February news & updates
FEBRUARY 7th, 2022
The backbone team was talking recently about how to stay positive and motivated during the difficult times we are living in where stress and burnout feel like the norm. As humans, we are hardwired for connection, kindness, and cooperation. In this new space, we invite the community to share local stories of acts of goodness and kindness that we can highlight. Please send to [email protected].  
Barbara Beaujour is the operations coordinator for Norwalk ACTS. She previously worked as a legal secretary in the CT Division of Criminal Justice - Stamford/ Norwalk District. 

Like many working parents, Barbara experienced the challenges of remote learning. She joined Norwalk ACTS in the spring of 2021 as a volunteer community advocate. Her initial focus was to educate herself on resources available to her and share the information with her “tribe.” Her first experience out in the community was as an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) liaison. The pilot program was a success; resulting in an over 20% increase in parent participation.     
Barbara is a first-generation Norwalk native of Haitian heritage. She is fluent in English and Haitian Creole. She holds degrees in Business Administration from Norwalk Community College and the University of Bridgeport. Barbara resides in Norwalk where she is currently experiencing “black boy joy” through the lens of her son.

Join us in congratulating our very own Community Advocate, Jayden Whitmore, on helping design the Norwalk Youth Services website. Jayden has lived in Norwalk for 13 years and attends Norwalk Public Schools. He is looking forward to representing his community as a community advocate through Norwalk ACTS!
The CT Data Collaborative has released a new first-of-its-kind analysis of evictions filed by housing providers in CT from 2017 to 2021: Exposing Connecticut’s Eviction Crisis-Understanding The Intersection Of Race And Sex In Connecticut’s Housing Crisis. https://www.ctdata.org/evictions

Equity 101 is the first in a series of courses by Equity Institute called The Basics, which guide participants towards a basic understanding of social justice concepts. In this first session, Norwalk families will deepen their understanding of equity in education. Participants will understand the difference between equity and equality and how Norwalk is working towards its equity goals. Register here.
Have you seen the latest issue of the Wellness Bulletin for Norwalk Parents? This issue focuses on Resiliency, with content from Positive Directions, Norwalk ACTS, Norwalk Health Department, Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, and more! 
To help educate community members about Norwalk’s Education Budget Process, we hosted a free workshop on January 25th, Understanding Norwalk's Local Education Budget & ESSER Funding, presented by Connecticut School + State Finance Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy organization, focused on education funding and state finance issues, with a commitment to providing independent analysis, building public knowledge, improving transparency, and developing fair, sustainable solutions.
Below are the recording links to the 12-1:30 PM and 7-8:30 PM workshops:

The Norwalk PTO Council and Norwalk ACTS created City of Norwalk Operating Budget Fact Sheets 2022-2023 including key decision-makers, roles, operating budget process, and upcoming important 2022 budget meetings. Please feel free to share with parents, students, and other community members.
Fairfield County's Community Foundation has over $1 million in scholarships available. They are for graduating high school seniors and current college students. Applications are open now and close at the end of March. 
The scholarships are competitive, many have subject matters and they focus on the towns of Bridgeport, Stratford, Fairfield, Westport, Easton, Trumbull, Monroe, Shelton, and Milford. There are also designated scholarships in many towns in FF County that are only available through the Guidance Counselor at that school. 
Please forward to all the people that could spread the word and get our youth some support in pursuing higher education!
Synchrony and The Synchrony Foundation are proud to partner with General Assembly to offer a fully funded training opportunity for Stamford and surrounding Connecticut area residents who are interested in pursuing a career in software engineering. Through this partnership, we are seeking local talent like you to represent the diverse tech workforce of tomorrow. Apply today!
CareerConn 2022 is Connecticut’s largest one-day career school expo that connects students, adult learners, and veterans with leading postsecondary career schools, selected employers, and career track workshops. Now at the Mohegan Sun Arena, March 29, 2022. Register now!
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 transforming how community works. Get started here.