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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 

Best Danbury Brunch Spots

 

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DANBURY, CT — Vegetable Omelets, Spinach Frittatas, Country Farm Pancakes…. is your mouth watering yet? Looking for a great spot to take the family for Easter Brunch or Passover? Here are the top three spots in Danbury, as ranked by Trip Advisor and Yelp users.

Yelp’s Top 3 Danbury Brunch Spots 

  1. Marketplace, 33 Mill Plain Road
  2. Mothership on Main, 331 Main Street
  3. Mezon, 56 Mill Plain Road

Trip Advisor’s Top 3 Danbury Brunch Spots

  1. Mezon, 56 Mill Plain Road
  2. Marketplace, 33 Mill Plain Road
  3. Cheesecake Factory, Danbury Fair Mall, 7 Backus Ave.

What do you think of their picks? Tell us in the comments.

We wish you a very Happy Passover season and a Happy Easter to you and yours!

Photo Credit: Henrik Ismarker via Flickr Creative Commons

4th Nor’Easter Set to Pack a Punch

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DANBURY, CT — The first day of spring is on Tuesday, but spring weather is staying at bay, at least for now, as a fourth Nor’Easter in one month threatens our area. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook now through Sunday which “will likely bring accumulating snow from late Tuesday night into Wednesday evening.”

NECN’s meteorologist said this could be enough to bring “plowable snow” and “cause delays and cancellations for Thursday morning.”

WFSB meteorologist Bruce DePrest stated that  light snow will begin early in the morning on Wednesday and then snow will become heavy at times, with strong winds. Snow is expected to end before dawn on Thursday. Depending on the track of the storm, some areas may receive significant snowfall of 6 inches or more, according to the NWS.

“We are forecasting 6-12 inches for much of the state,” DePrest said.

If area students have a snow day, many will be getting out in late June as snow day totals approach nearly two dozen for some schools.

Photo credit: Wendy Ann Mitchell

Danbury Irish Set for 2 Weekends Jam-Packed with Fun This St. Patrick’s Day

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 9.52.34 PMDANBURY, CT — The corned beef is boiling, the dancers are stretching and the fiddlers are rosining up their bows in preparation for two weekends of St. Patrick’s Day fun. The Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center’s small army of volunteers are busy preparing for a full day of festivities this Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2018.

The schedule of events is as follows:

  • 9:00 a.m.: Flag raising at P.T. Barnum Square, Bethel
  • 11 a.m.: Mass at St. Peter Church, Main St., Danbury
  • 12 p.m.: Flag raising at Danbury City Hall, West St., Danbury
  • 12 p.m. Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center opens

Following the Mass and flag raising(s), the Greater Danbury Irish Cultural Center will serve corned beef and cabbage beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the center, 6 Lake Ave., Danbury. At 1:00 p. m., the Thorne School of Irish Dance will perform, followed by Newtown-based Ashurst Academy Of Irish Dance at 3:00 p.m. From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., an all-female Irish band, Chicks ‘n Sync will play, followed by Steve O’Tree from 8:00 – 11:00 p.m.

Next weekend, Sunday, March 25, 2018, the Danbury Hibernians will host the 19th Annual Greater Danbury Parade. Step off is at 3 p.m. in front of St. Peter Church on Main St. in Danbury. The parade route continues down Main St., goes left on West St. on to Lake Ave. and ends at the Danbury Irish Club, 6 Lake Ave., where there will be Irish music, dance, corned beef, cabbage, Irish soda bread and refreshments.

For more information, call the club at (203) 739-0010 or visit WWW.GDICC.ORG.

Photo credit: Wendy Ann Mitchell

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