The Stories of Changing the Odds

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The Aviles Family is Raising Readers

In Norwalk, the Raising Readers program offered by the Family Resource Centers is making huge strides in providing parents with the knowledge that it is important to read to their child every day. The best and richest source for vocabulary is age-appropriate children’s books. Books contain many words not usually found in day to day conversation with children. Reading aloud daily fosters valuable interaction between parent and child and allows children to associate books and reading as a positive experience. This program is part of the Norwalk Early Childhood Council’s plan to increase readiness for kindergarten.

Coming from a culture in Guatemala that had specific roles for a Mother and Father, Mr. and Mrs. Aviles found living in the U.S. very different and a bit overwhelming.  Supporting the family had always been the primary role for the Father in the house, and most of the child development came from the Mother. [READ MORE]

What academic coaching has done for Nehemie

Horizons Student Enrichment Program at New Canaan Country School

Nehemie is a twenty-five year old Academic Coach working with Horizons high school students. Nehemie was a Horizons student herself, when she graduated from Brian McMahon High School and then went to the University of Vermont. Nehemie credits her personal college aspirations to her participation in Horizons. [READ MORE]

Hales Court Resident Get Help for Child

A 5th grade participant from a single, working parent home, with frequent school absences and a noted history of social/emotional difficulties, began attending the afterschool program last spring. Since beginning the program, the student has had frequent conflicts with other children and appeared to lack supportive one to one connections with others.  [READ MORE]

Joel Santiago Appreciates Help He Received from Carver Center Youth Development Program

I grew-up in a single parent household. My mother had me at 16-years-old. I grew up in low-income housing living with my mother, grandmother, and aunt. In middle school, my grades ranged from D- to C. Going into 9th grade, I thought I would do a lot better academically, but first quarter gave me a rude awakening. I earned a 1.3 GPA and my mother wasn’t too proud of it. I kept hearing things about a program in the school that would help me do better with my grades. I asked my English teacher, Miss Molinelli, about the program and it happened to be that she was the one in charge of running it. [READ MORE]

Marisol Rivera and her parents are grateful for Carver Center Youth Development Program

My journey with the Carver Foundation’s Youth Development Program began my freshman year. I joined half-way through the year because my history teacher felt that I was not performing to my potential. My mother, friends, and teachers suggested that I make the commitment to Carver and the program has influenced me greatly academically, socially, and personally. [READ MORE]

Peter Montanez Dreams Big because of Carver Center Youth Development Program

I am a fourteen year old eighth grader attending Side by Side Charter School in Norwalk Connecticut. I have attended the George Washington Carver Community Center since I was in the third grade. I am now a member of Carver’s Junior Youth Development Program better known as the JR. YDP. I consider myself to be an intelligent person and I perform very well in school. With encouragement from my mother, father and the Carver, I am constantly striving to do my best, both inside and outside of school, while learning along the way. [READ MORE]

Danielle Smith, a Mom who appreciates the Read at Home Initiative

Danielle Smith, a single mother, works in the school office at the George E. Pipkin ABCD program in Bridgeport. She has three children, one of whom is in the preschool program there. She attended the workshops presented by Read to Grow in the summer and was enthusiastic about the Grow Truck and RTG’s association with it.

“This is good to have. Getting books, hearing this, it’s a benefit for us. It makes a difference in our lives. I came to the workshop to learn and to show the parents there’s no stigma. They see me here and that’s good.” [READ MORE]

Seliana Seradieu is honored to be part of the Carver Center Youth Development Program

I am a sophomore at Norwalk High School.  I joined the Carver Youth Development Program last year when I entered high school. When I first joined, it was not voluntarily. Now, my outlook on the program has changed completely. At first, it seemed as if it was a chore to go to the afterschool program because my parents forced me to. Today, I come to the program because I want to. [READ MORE]

Sandrelys Cruz learns child care provider skills through Stratford Parents Place

When Sandrelys Cruz became involved with FFN last year, she was only doing child care for one child.  She wanted to become a professional child care provider.  When Migda Carrero, parent educator, made an initial home visit, she had many questions especially about curriculum, daily schedules, and behavioral techniques. [READ MORE]

5 year old Anne gets help from Westport Child First

Child First received a DCF referral about “Anne” (5 years old). She was living with her mother and maternal grandparents.  She was required (by court order) to visit her father several times/week. She would cry hysterically and not want to go. Anne had reported that her father hit her in the face and that his family was mean to her, prompting a DCF investigation & causing DCF to refer the family to CF. [READ MORE]