos@sevenangelstheatre.org.###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 changing 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.

CREC Students to Compete at National Youth Inventor Event

(Hartford, Conn.) Budding young inventors from three CREC schools are traveling to the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition (NICEE) in Dearborn, Michigan to display their inventions at the Henry Ford Museum from May 31 to June 2. The CREC students represent Discovery Academy in Wethersfield, Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, and Montessori Magnet School in Hartford. Two second grade students from the University of Hartford Magnet School in West Hartford will submit their inventions online. These aspiring entrepreneurs each won their local, regional, and state competitions to compete against the nation’s top student inventors at this invitation-only event. NICEE is an annual celebration for young inventors and entrepreneurs to display their critical thinking skills through inventing, innovating, and entrepreneurial activities. The organization’s goal is to inspire tomorrow’s youth by creating a national showcase for those whose efforts embody America’s inventive and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s the youth equivalent of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair. NICEE is the marquee event of The STEMIE (STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship) Coalition. The STEMIE Coalition is a new initiative that emerged from the principles of Connecticut’s 33-year-old Invention Convention that has expanded to 20 states. It was founded to elevate K-12 invention and entrepreneurship education to a national level, share best practices, evaluate programs, and provide national data demonstrating that invention and entrepreneurship are important parts of student learning and development, and lead to future innovators.This year, more than 17,000 Connecticut students competed in the Invention Convention. There were 979 inventors from CREC schools. Of these, 94 went on to the regional competition, 46 made it to the state finals, and 12 are going to the national event. Five student entrepreneurs from CREC Discovery Academy will compete at Nationals. They are Catherine Webster, grade 4, Wethersfield; Namyanzi Edwards, grade 5, New Britain; Sydney Hartley, grade 3, South Windsor; Vaibhav Satishraj, grade 5, South Windsor; and Grace Foster, grade 3, Ellington. Among their inventions are Webster’s “Adaptable Sleeves, Satishraj’s "Baby Saver," a high-tech system that warns parents that their baby is still in its car seat, and Foster’s "The Handy Helper," a hands-free umbrella/backpack.“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that will impact the students in a powerful way,” said Clare Neseralla, theme coach at CREC Discovery Academy. “I am thrilled to have our students represent Connecticut and bring national attention to CREC schools and the amazing work we do with students.” Seventh grade inventors from Two Rivers Magnet Middle School are Kaitlyn Capacea, Vernon; Amber Braga, East Hartford; and Michael Shoemaker, Colchester. Capacea’s invention is a "Motorized Solar Water Filter," Braga’s is an "All-in-one Dog Walker," and Shoemaker’s is a "Snowboard Trainer."I love the fact that the students can be creative problem-solvers, regardless of their ability,” said Christie Hazen, Two Rivers’ invention coordinator and judge. The inventions are their ideas." Dr. Antonio Napoleone, principal of CREC Montessori Magnet School, agreed. “A great aspect of the Invention Convention is that it enables our students to turn their classroom learning into practical application,” he said. “Students had to use their ability to think critically, develop creative solutions, problem solve, and communicate effectively.” Representing Montessori Magnet School are Sophia Pafundi, a lower elementary student from South Windsor, and McKenna Semeraro, an upper elementary student from Cromwell.The University of Hartford Magnet School students who will submit their inventions online are Kathryn Ciccarelli from Windsor and Jarielys Orozco from Hartford. “This opportunity for online competition provides the students the voice to communicate their passion for the solution to the defined problem and demonstrate how and why their invention is necessary for their intended audience, “said Terry Wilson, elementary science curriculum specialist for Magnet Schools. “In addition, the students are able to reflect on their work in an authentic way, both through their inventing process and the video pitch creation, just like real inventors and marketers do.” Students and their chaperones are paying out-of-pocket for the majority of their trip. If you would like to make a donation to help offset their expenses, please contact the schools, drop off your donation at a school’s front desk, or contact Clare Neseralla at cneseralla@crec.org.###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 changing 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.

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