Start typing a topic or an audience to see what we offer

News

Get our CREC e-Newsletter:

Jun 22

Mobility Program Provides Rewarding Experience for Students at CREC Academy of Science and Innovation, Central Connecticut State University

(New Britain, CT) One of the best experiences that Lorette Feivelson had during her time at CREC Academy of Science and Innovation was helping to modify an electric toy car for an 18-month old girl with limited mobility. The girl, Parker, was very hesitant getting into the car, but that soon changed.“You should have seen the look on this girl’s face. She had the biggest smile. Once she figured it out she did not want to get out of the car,” said Feivelson, who graduated from CREC ASI this week. “This was one of the best experiences of my high school career. It was fun and empowering for me, but also rewarding and a chance to give back.”For the second year in a row, students from CREC ASI and Central Connecticut State University teamed up for the Go Baby Go! program. In April, they adapted six motorized toy cars to fit the needs of kids with disabilities. The cars were donated to children who were identified by physical and occupational therapists. Go Baby Go! is designed to give children with limited mobility the ability to move around independently. Founded by the University of Delaware, the program was brought to CCSU approximately three years ago by Michele Dischino, associate professor of technology and engineering education at CCSU.CREC ASI hosted Go Baby Go! for the first time last year, said Gina Gadue, theme coach and instructional specialist at the magnet high school. CREC ASI students, with guidance and instruction from CCSU students, helped build eight cars. The program great that the school wanted to host again this year.The kids love participating in this event. It is so rewarding for them to work on a car for a child that they then get to meet. They are able to see firsthand the child's limitations and know that because they were able to work with others to adapt the car the child gets to enjoy it safely. The best part is to see the smile on the children’s and the parents’ faces,” said Gadue.“The relationship has been so beneficial all around,” said Dischino. “It’s a great opportunity to work with students, especially in doing something that is benefitting another human being.”The cars are modified depending on the child’s needs. Extra supports and padding may be added, safety harnesses are installed and the framework is sometimes adapted. The most common change is to the accelerator.“Normally, you operate the car by pressing the accelerator with your foot, but most children can’t use their feet or have limited mobility,” said Dischino. “We rewire the accelerator function so all the child needs to do is press a big button.”If someone asked Feivelson, who became involved in the program through Ms. Gadue, to participate in Go Baby Go! again, “I would say yes in a heartbeat!”For more information about Go Baby Go!, visit http://www.udel.edu/gobabygo/ or contact Michele Dischino at dischinomic@ccsu.edu.###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....

Read More

Jun 15

CREC Metropolitan Learning Center Leo Club Raises Funds for Guide Dog Harness

(Bloomfield, CT) The CREC Metropolitan Learning Center Leo Club recently sponsored a highly successful fundraising campaign to purchase a harness for a Fidelco guide dog. “It is this level of thoughtfulness and kindness that creates the opportunities to help communities. MLC Leos have engaged in projects at local and international levels through this awareness and commitment,” said Constanza Paramo, liaison for the MLC Leo Club and the Bloomfield Lions Club.Club members sold wristbands inscribed in Braille with “MLC Leo” that allowed students to dress casually for the day rather than wear the required school uniform. Proceeds from the “dress down” fundraiser will cover the cost of a guide dog harness with a plaque saying, “Donated by MLC Leos 2017.”Fidelco guide dogs undergo 24 months of intensive training before they are given to a vision-impaired person to assist them with their independence and freedom. The harness will be given to a dog once it completes its training.The MLC Leo Club, which was founded in 2011, is proudly sponsored by the Bloomfield Lions Club for the purpose of developing young student citizens willing to serve communities at local and global levels. Leo Club members are characterized for having a personal drive and keen willingness to support school and community causes that make a positive difference in people’s lives. Prior to the Fidelco campaign, the MLC Leos made a significant contribution to the rebuilding of the “Jose Acevedo Elementary School” in the Philippines which had been devastated by the Haiyan Typhoon. ###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....

Read More

Jun 7

CREC Co-sponsors Statewide Symposium on Childhood Trauma and Mental Health

(Hartford, 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.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. CREC will continue its collaboration with the co-sponsoring agencies in order to continue this work across the state. ###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....

Read More

May 24

CREC Transition to Employment Programs Break Barriers for New Arrivals and Job-Seekers

(Hartford, CT) Communicating used to be a daily struggle for 29-year-old Freily Medina when she first arrived in Hartford from the Dominican Republic five years ago. She relied heavily on bilingual people to help her talk to doctors, run basic errands or simply navigate her new surroundings.Determined to learn English, Medina went to CREC Transition to Employment Services (TES) where English language and GED courses are offered free of charge. She enrolled in Family Literacy ESL, a beginner-level English class, and took advantage of the free Early Childhood Education classes at their safe and secure onsite facility for her two young children.For me, this program is like my light in this country because I learned English here. When I have appointment for my kids, I don’t need interpreter. If I need to call on the phone, I can call. I feel very happy with me because my English is not a barrier for me anymore. For me, this open doors,” said Medina, who has since completed Intermediate and Advanced English classes, obtained her driver's license and citizenship, enrolled her oldest daughter at the CREC River Street school tuition free through a scholarship, and will be graduating from Manchester Community College with a Medical Office Assistant certificate in June.CREC Transition to Employment Services is a subset of CREC Community Education, which has been around for more than 20 years. They not only offer English and GED classes free of charge, but also provide much needed resources and supplies such as winter gear, hygiene products, back packs, clothing, diapers, baby formula, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas toys, furniture, and much more, all donated from local organizations. In addition, participants receive hot and nutritious meals from House of Bread and professional attire from Dress for Success for job interviews and career fairs. Perhaps most important of all, students are provided with the highest levels of holistic support and best-in-class case management services, which are key in helping meet their needs, allowing them to stay focused on completing their education.  The office’s new location is on the third floor of the Coltsville Armory Dome building at 55 Van Dyke Avenue in Hartford. The new facility has been recently remodeled, and is equipped with a large conference room, Smart classrooms, student cafeteria, family room, and is a certified Pearson testing site. Medina said there are few places like CREC TES where someone could find so many services, great classes, and an amazingly supportive staff all in one place.“For me, this is perfect place if you want to grow and start over in this country,” she said.Currently, students can enroll in Family Literacy ESL, Intermediate English, Advanced English or GED classes. The Advanced English Class is combined with a Medical Office Assistant certificate program at Manchester Community College. All free of charge.“We are the bridge for people. While many of our students had careers in their native countries, we help them develop their English skills and guide them in continuing their professions here,” said Sixmaritt Pagán-Peña, Program Coordinator and Case Manager at CREC Transition to Employment Services.Pagán-Peña said she brings in representatives from Central Connecticut State University to advise students on the steps they need to take to transfer credits from their country of origin or the classes needed to, for example, practice law or accounting here in the U.S. English and GED classes are offered in fall and spring semesters. Students who complete the advanced English class and go on to the medical office assistant course at Manchester Community College also get help finding an internship, which sometimes leads to a fulltime job.Pagán-Peña keeps photos that former students send her or post on Facebook – a photo of a student’s green card, another of an ID badge from a student’s new job at Charter Oak Health Center, a picture of a student’s name engraved on a stethoscope.“I absolutely love my job!” says Pagán-Peña, adding that she gets energized seeing students’ progress and growth throughout program. After spending just a few minutes with her, it quickly becomes very obvious that this is her passion and that her students’ success is what drives her every day.Goodwill Industries recently presented a Community Partner of the Year Award to CREC Transition to Employment Services for their success in helping people obtain their GEDs. TES has been managing a GED program in partnership with Goodwill for about five years. TES attributes this successful partnership to the kindred spirits and mutual goals demonstrated by both organizations. CREC and the Goodwill organization share the same level of standards and expectations for serving the community. Flor M. De Hoyos, Program Manager, had this to say: “We don’t do this work for awards or recognition. We do it because of our passion for improving our community and creating opportunities for others. We are very humbled by this award, and are forever grateful to Goodwill for their support and partnership.”For more information, follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CREC.TES or call 860-509-3638. ###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....

Read More

May 18

CREC Two Rivers Middle School Students Visit Iowa State University for Insight on Space-Bound Algae

(East Hartford, CT) A group of eighth graders from CREC Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, whose algae experiment will fly into space this summer, visited Iowa State University recently to get some insight from algae experts. The students toured the campus and visited the Center for Crops Utilization Research facility to learn more about the work that ISU is doing with bio renewable resources for fuel."The trip was an incredible opportunity for the students to experience a real world application of science research. They not only got a feel for the precision needed to conduct experiments, but they also got a better sense of just how broad the fields of science and engineering are," said Kennan Poulakos, Environmental Theme coach at CREC Two Rivers Middle School.The students’ experiment, "How does microgravity affect algae growth?” was selected to fly aboard a SpaceX-12 rocket to the International Space Station in late summer of 2017. The students are among 21 groups whose experiment will fly as part of Mission 11 of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.The students connected with Dr. Martin Gross at ISU while researching algae for their experiment. Dr. Gross agreed to help the students and flew them to Iowa for a dry run and to show them the innovative programs that ISU does with bio renewables, especially with corn and ethanol production.Of the five students who worked on the experiment, three of them made the trip to Iowa: Jack McCann of Vernon, Angel Soto of East Hartford, and Kieran Yanaway of South Windsor.The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) in the U.S. and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp PBC and NanoRacks LLC, which are working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.###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....

Read More

May 2

CREC Two Rivers High School Students Raise Funds, Serve Community Meals at Hartford Church

Seeing people in need motivates Two Rivers Magnet High School sophomore Elaine Jackson to give back. When she learned of an opportunity to volunteer through her school at a local soup kitchen, she didn’t hesitate to sign up.“With opportunities like these, you have to grasp them,” said Elaine, 16, of Hartford. “I like helping people. I have a passion for that.”Elaine was among nine Two Rivers High School students who raised more than $600 in one day in April for the Community Meals at Christ Cathedral Church in downtown Hartford. The money was used to purchase care packages and meals, which the student volunteers, including Elaine, recently prepared and served.Terri Olson, the Community Service Program Coordinator at Two Rivers, organized the event with Hands on Hartford, a social service nonprofit organization that manages the community meals at Christ Cathedral Church. She also recruited students to brainstorm ideas for fundraisers.They decided to host a “Dress Down Day.” Students donated $3 and got to wear casual attire instead of their school uniforms. Staff also participated by donating $5. “It makes me feel good to have these students take time out of their busy schedules to help others,” said Olson.Sophomore Ninoshka Mendez, 16, volunteered to collect donations at the school entrance as students arrived for school in the morning. With the money raised the students were able to purchase enough food to serve dinner to 120 people. The student volunteers prepared and served a dinner of chicken thighs, baked beans, pasta salad, juice and cookies and cupcakes for dessert. Leftover funds were spent on 24 care packages – tie bags containing a bottle of water, toothpaste and toothbrush, a comb, bar of soap and lip balm. “It’s a good experience because we get to do something we haven’t done before,” said Mendez.This is one of several projects that the students have participated in this year. They also volunteered to set up and to work the registration table for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Bushnell Park in October, helped with a luncheon in November and volunteered at open houses at CREC Two Rivers High 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....

Read More

May 2

CREC Releases Catalog for 2017 Summer Institutes Offering Professional Development Opportunities

ELLEN RETELLE - Director of Teaching & LearningThe Capitol Region Education Council has released the catalog for the 2017 Summer Institutes (www.crec.org/summer), a variety of professional development workshops and seminars for teachers, principals, social workers, psychologists, and technology and educational professionals who work in public, private, charter, and international schools.CREC’s summer institutes are opportunities for educational professionals in kindergarten through grade 12 schools to deepen their understanding, knowledge, and skills on various topics that align with content areas and grade levels and to engage in learning communities. The institutes also support educators looking to meet the eight Standards for Professional Learning (SPL) developed and adopted by the Connecticut State Department of Education. ( HYPERLINK "http://www.crec.org/c/SPL" www.crec.org/c/SPL)Professional learning…“is the process by which, alone and with others, teachers review, renew and extend their commitment as change agents to the moral purposes of teaching and by which they acquire and develop critically the knowledge, skills and emotional intelligence essential to good professional thinking, planning and practice with children, young people and colleagues through each phase of their teaching lives” (Day & Sachs, 2004, p. 34). Connecticut SPLs define the characteristics of a high-quality system of professional learning for all educators and staff to support, enhance, and enrich student learning and performance. Connecticut’s eight standards include cultural competence, learning communities, leadership, resources, data, learning designs, implementation, and outcomes. Learning Communities (LC) is a vital element of the Connecticut’s SPLs. A learning community is a group of people who share values, beliefs, and ethics about engaging in learning from one another and others. That is, a learning community shares expertise, knowledge, skills, and experiences, and works collaboratively to engage in continuous learning to expand teaching skills, deepen teacher knowledge with the goal of enhancing and enriching student learning and academic performance. CREC’s institutes will help you renew and recharge your commitment to education, and you will learn and reflect with like-minded colleagues. For more information visit: HYPERLINK "http://www.crec.org/summer/" www.crec.org/summerDay, C., & Sachs, J. (2004). International handbook on the continuing professional development of teachers. Maidenhead: Open University Press.###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....

Read More

©2017 Capitol Region Education Council
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106   •   (860) 247-CREC

CREC Webmail | Intranet

Policies and Procedures | Disclaimers | Press Room | Careers | Contact Us