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Capitol Region Education Council

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Local Children Benefit from Seamless Summer Food Program CREC Locations in Hartford and East Hartford

CREC has partnered with the federally funded Seamless Summer Option (SSO) food program. This free meal service, made available through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), provides nutritious meals at no charge to all children 18 years and under at the following sites

Capitol Region Education Council Celebrates FallStaff 51, Emphasizes Importance of New Core Values

More than 2,000 CREC employees representing 120 programs and services within the organization – from magnet schools to adult education and construction services to professional development – gathered at the Hartford Yard Goats Dunkin’ Donuts Park early Friday morning for FallStaff 51, an annual pep rally meant to energize everyone in attendance for the upcoming year. FallStaff, a tradition that started when CREC was founded 51 years ago, is the one time during the year when all CREC employees come together in one place. This year, the newly adopted core values – expect excellence, demand equity, act with courage and embrace collaboration – took center stage at the event with speakers and videos emphasizing their value to the organization. CREC Executive Director Greg J. Florio said, “It is important to understand why we are all driven to live and work by those values and how important they are to assuring CREC fulfills its mission.”As the keynote speaker, CREC Deputy Executive Director Sandra Cruz-Serrano offered a single piece of advice.“Never underestimate the child, the parent, the person in front of you. Her looks, limited English, her zip code, her SAT scores are absolutely no indicator of her future success,” she said. “Be careful, for she may even be your boss one day!”CREC Superintendent of Schools Tim Sullivan said, “Moving forward Hartford Public Schools and CREC are going to work together on behalf of all children. It should not natter what color uniform you wear, we are here to help all children. The days of competition are over, we are ready to collaborate.” The new minor league baseball stadium in downtown Hartford was a perfect setting for a fun-filled, baseball-themed program. Staff snapped selfies with Yard Goats mascots Chompers and Chew Chew. CREC River Street School employee Carlos Perez, the longest tenured employee at CREC, kicked off the event with a ceremonial first pitch. There was a build-a-burger race and a T-shirt toss. Videos of employees describing how they apply the core values to their work played on the stadium screens, as well as videos of students and staff explaining why CREC 2017 award winners deserve recognition. The 2017 CREC Paraeducator of the Year, Victoria Gonzales from CREC International Magnet School for Global Citizenship, and the 2017 CREC Teacher of the Year, Krista Beyer from CREC University of Hartford Magnet School, were announced over the stadium speakers and they walked to home plate to accept their awards. Alan Daley of CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School received the 2017 CREC Distinguished Service Award. Long-serving staff members were also recognized. FallStaff also celebrated the upcoming 50th anniversary of CREC River Street School and the school’s director, Tom Parvenski, was presented with a special recognition.A heartfelt thank you goes to students from the former CREC Two Rivers High School, Alexander Ello (Two Rivers class of 2017), and Austin Raymond-Tricka (CREC Academy of Science and Innovation class of 2018) and to Bob Polselli, engineering and technology teacher, for providing drone footage of CREC facilities used in the event’s introductory video. FallStaff is coordinated and directed internally. It is largely funded by the generosity of sponsors, including top sponsor Owens Realty Services. Other sponsors are: Sullivan Investment Group, Transamerica Retirement Solutions, Aflac, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Dattco, Delta-T Group, eesmarts, Friar Associates, Massage Envy, and Valley Communications.8382062357000083820191135002767330419417500###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 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 19 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC or CREC’s award-winning magnet schools is available at www.crec.orgAthletics captains from CREC high schools came together with CRILA students to discuss the role and traits of leaders.

CREC Students Explore Connecticut Ecosystems, Study Insect Species During Summer Biodiversity Camp

When Ariana Patterson, a 17-year-old at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, looks at plants, she sees more than just greenery and foliage – she sees small ecosystems with the plants and insects exchanging benefits. As a teaching assistant at Biodiversity Camp at CREC Two Rivers Middle School this year, Ariana shared this perspective with the middle and high school students at the weeklong summer camp.“You have to think of it as a more important piece of the puzzle. You start to look at it as even if it’s small or a little creepy it has some significance that can’t just be brushed off. It makes you want to learn more about it and want to protect it,” said Ariana, who first attended the camp a few years ago as a middle school student at CREC Two Rivers Middle School.Biodiversity Camp, organized by CREC Two Rivers Middle School Science Teacher Edmund Smith and Dr. David Wagner, professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Connecticut, is a free camp where participants get the opportunity to investigate the biodiversity of local ecosystems and learn how to identify common insects and plants.The camp is geared towards extreme enrichment with students that have already proven themselves energetic, focused and comfortable with extended field studies, said Smith.“This camp is not meant to give students their first experiences in field studies. Several students have chosen college and career paths in the biological sciences following their experiences with the Biodiversity Camp,” he said.Biodiversity Camp took place from June 26th - 30th this year. The camp had 20 high school and middle school students. About half were CREC students, 40 percent came from Hartford Public Schools and the rest were from other districts.Jacob Kuczek, 13, a student at CREC Two Rivers Middle, said he and other camp participants explored the Fenton River near UConn, the Connecticut River and Matianuck Natural Area Preserve.“We explored a bit, everyone in the camp got nets to catch insects. We brushed the nets through the grass and looked to see if we caught anything,” he said.Insects that were caught – milkweed beetles, black fireflies, spiders, moths, among others – were either frozen to be examined under a microscope or kept alive.“The purpose of keeping them alive is to study their behavior, what they eat,” said Jacob.Students attended the camp during the day. On the last night, campers competed in a BioBlitz – a contest to see who could catch and identify the most insects - until midnight and slept at CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School. This is the camp’s third summer, with the first and second camps running in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, camp organizers focused on a statewide CT BioBlitz where CREC Two Rivers Middle School set a world record of most organisms identified in a 24-hour period.###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.

CREC Metropolitan Learning Center Graduate Recognized by World Affairs Council of Connecticut for Social Justice Work

(Hartford, CT) During her freshman year at CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, Raena Davis joined a student abolitionist group devoted to bringing awareness to the community about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. It was the beginning of Raena’s commitment to global affairs.“Many of my previous teachers hadn’t talked about human trafficking. Slavery was taught as an antiquated practice that had been abolished,” said Davis, 18, of Hartford. “But human trafficking is prevalent today, not only abroad but in the United States and the state of Connecticut.”By the time she graduated from CREC MLC in June, Raena was leading Student Abolitionists Stopping Slavery (SASS) and was teaching middle school art classes about human trafficking. During school, Raena had the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic to work on a community service project in the municipality of Jarabacoa.Because of her work towards improving the lives of others, Raena is among 12 graduating high school seniors who are being recognized by the World Affairs Council (WAC) with the Global Student Leadership Award. The award is given to students who have demonstrated a high interest in and have gone above and beyond to get involved in global affairs.Raena will attend Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT this fall and plans to study Biology with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to continue to engage with global affairs by taking part in study abroad programs, and plans to pursue a career in biological research, personal entrepreneurial enterprises, or journalism. “In my opinion, it’s very important to have a broad cultural awareness when exploring foreign environments. I am also interested in becoming more involved in politics and seeing what changes I can make at the student level as someone who is service-minded,” she said.Raena advises high school students to take advantage of opportunities that allow them to see the world and find where they can make the most positive impact. She is excited to see and interpret the world for herself in the future.###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.

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