APRIL news & updates
APRIL 5th, 2022
On Wednesday, April 13th, please join the Center for Youth Leadership at Brien McMahon and a staff member from the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Assault for a conversation about sexual assault, stealthing, and other topics in support of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This discussion is made possible by Norwalk ACTS. It provides a safe space for youth to come together to share experiences, provide education, and explore equitable actions that can be taken within schools and the community.
We are working on being back in person for our June Convening! Please save the date, June 14th, 9-11 AM.  
We use this section of the newsletter to share resources that have been helpful to our race equity journey. Within our internal race equity discussions, we discuss the difficult work of moving equity from theory to practice, confronting racism within friendships and families, and our continued progress from allyship to trusted co-conspirators. Trusted co-conspirators are those who choose to take action against racism regardless of the consequences.

She writes a letter every day recounting the most pertinent news of the day with a clear and very informative explanation. This particular letter covers the voting rights developments in Florida and the history of how seemingly benign voting legislation has resulted in significant voter suppression of people of color. -Paula

I can relate to this article as a white privileged woman who grew up in a 98% white Connecticut town that has had Open Choice since the 1960s. I was thinking of the Darien BOE vote to not allow Open Choice for Norwalk Kindergarten students. It is a great article for white community members to reflect on where they grew up, why they have their own personal perspectives about race, and how segregation has impacted their views. -MJ

Informative short article about implicit racial bias. -MJ

He was interviewed on this podcast and talked about his book and web series, all of which I recommend. I really liked his book because of its informal, yet powerful open dialogue about systemic racism. He presents awkward questions that he has received from people on his viral web series and gives them a response. -Ray

It provided me with a true insight into the harsh realities of solitary confinement and provides a brutal perspective for those who haven't heard inmate stories on solitary confinement. -Brandon

We are thrilled that our Out of School Time Program Locator has been viewed 1683 times as of April 1, 2022! Please continue to share this resource with your networks!
View individual state profiles on school discipline policies by selecting a state through this helpful resource.
Dismantling Systemic Racism: 2022 Conference on Race, Education, and Success Friday, May 6, 2022, 9 AM-2 PM

The 6th conference on Dismantling Systemic Racism, sponsored by the State Education Resource Center (SERC) in collaboration with the SERC Foundation, focuses on ways to promote and develop racial equity in education. This virtual conference supports educators, families, and community leaders who seek to confront racist structures and practices to better serve Connecticut’s students and their families, through advocacy and the development, implementation, and sustainability of innovative, culturally relevant programming. Register here!

March Youth Town Hall Recording: Race Relations
The Center for Youth Leadership at Brien McMahon and the Darien High School Black Student Union held a conversation about race relations in March 2022. The students agreed to record this session.
At the Corner is a newly founded non-profit organization aimed to build a community where all can belong, serve the needs of individuals and families through counseling, resourcing, and networking, and provide a safe space where all are welcomed. 

Our official launch will be on April 8th, 2022 and I hope you will be able to join us.

Rev. Elizabeth C. Abel, CEO/President
Please see the attached flyer in English and Spanish with city-wide Week of the Young Child activities starting on April 2 through April 17! 
·        Two story walks, one at the Norwalk Public Library-main branch and the other in Mathews Park. Both are outdoor opportunities to read from two wonderful bilingual children’s picture books.
·        A virtual storytime featuring I Love Insects by local illustrator and children’s picture book author, Lizzy Rockwell. Join us on Zoom!
·        The third annual preschool self-portrait art show, bigger and better than ever thanks to the many Wall St. and Washington St. businesses that are participating. The show will start on 4/9/22 and run through 4/17. It includes self-portraits from over 800 preschool children enrolled in center-based and family childcare programs in Norwalk.
Norwalk Public Schools Family Center is now open at 2 Park Street - a resource for families to access:

  • Enrollment and district services
  • Family and community engagement
  • Student wellness
  • Language and academic services
Please see the information attached and below about the upcoming SNAP trainings available for providers and community members (including parents). Anyone is welcome to attend either session but the 4/12, 6:00 PM session is geared more towards members of the public, including parents. There will be a simultaneous translation option. 
New student and Kindergarten registration are now open. Click this link to go to the NPS registration page.
NorWALKs for Mental Health
The Norwalk Partnership, Norwalk Community College, and Norwalk ACTS are organizing "NorWALKs for Mental Health," a community awareness event for May to promote the social connections we all need, provide a fun outdoor walk to highlight mental health, and showcase mental health and substance use resources in our community through an interactive resource fair. 

Please save Saturday, May 7th from 9-11:30 AM at the Norwalk Green with the rain date of Saturday, May 21st on your calendar now, and start talking to your family and friends so we can all get out there together! If you're a community provider, please take a couple of minutes to fill out our planning survey here. We are looking to have resource tables highlighting support options in Norwalk.
Restorative Practices Advanced Training- April 6-8, 8:30 AM-2 RPM (Virtual)
Don’t miss the opportunity to take the Restorative Practices Advanced training this April. This 3-day training is designed to prepare and equip participants to deliver future Restorative Practices training. Register here.
Thank you for all your efforts this legislative session in sharing your voices and testifying on a number of bills that will work towards equitable funding for students, funding for our early childhood systems, and helping our students get the mental healthcare they need. Although public hearings are over, there are still opportunities to engage with your legislators and advocate for these bills. Look out over the next couple of weeks for any news regarding the legislative session as it starts to draw to a close. If you ever have any questions, concerns or need information please reach out to me at brandon.hayden@ctc2c.org.
We have created a Norwalk Out of School Time Program Locator as a resource for families to find programs that meet the needs of their children. Share these flyers with your networks, families, and friends to learn about local opportunities for all young people in Norwalk. https://bit.ly/NorwalkACTSOOST
Horizons at New Canaan Country School is seeking dedicated professionals to join their wonderful 2022 summer learning community. They are accepting applications for the following positions:
The Youth Business Initiative Scholarship Gala serves as the start of an annual fundraiser for the YBI students and the community.

Funds will go towards scholarships for deserving senior students in our program towards tuition for college to make it more accessible for them to graduate and have productive futures. There will be raffles and many chances to donate. The more money we raise, the more kids we can help send off to college.
 P2P's college scholarship application opened April 1st (virtually) and will close May 10 at 4 pm. For more information, please visit https://p2phelps.org/what-we-do/scholarships/. Please contact Flor Gonzalez at florgonzalez@p2phelps.org.
FREE Virtual FAFSA workshops for students and their families. Financial aid professionals will be available to help students and families navigate the process of need-based federal aid. Those who sign up will receive a checklist of items that they will need to successfully complete the process. These events are open to high school students across the state.

GIVE WHILE YOU SHOP: Are you an Amazon shopper? Set Norwalk ACTS as your selected charity on Amazon Smile, and a portion of every purchase will be donated to transform how a community works. Get started here.