Category Archives: School Buzz

Newtown Education Foundation Hosts ‘A Night of Comedy’ at Edmond Town Hall

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NEWTOWN, CT — the Newtown Education Foundation recently announce d anew date for their night of comedy which was originally scheduled for January 19th. The first date was postponed due to the weather and the new date is set for Friday, March 1st.

The evening of laughter and fun will take place at the Edmond Town Hall on Main Street in Newtown. The event features comedian Alexandria McHale and friends. The event takes place on Friday, March 1 from 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM.

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite and all tickets include free wine, beer, and dessert.  Edmond Town Hall doors will open at 7:30 PM for general seating. The show starts at 8:30 PM.

The pre-show VIP party begins at 6:30 PM in the Alexandria Room, upstairs at the Edmond Town Hall, and includes premier seating for the show. Enjoy a beautiful dinner prepared by Sal E Pepe Restaurant of Newtown that includes wine, beer, and soda.

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Weston High School’s Theater Club, “Company,” Hosts 4th Annual “Broadway Bound” at Emmanuel Church

BROADWAY BOUND 2019 ADDAMS FAMILYBy Aline Weiller

January 15, 2019 (Weston, CONN.) — Since the 1980s, Weston High School’s theater club, “Company” has wowed audiences with both classic and contemporary shows, dramas and musicals. Emmanuel Church in Weston will host its fourth, annual “Broadway Bound: A Tribute to WHS Company.”

This year’s edition will feature the cast from Company’s spring musical, The Addams Family, preceded by a short program by the Faculty of Weston Music Center. The event will take place on Sunday, February 24 in the Emmanuel Church parish hall, 285 Lyons Plain Rd., Weston, from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. It’s a family-friendly outing with door prizes and a bake sale. Admission is free and the community at large is invited to attend. Donations are welcome.

The Faculty of Weston Music Center will kick off the afternoon with performances by Allen and Genevieve Brings, Adam Grabois, Margarita Nuller, Steve Lewis, and Wei Tan. Allen Brings, Professor Emeritus at Queens College, is both a composer and pianist, and the Vice President of Connecticut Composers, Inc. Genevieve Chinn Brings is also a pianist, who debuted at age 8 with Leopold Stokowski and the NBC Symphony; she has been cited as an Outstanding Connecticut Woman of the Year. Adam Grabois is the cellist of the New York Chamber Soloists and both teaches and performs at Kinhaven Music School. Margarita Nuller is a pianist and graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia. She has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in the New York area and maintains a private studio in Fairfield, CT. Steve Lewis is a Carnegie Melon graduate who also studied piano and conducting at Conservatoire Americaine in France. He taught keyboard and electronic music at West Rocks Middle School in Norwalk for 37 years and has been Emmanuel’s Director of Music since 1978. Wei Tan began her violin studies at age three in Shanghai, and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music from the Manhattan School of Music. She is an award-winner, co-founder, and Director of the New York International Artists Association.

The group’s selections for “Broadway Bound” include Five Waltzes by Brahms, Minstrel’s Song by Glazunov, songs by George Gershwin, and Cello Sonata in C major by Prokofiev.

WHS Company will perform scenes from the musical comedy, The Addams Family. The play incorporates music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. The characters created by Charles Addams represent an American family with an affinity for all things dark.

WHS Company is a student-run theater organization founded in 1984, and is the high school’s largest club. Their spring show is directed by Liz Morris and co-produced by Beth Lubliner, Patricia Perez Goodrich, and Paul A. Levin. Company will give attendees a glimpse of their full length play, which takes place March 28-31 (all shows at 7:30 pm, except the 3:00 pm Sunday matinee). Tickets will go on sale shortly ($15 adults; $10 students/seniors) via www.whscompany.com or can be purchased at the door.

Broadway Comes to Bethel

From the Bethel High School Theater Boosters:

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Bethel High School is happy to announce that the theater program will be presenting Footloose the Musical March 22, 23, 24th at Bethel High School. The well-known musical based on the movie is expected to be the most successful in school history.

In preparation for the sell out crowds, the town has come together through the BHS Theater Boosters, the Chamber of Commerce and Bethel Arts to promote the event and local businesses with shopping and restaurant specials. Ticket holders can enjoy the vast array of businesses in a town well known for its great restaurants, shopping, and support of the arts. It’s Broadway in Bethel!

It’s one weekend only – March 22, 23, 24. Tickets: $15 General, $12 Students/Seniors.

Tickets for Footloose and more info on Broadway in Bethel available online at www.bhstheaterboosters.com

#Danbury #CTKids Invited to Children’s Musical Theater Open House This Saturday, Feb. 9th

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DANBURY, CT— Award-winning theater instructor Wendy Mitchell will lead children in a fun, educational, cultural theater program this spring in Danbury. Local children ages 3-10 are welcome to come to meet the instructors and check out the class this Saturday. Wendy’s classes won TownVibe’s “Best of” award in 2017 for best music and art classes for kids.

Wendy’s theater classes are run through the GDICF Theatre Troupe, based out of the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. Children ages 3-10 years old, along with their parents, are invited to come to the Open House on Saturday, Feb. 9th from 10-11:30 a.m. at the club, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury.

The Open House includes free face painting with Miss Angie of Poprox Productions, theater games, snacks, and FUN. Plays are written and directed by Wendy Mitchell, a theater instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience. Miss Wendy studied Child Development at Post University and has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the state of Connecticut. Her love of kids is apparent in the energy and excitement she brings to each of her events.

Shows are co-directed by Angie DeLorenzo. Miss Angie studied drama and poetry at Keble College at the University of Oxford in the U.K. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Arizona State University, has over eight years of experience working with children in educational and recreational settings and is a talented face painter as well. Her drama experience includes theatrical performances in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Hairspray, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Pirates of Penzance and more.

The spring session of theater classes runs from Saturday,. Feb. 16 – Saturday, Apr. 13 from 10-11:30 a.m. each Saturday. Classes are geared towards younger kids age 3-8 with youth ages 8-10 serving as mentors and leaders for the younger ones. This is a low-pressure, high fun class and each session teaches kids to give back to the community at the show by donating toys, food, clothing and more for those in need. All skill levels are welcome.

R.S.V.P. to Wendy Mitchell by calling or texting (203) 501-7424, or by emailing wendyannmitchell@live.com.

For more information, photos and videos, visit the GDICF Theatre Troupe‘s Facebook page.

About GDICF Children’s Theater TroupeGDICF Youth Theatre Troupe provides quality educational musical theater classes for children and youth ages 3-12-years-old. From cultural music & movement classes, to educational shows that bring people of all ages a positive message through the art of theater, the GDICF Theater Troupe teaches youth self-confidence, team building and community service while learning music and theater skills. The interactive shows include humor, song, dance and a whole lot of fun!

Children’s Theater Holiday Show; Kids Age 3-12 Invited to Register

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DANBURY, CT — Reindeer and elves, and fairies, oh my! A local theater troupe is preparing young thespians for an awesome, educational theater class especially geared towards kids ages 3 – 12. The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation’s Children’s Theater Troupe (GDICF Theater) is presenting a 7-week theater program for local kids that culminates with a full-scale production to benefit local charities.

Classes run on Saturday mornings, Oct. 13 – Dec. 8, 2018, from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury, CT. The session is taught by Mrs. Wendy Mitchell and Ms. Angelina DeLorenzo. “Miss Wendy” studied Child Development at Post University, has been teaching for 20+ years and has her Head Teacher Certification in Early Childhood Education through the State of Connecticut. She is the founder and Executive Director of the award-winning nonprofit Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids (SHACK) and the Ridgefield Arts and Nature School, named best theater classes for 2017 by Ridgefield Town Vibe Magazine.

“Miss Angie” studied drama and poetry at Keble College at the University of Oxford in the U.K. She received her BA in English Literature from Arizona State University. She has over eight years of experience working with children in educational and recreational settings and is a talented face painter as well. Angie’s drama experience includes theatrical performances in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Hairspray, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Pirates of Penzance and more.

The GDICF Theater Troupe focuses on team building, boosting self-confidence and encouraging each child’s individual skills and talents no matter what their age or skill level. Wendy Mitchell has written, directed and produced over a dozen plays and strives to give each child she teaches a sense of pride in their skills and accomplishments.

The theater troupe does a benefit for every show to teach the kids to give back to the community through their performance. This session is a benefit for the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. On the day of the show, the theater troupe will collect gifts for Family & Children’s Aid of Danbury to help foster kids have holiday holidays. There will also be a food drive for the Danbury area’s soup kitchens to benefit the homeless and those in need.

Parents can learn more by visiting the registration site on Eventbrite. To view photos and videos of past productions, visit the GDICF Theater Troupe’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Questions? Contact wendyannmitchell@live.com or call (203) 501-7424.

 

VOTE: City of Danbury, Jericho Partnership Need Help to Fight Homelessness

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DANBURY, CT —  The City of Danbury and the Jericho Partnership are joining forces to help combat homelessness and they need your help to qualify for a $25,000 grant to fulfill their mission. The two organizations are presenting the project called “CityServe” to increase the number of participants in Project CleanStart (PCS), expand the number of students impacted by Reading Buddies Program (RBP), and increase services offered by Spring Street Neighborhood Center (SSNC), according to their website.

Jericho is a finalist to win one of 40 grants with 200 organizations in the running. Funds will be used to enable team leaders to work directly with the homeless population and present the “Reading Buddies” program to several Danbury public schools. If awarded the grant, they will be able to expand their impact in elementary schools, increase food pantry distributions, help shut-ins and the elderly population, and offering free case management for families in need.

To vote for the Jericho Partnership to receive the funds through the State Farm Neighborhood Assist Grant, supporters simply have to vote on the following website:

NeighborhoodAssist.com/entry/2012674

People can vote 10 times a day, every day, until Aug. 24, 2018.

#SFNeighborhoodAssist

Photo credit: Jericho Partnership

Local Gymnasts Win Big at Xcel Gold State Championships

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BROOKFIELD, CT — A Brookfield gymnastics studio has lots to be proud of after four out of their five Xcel Gold State gymnasts placed in the championships held at Killingly High School on April 21 and 22, 2018.

Kratos Gymnastics, owned by Ashley and Mihael Anton, had four of their gymnasts on the Xcel Gold Team compete. In their first season of the Xcel Gold level, everyone qualified to the CT State Championships and medaled in their individual age groups.

  • Izabella Dobkowski, of Danbury, placed fourth on the floor exercise.
  • Ella Penna, of Sherman, came in ninth place on balance beam and second place on the floor exercise.
  • Mila Kuilan, of Danbury, came in fifth place on balance beam, fourth place on vault and uneven bars and all-around, and came in first place CT State Champion on floor exercise.
  •  Madison Larkin, of New Milford, came in ninth place on vault, second place on floor, and 1st place CT State Champion on uneven bars, balance beam, and all around.
Out of the overall approximate 300 gymnasts who competed, Madison Larkin placed fifth all around which earned her one on of only seven spots granted on the CT Xcel Gold Regional Team. This team will compete at the 2018 Xcel Gold Region 6 Regional Championships taking place at Shrewsbury High School, in Shrewsbury MA. on May 19.
At the Regional Championships, the top seven gymnasts in Xcel Gold from CT, NY, MA, NH, VT and ME will compete representing their State for the title of Region 6 Regional Champion.

 

Congratulations to the entire team on their accomplishments.

Bethel Town Budget Meeting is Tuesday, April 24

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BETHEL, CT — Town of Bethel voters are notified of the reconvened Annual Town Budget Meeting to be held at the Bethel High School Auditorium, 300 Whittlesey Drive in on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 7: 00 p. m. to consider the appropriation of $29,536,242, which sum includes debt service of $ 3,939, 238 and the school’ s building maintenance account of $500,008 as recommended by the Board of Finance.

The meeting will also include consideration of a resolution to appropriate the sum of $ 1,140,000, as recommended by the Board of Finance, for capital item expenditures, and the issuance of short-term notes and/ or bonds of $ 1, 140,000, to finance the appropriation of said sum for all costs incurred for the following capital item expenditures:

Highway Elgin Street Sweeper $230,000

Education High School, HVAC $250,000

Bethel Fire Dept: Replace BFD Engine $660,000

TOTAL CAPITAL $1, 140,000

Finally, consideration to establish the date on which the machine vote on the annual town budget shall take place in accordance with the provisions of the Bethel Town Charter.

Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr Creative Commons

Former Sandy Hook Library Media Specialist Wins Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians

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NEWTOWN, CT —Yvonne Cech, current Library Director of the Brookfield Library and former Library Media Specialist of Sandy Hook Elementary School, is one of two Librarians who were chosen as the recipients of the 2018 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity, according to Cheryl Malden, Program Officer with the American Library Association.

Diana Haneski, Library Media Specialist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, along with Cech will both be presented with a cash prize an award at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, LA., Malden said in a statement.

The ALA explains the origins of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity in the following manner: “It is of the opinion of Lemony Snicket, author, reader, and alleged malcontent, that librarians have suffered enough. Therefore he is establishing an annual prize honoring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact. The prize will be a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket’s disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing. It is Mr. Snicket’s hope, and the ALA’s, that the Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.”

The adversity Cech met was on that horrific December day five years ago, on December 14, 2012, when a lone gunman shot his way through the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary School taking the lives of 26 students and educators. According to a release, Cech saved 18 fourth grade children on that day by hiding them in a storage closet, locking the door and barricading it with book trucks and other objects until the SWAT team arrived.  Cech would not open the door until she verified the officers’ identity.

Similarly, five years later, during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL, Haneski shielded 50 high school students and five adults from harm in a barricaded equipment room. She also refused to open the door until she was sure that the rescuers were who they claimed to be, the statement said.

Cech is now a Librarian at the Brookfield Public Library where she, her bio says, specializes in children’s literature but also loves adult nonfiction books about history. Cech lives in Danbury, received her Master’s in Library Science from Florida State University and holds a Teaching Certification from Southern Connecticut State University, with undergrad degrees from Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and SUNY Oswego.

 

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2019 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity is February 1.  Guidelines and applications are available on the ALA website.

Read more here.

Photo by RoccoA via Flickr

Rep. Ferguson Joins CT School Safety & Security Working Group

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HARTFORD, CT – State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-138) has joined a new bi-partisan legislative school safety and security working group to better address the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs, as well as a canvass of current attitudes, concerns and trends in securing our schools.

Ferguson is a former Danbury Board of Education member and a member of the legislature’s Education committee who has cognizance over education policy in Connecticut.

“This school safety and security working group will allow for a full examination and evaluate the effectiveness of current school security-focused legislation and programs throughout the state. Recent national school violence has created unease among state students and parents regarding their safety in our schools. We, as legislators, have an obligation to talk and consult security experts and education stakeholders to reassure state residents that our institutions of learning throughout our state are as safe as possible,” said Rep. Ferguson.

Ferguson and other legislators on the working group are looking to analyze:

  • Summarize current school safety legislation;
  • Measure school districts’ knowledge of current legislation;
  • Use and availability of existing state and federal funds;
  • Review of whether regulations and associated programs have been implemented;
  • Availability of school-based mental health professionals;
  • Parents’ knowledge and understanding of their district’s security measures;
  • Local educators’ view of the effectiveness of legislation and related programs;
  • Determine viability of school security measures installed years ago;
  • Identify new trends and techniques in school security;
  • Collect recent concerns of educators, students and law enforcement;
  • Determine what other states are doing

The legislators also intend to communicate with their districts, teachers, superintendents, and students to get feedback on what has been done, how things have changed and what they still feel needs to change.

Among the working group’s proposed participants:

  • Republican and Democrat legislators;
  • School superintendents;
  • Law enforcement personnel;
  • Mental health professionals for children.
  • Federal agency liaisons
  • School security consultants
  • Students and parents

A recent report showed Connecticut was above the national average in the percentage of high school students who have been threatened or injured with a weapon at school, in the percentage of teachers who were threatened or attacked, and in the percentage of high school students who said they carried a weapon during the past month, among other categories.

From the Office of John M. Dooley IV, CT House Republicans