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Apr 4

CREC Athletics Receives $100,000 donation from Dynegy Energy Company

(New Britain, Conn.) On Tuesday, April 3, Pete Ziegler, vice president of plant operations for Dynegy, Inc., a national energy company, presented the Capitol Region Educational Council’s (CREC) athletics program with a check for $100,000 at a ceremony at CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, New Britain. This is the third consecutive year that the company has made the generous donation to support the continuation of middle school sports at five participating CREC middle schools for the 2018-2019 academic year. Some of the funds from Dynegy’s donation last year were also used to support the first Dynegy Citizen-Athlete Scholarship Award for graduating seniors. This year’s recipient was chosen from among five finalists. Natalia Mularzuk of New Britain, and a student at CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, received a $4,000 college scholarship. It will be renewable at $1,000 a year for four years as long as she is enrolled at a four-year institution. Natalia hasn’t chosen a college yet, but she plans to study biomedical engineering and enter a pre-med track.The senior scholarship finalists were Chriseny Perryman of CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, Celia Chacko of CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, Emily Godeck of CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies, and Sajae Willis of PSA Civic Leadership High School. They were selected for their ability to meet challenges both on and off the playing field.After meeting the scholarship finalists and their parents, and touring the school with Dynegy’s head of communications, Ziegler addressed the audience at the check presentation. He talked about the impact that sports has had on his life and career. “Academics and athletics teach you nothing but time management, he said. “I really enjoy coming back and seeing this because it invigorates me to go back and lead my teams in our endeavors in business.” CREC’s Athletic Director Jonathan Winer said that being able to continue the sports program is as much about character building as it is about winning championships. “We impress upon our student-athletes and coaches that winning championships is not our objective here,” he said. “It’s about teaching kids about character and becoming lifelong, productive members of society. CREC is grateful to Dynegy for investing in our students’ school experience and their futures.During the 2016-2017 school year, 1,129 participation spots were filled and students took part in eight different middle school sports at 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. 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.###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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Mar 26

CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Student Awarded Wallace Stevens Student Poetry Scholarship

(Hartford, Conn.) Daniel Diaz-Villafane of Hartford, and a junior at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, will receive a $1,000 college scholarship from The Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens at the 55th Wallace Stevens Poetry Program on Thursday, March 29, at 1:30 p.m. at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School, 160-172 Huyshope Ave. The check presentation is part of a two-day celebration of the late Hartford poet’s work. Diaz-Villafane will read his winning poem at the event. His poem was selected from entries from high school juniors and seniors throughout Hartford. This is also the eighth consecutive year that a student from CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts has won the Wallace Stevens Student Poetry Prize since its inception in 2001. Wallace Stevens is ranked with William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, and Marianne Moore as one of America’s foremost poets of the twentieth century. He enjoyed a long and successful career as an executive of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, and was a Hartford resident for many years before his death in 1955.The nonprofit Hartford Friends of Wallace Stevens preserves Wallace’s cultural legacy through this annual Wallace Stevens Poetry Program event. It also promotes the literary arts and hosts public programs that celebrate poetry and encourage its enjoyment by Hartford-area residents. The Wallace Stevens Poetry Program will kick off on March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium on UConn’s campus at 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs. Poet Joy Harjo is the special guest both days. The Hartford is this year’s sponsor. The University of Connecticut’s American Studies department, English department, Creative Writing Program, English Speaker’s Fund, Humanities Institute, and Rightors Fund have provided additional support.Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy BeingsHow We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Her memoir, Crazy Brave, won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. She is Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the fall of 2016, she assumed the Chair of Excellence in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.About Wallace StevensWallace Stevens, (1879–1955), was American poet. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he was educated at Harvard University and New York Law School. After 1916, he was associated with the Hartford Accident & Indemnity Company, and from 1934 until his death, he served as vice president. Stevens was concerned with creating order in the “slovenly wilderness” of chaos through exquisite verse. His ideas are expressed in his earliest volume, Harmonium (1923), which collected many of his best-known poems: “Sunday Morning,” "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "The Emperor of Ice Cream," and "The Snow Man." His ideas are developed in the subsequent volumes: Ideas of Order (1936); The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937); Parts of the World (1942); Transport to Summer (1947), which includes the long poem “Notes toward a Supreme Fiction,” in which Stevens elaborates on the poet's role in creating the fictions necessary to transform and harmonize the world; The Auroras of Autumn (1950); The Necessary Angel, essays (1951); Collected Poems (1954, awarded the Pulitzer Prize); and Opus Posthumous (1957). ###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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Mar 20

Inspirational Speaker Tells Story of the Power of Good, Bad Decisions

(Bloomfield, Conn.) As a two-time member of the National Junior College Athletic Association women’s volleyball All-America team, Sarah Panzau Evans knew what it was like to be on top of her game – and on top of the world. But not long after, she nearly lost it all. Somewhere between life as a competitively driven high school athlete and the early years of college, she started to go down a destructive path. She found herself hanging out with the wrong crowd and getting more out of drugs and dangerous levels of alcohol than she did by hitting the books and spiking a ball.In the early morning hours of Aug. 23, 2003, Panzau Evans’ car and her life spun out of control. With a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit, the 21-year-old decided to drive drunk, missed a highway exit, and rolled her car four times. She wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was ejected through the rear window of her car. Her left arm was torn from her body and she was thrown onto the roadway. The next thing Panzau Evans remembers was waking up in the hospital and being told that she had lost her arm. She remained hospitalized for several months and endured more than 30 surgeries. Panzau Evans recognizes it was her poor choices that led up to that tragic night. Now she hopes others will learn from her mistakes. She started speaking to students because, until the crash, she was in their shoes. She felt she was invincible and the world was ahead of her.On Wednesday, March 28, at 1:30 p.m., Panzau Evans will share her inspirational story, called Living Proof, with students at CREC Metropolitan Learning Center, 1551 Blue Hills Ave., Bloomfield. Members of the media are also welcome to attend and to interview her after her presentation. Through Living Proof, Panzau Evans encourages students to look out for each other and reminds them to seek help, if needed. She also touches on the difficulties she has encountered as a result of her disabling injury, including a lack of social acceptance. She relates that before the crash, she was the pretty, popular girl with whom everyone wanted to be friends. Now that she is technically considered disabled, people treat her differently. Panzau Evans encourages students not to let physical disabilities bias their thinking and to show tolerance and acceptance of others.Not only did my poor decisions to hang with the wrong crowd, get involved with drugs, and drive drunk forever change my life, they also changed the lives of everyone around me,” Panzau Evans said. “Every time I speak to students, I want them to understand the importance of making good decisions and how choices have consequences – sometimes for a lifetime.”Living Proof is sponsored by Anheuser-Busch wholesaler Hartford Distributors, Inc. as part of the company’s commitment to help prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. Panzau Evans is a member of the Anheuser-Busch Community Speakers program. “Sarah provides a powerful message that truly resonates with students,” said Linda Davidson, consumer awareness and education coordinator at Hartford Distributors, Inc. “Not only does she tell them about the importance of making good decisions, not to drink when underage, and never drive drunk, she also teaches about the value of family and the important role these relationships play in the lives of young adults.” For more information about the presentation or to schedule an interview, contact Alison Jamin, CREC Metropolitan Learning Center, at 860-404-4740 or ajamin@crec.org, or Linda Davidson, Consumer Awareness & Education, Hartford Distributors, Inc., at 860-647-5718 or Linda.d@hdibeer.com.###Anheuser-Busch and its employees build on a legacy of corporate social responsibility by focusing on three key areas:promoting alcohol responsibility, preserving and protecting the environment and supporting local communities. In the past three decades, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers have committed more than $980 million in national advertising campaigns and community-based programs to encourage responsible drinking and prevent underage drinking and drunk driving. Anheuser-Busch reduced total water use at its breweries by 40 percent in the last six years and the company has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. Since 1997, Anheuser-Busch and its Foundation have invested in local communities through donations of more than $530 million to charitable organizations. The company also has provided more than 72 million cans of drinking water to people impacted by natural and other disasters since 1988. Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch, the leading American brewer, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.###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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Mar 6

Day to Care to Bring Awareness to Need for Student Civic Activism

(Hartford, Conn.) On Wednesday, March 14, students at the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, 600 Slater Road, New Britain, will participate in “Dare to Care,” a new initiative to promote middle and high school civic activism. The school’s Social Studies department has organized the event to foster student civil engagement. The objective is for young people to understand what meaningful change is and to examine how they, as teenagers, can become change makers. Activities will start at 7:45 a.m. and end at noon. At 10 a.m., students and staff will participate in a memorial service on the soccer field for the 17 people killed on February 14 in Parkland, Florida. Members of the National Honor Society and the senior class will speak. Students will also learn about the history of democratic activism in the United States and develop action plans for how to improve our country. In addition, they will discuss civic and social issues they care about, which include mental illness, teen activism in government, gun control, and spreading kindness. The public is invited to attend and join in their discussions.According to Principal Robert McCain, “In the wake of the recent events surrounding gun violence, mental health debates, and various social justice movements, we thought it was important to give our students a platform to have safe, if difficult, conversations regarding these matters. This is not a political stance, protest, or rally. It’s an opportunity to teach our youth about civic engagement.”For more information, contact Social Studies teacher Kristen Juda at kjuda@crec.org or (860) 223-0726.###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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Mar 5

CREC Hosts Annual Regional Minority Teacher Recruitment Career Fair March 28

(Hartford, Conn.) The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) will host its 28th annual regional minority teacher recruitment career fair on Wednesday, March 28, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, 337 East River Drive, East Hartford. The fair is part of an overall effort to diversify Connecticut’s teaching staff by attracting African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, and Asian educators.Registration for this free fair is required at www.crec.org/mtr. An educator and district leader meet and greet will start at 5 p.m., followed by networking at 7 p.m. Aspiring teachers and administrators are encouraged to wear business attire and to bring copies of their resumes and certification. For more information, contact Gerald Hairston at ghairston@crec.org or 860-305-9948.Attending will be school district representatives from Bridgeport, Bristol, Danbury, East Hartford, Easton-Redding – Region 9, Farmington, Granby, Hartford, New Britain, New London, Newington, Simsbury, South Windsor, Stamford, Torrington, Vernon, West Hartford, and Windsor. In addition, staff from New Haven’s Cold Spring School, Hartford’s Jumoke Academy, and CREC Magnet Schools will be present. Job candidates can also meet with personnel from the Advanced Alternate Route Program for Special Education and Montessori Training Center Northeast to discuss opportunities. Staff from the Connecticut State Department of Education will be in available to advise out-of-state candidates on Connecticut certification requirements.Anticipated job openings include art, business education, biology, bilingual, chemistry, earth science, elementary education, English, French, general science, guidance counselor, health, history/social studies, math disciplines, media, music, physics, physical education, reading, Spanish, school psychology, school social worker, special education, speech and language pathology, tech education, and TESOL.###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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Feb 21

CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies to Host Fair to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking

(Bloomfield, Conn.) Sydni Naylor, a student at CREC Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies (MLC), Bloomfield, joined the school’s Student Abolitionists Stopping Slavery (SASS) club because she wanted to help raise community awareness about modern-day human trafficking. “It was such a strange experience to disassociate from myself and think what it’s like for someone so unfortunate to have such a fate bestowed on them,” said the 14-year-old. It is estimated that nearly 40 million people are enslaved today, with many being trafficked right in Connecticut. Naylor hopes the public will want to learn more about this issue by attending MLC’s 13th annual Abolitionist Fair: The Struggle for Freedom on March 15 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The goal is to raise awareness about human trafficking and other human rights issues that contribute to it, such as poverty, conflict, and discrimination. “This will be the largest fair ever,” said Matthew Carrier, 15, SASS co-president and an Enfield sophomore. He noted that more than 15 organizations and schools have already signed on and include the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, the International Institute of Connecticut Inc. (Project Rescue), and Heifer International®. An assembly will also feature Gordon Ramsay of the Connecticut Underground, an organization that brings attention to sex trafficking and exploitation. Ramsay recently worked with the Department of Children and Families to create a school-wide curriculum to reduce trafficking in the state, which has become a growing problem among young people. A panel of experts, who will take audience questions about trafficking, will follow his presentation. The students will also take a creative approach to raising awareness through music, art, displays, movies, interactive educational games, and skits. Among the highlights will be the Walk to Freedom, a museum exhibit with more than 50 displays that students created to explain the historical struggle for freedom from the 1600s to the present. A popular game every year is the Human Board Game. Students walk a life-size board and encounter setbacks as they advance to the final winning space called “freedom.” The fair will also feature a new game focused on the millions of girls worldwide who are enslaved as child brides. “This fair matters because it raises awareness, especially for young kids these days,” said Alexander Santiago, 17, of East Hartford and SASS co-president. It’s left as something for older people to address and attack, but younger people are the ones to create change for the future.”Schools, community groups, and the public are welcome to attend the fair at 1551 Blue Hills Ave. For more information, contact Nancy Geffken at ngeffken@crec.org or 860-242-7834.###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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Feb 21

CREC Partners to Enhance Next Generation Science Standards

For 50 years, Connecticut’s Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) has helped the state’s school districts, including its own 16 interdistrict magnet schools, meet the changing educational needs of children in grades Pre-K through 12 through a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services.To advance its mission of providing innovation in education and impactful learning opportunities, CREC is partnering with Trifecta Ecosystems, Inc., an aquaponics technology leader in controlled environment agriculture. CREC and the Meriden-based company are introducing aquaponics systems to schools, along with a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum that CREC specially developed to complement them. The aim is to enhance educational technology in both private and public schools throughout Connecticut through fun, hands-on classroom activities that may lead students to careers in science and technology.Since 2016, CREC has been the state’s leader in developing NGSS curriculum for its school districts and, now, for Trifecta Ecosystems. Seven schools throughout the capital region are currently utilizing Trifecta’s educational aquaponics systems, with more to adopt the technology in the coming year. Trifecta’s “aSystems” come in three sizes. Schools may choose the aGrow (small-scale), aGarden (mid-scale), or aFarm (large-scale). Each system can be used to teach a wide array of subjects geared towards students of all ages, such as science, math, engineering, design, and more. Students learn the foundations of aquaponics and take responsibility for feeding the system’s fish and harvesting plants, which has been shown to positively impact engagement, while providing experiential learning for the entire classroom.Providing the NGSS curriculum to go with the systems was a natural fit, according to Dr. Ellen Retelle, CREC’s director of teaching and learning. “Our curriculum is specifically designed to be used with these systems. More than 150 students in CREC schools have already interacted with, and gained valuable experience from, Trifecta’s aquaponics systems,” she said. “By incorporating our curriculum with Trifecta’s systems, we’re changing the way our students interact with the world around them. We’ve also made teaching according to NGSS standards fun for teachers as well as their students.”Dr. Jaime Rechenberg, CREC’s science education specialist, has led the development the curriculum, assessments, and has provided professional learning – launches – for educators. The teaching units are comprehensive and come with detailed lesson plans. They give teachers specific strategies for shifting instructional practice to an NGSS style and contain assessments to help them gauge student learning.Each aquaponics system purchased comes with full setup and implementation by Trifecta’s experts and can be operated and managed by educators and students. In addition, CREC and Trifecta will provide training and professional development workshops to help educators get the most out of their aquaponics systems, further enhancing experiential learning across their schools.As of late last year, 19 states, along with the District of Columbia, have adopted NGSS standards. This represents more than thirty-five percent of U.S. students. The standards aim to combat ignorance of science, create common standards for teaching, and foster a greater interest in science among students so that more of them choose to major in science and technology in college. Overall, the intent is to help students grasp core scientific concepts, to understand the scientific process of developing and testing ideas, and to have a greater ability to evaluate scientific evidence.“Our partnership with CREC will allow us to cultivate new, impactful learning opportunities, while also making it clear that Connecticut is a leader in the education technology movement,” said Eric Francis, chief development officer of Trifecta Ecosystems, Inc.To learn more about training and professional development workshops for educators and Trifecta’s upcoming “Tour & Tasting,” visit http://trifectaecosystems.com/events/educators-tour-tasting/.To learn more about CREC’s NGSS curriculum, visit http://www.crec.org/scienceservices/index.php.###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.###Trifecta Ecosystems is Connecticut’s leader in aquaponics technology and the controlled environment agriculture industry. Based out of Meriden, CT, Trifecta’s mission is to cultivate the City that Feeds Itself™ by creating incentives for communities to grow their own food while raising awareness about sustainable farming through education, workshops, and city projects. Trifecta’s line of aSystem™ aquaponics systems gives schools, organizations, and community groups the tools they need to contribute to their local food system, while benefiting the education, therapy, and skill-training sectors in a meaningful way. For more information on Trifecta Ecosystems, visit www.trifectaecosystems.com.For more information, contact:Anne St. HilaireDirector of Brand & Marketing, Trifecta Ecosystemsanne@trifectaecosystems.com...

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