Monroe's HamletHub Sun, 22 Sep 2019 10:06:10 -0400 Blood Drives Near Monroe, Urgent Need Before Summer Ends

With many regular donors delaying giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

While thousands of donors have rolled up a sleeve this summer, blood and platelet donations aren’t keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give through Aug. 29 with a $5 Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for Monroe through August 31

Town Date Address
Monroe 8/17/2019: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church, 371 Old Zoar Road

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


]]> (Red Cross) Events Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:37:57 -0400
Many Connecticut Cities Ranked Highest for Number of Nonprofits

Monroe and other nearby cities data can be seen on the chart below.

The Bridgeport Region ranks 20th for the US regions with the highest concentrations of nonprofit organizations according to Governing Magazine.  The Bridgeport metro area has a total of 1,391 nonprofits, which translates to 14.7 per 10,000 population.

The number of nonprofits in towns near Monroe are:

City # of Charities Value of Assets
Ansonia, CT 57 $12,720,570
Botsford, CT 6 $355,982
Derby, CT 59 $172,624,315
Easton, CT 46 $12,314,814
Hawleyville, CT 11 $772,471
Huntington, CT 4 $1,693,696
Monroe, CT 175 $44,242,102
Newtown, CT 157 $197,072,160
Oxford, CT 44 $4,916,337
Redding, CT 53 $27,009,469
Redding Ctr, CT 7 $26,277,526
Redding Ridge, CT 2 $123,877
Sandy Hook, CT 56 $39,610,586
Seymour, CT 65 $12,869,913
Shelton, CT 189 $413,566,885
Trmbull, CT 1
Trumbull, CT 205 $146,928,806

The magazine studied all of the regions in the United States to try to determine why some regions have more charities than others, and they found some interesting results. "What we found was that the concentration of locally focused nonprofits doesn’t just vary from one part of the country to another -- it varies a lot. The top 10 metro areas on our list have more than twice the number of nonprofits per capita as all those in the bottom quarter."

Other regions in the top 20 according to Governor Magazine include:

Metro Area Nonprofits
Nonprofits Per 10k Pop
Barnstable Town, MA 517 24.2
Pittsfield, MA 286 22.6
Santa Fe, NM 285 19
Missoula, MT 219 18.4
Ithaca, NY 187 18.2
Springfield, IL 358 17.2
Trenton, NJ 634 17.1
Bismarck, ND 222 16.7
Burlington-South Burlington, VT 366 16.6
Madison, WI 1,094 16.6
Napa, CA 231 16.6
Boulder, CO 538 16.5
Duluth, MN-WI 447 16
Fairbanks, AK 157 15.9
Great Falls, MT 130 15.9
Glens Falls, NY 198 15.8
Jefferson City, MO 234 15.4
Portland-South Portland, ME 813 15.2
Anchorage, AK 595 14.9
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 1,391 14.7


Other Connecticut regions on the list include:

  • Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford with 1,576 nonprofits
  • New Haven-Milford with 1,082 nonprofits
  • Norwich-New London with 318 nonprofits

The governing analysis is based on data published by The National Center for Charitable Statistics.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Charities Thu, 15 Aug 2019 04:30:00 -0400
Housatonic Community College Open for Saturday Registration August 10 and 24

Housatonic Community College (HCC) will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 10 and Saturday, August 24 for Registration Saturdays to assist students interested in registering for fall 2019 classes.

Classes start on Tuesday, August 27 and the registration event, located in the Lafayette Hall Atrium, is open to new and continuing students.  Faculty and staff will assist with advising, registration, financial aid, and graduation workshops. 

New students should bring a photo ID, unofficial transcripts, proof of high school graduation, and immunization records.  Academic placement testing will be available after the application process is complete. 

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Boulevard in Bridgeport.  Free parking is available. 

]]> (Laura Roberts) Charities Wed, 31 Jul 2019 12:26:33 -0400
Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Housatonic Community College Foundation Partner to Advance Women in Tech Careers

While women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, they hold less than 20 percent of U.S. tech jobs. In an effort to help address this, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Housatonic Community College Foundation (HCCF) have teamed up to support women interested in entering tech careers.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $20,000 grant to HCCF to support women who are interested in pursuing a career in the manufacturing industry. With this funding, Housatonic Community College (HCC) will market their highly successful Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center program to women. This intense, one-year educational program boasts hands-on experience and a 100% job placement rate.

Other educational opportunities for women that are already in place at the college include a three-week Introduction to Manufacturing boot camp to learn about available career opportunities in the manufacturing field, a College Connections program allowing high school students to earn college credits through the Advanced Manufacturing program, and Women In Technology seminars which showcase pathways into the manufacturing industry to young women in high school.

“While Connecticut is experiencing a substantial tech worker shortage, women are underrepresented in almost every manufacturing sector in the U.S.,” said Dr. Paul Broadie, President of Housatonic Community College. “With this support, we can advance women in this field and have a significant impact on the state and the nation’s economy.”

In addition to building up a skilled workforce, the grant will help to train female students for high-paying jobs. Graduates of HCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center program report an average starting base salary between $30,000 and $60,000 annually.

“Employment is one of the most powerful levers to connect individuals to economic success. We’re excited to be partnering with Housatonic Community College to help connect local residents to the training and support they need to prepare themselves with skills needed to find meaningful employment in this important sector of our local economy and to set themselves on a path to improve their financial lives and create sustainable career pathways to a better future,” said Bill Tommins, Southern CT President, Bank of America.

To learn more about the Housatonic Community College Foundation and how you can support scholars, please visit or call 203-332-5078.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Charities Thu, 18 Jul 2019 04:08:41 -0400
Scinto Scholars Rewarded: Bob Scinto Supports High-Achieving Housatonic Community College Students

Bob Scinto, founder of corporate real estate giant, R.D. Scinto, Inc., met with high-achieving Housatonic Community College (HCC) students last month on June 17th to celebrate their success as ‘Scinto Scholars.’ The generous $10,000 scholarship was established through the Housatonic Community College Foundation to reward 20 students with exceptionally high GPAs for their commitment to academic excellence.

“I created this scholarship because I want to show students the direct relationship between working hard and being successful,” said Scinto, a longtime friend of the college. “I support HCC because they do a terrific job, and everyone who goes there is working hard to improve themselves.”

Scinto held a luncheon at Il Palio restaurant at his Enterprise Corporate Park property to meet directly with the students, and present their scholarship awards. The students’ goals ranged from becoming a middle school math teacher, to a white collar fraud investigator to running for political office.

“I pay for my schooling completely out-of-pocket, said Jonathan Sabotka, a Computer Information Systems student who expects to graduate next year and also works part-time in construction. “This scholarship will help me to pursue my education and allow me to ultimately get my bachelor’s degree.”

The Bob Scinto Scholarship was established last year as the need for scholarships continues to increase. In recent years the Housatonic Community College Foundation has expanded fundraising to offset the impact of higher tuition rates, Connecticut budget cuts, and reductions in both financial aid awards and unrestricted funding.

“We’re grateful to Bob Scinto for this generous support,” said Dr. Paul Broadie, HCC President. “This scholarship rewards students’ dedication to investing in their education, and helps to build a better future for themselves and our community.”

To learn more about the Housatonic Community College Foundation and how you can support financially struggling scholars, visit or call 203-332-5078.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Neighbors Wed, 17 Jul 2019 04:00:21 -0400
New Vice President of Educational and Vocational Services At Boys & Girls Village

Boys & Girls Village Inc., a statewide leader in providing mental health treatment, permanency planning and educational services to Connecticut’s most vulnerable youth and their families, is pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel French, Ph.D. as Vice President of Educational and Vocational Services. In his new role, Dr. French will lead a multi-disciplinary education team of professionals with a common goal of student success.

Dr. French joins Boys & Girls Village Inc. following an almost 30 year career with Cooperative Education Services in Trumbull, Ct., and as the Director of the Emotional Disabilities Unit for 20 of those years. There, he was the chief architect of the school program for students with emotional disabilities which serves approximately 200 students a year.

Dr. French is an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University and has mental health experience in both in-patient and out-patient settings. He has published several journal articles pertaining to the education and treatment of adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders and has been on the editorial review boards of several psychology journals.

“Daniel’s strong professional background will continue the growth of our Charles F. Hayden School, and our robust vocational programming” said Dr. Stephen Kant, CEO of Boys & Girls Village. “His leadership will enable our students to realize their fullest intellectual and personal potential. We look forward to seeing his impact both on campus and as our students interact with the community in vocational and volunteer opportunities.”

Dr. French received his M.A. from Boston College and his Ph. D. in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University. In addition, he is certified by the State of Connecticut Department of Education as a school psychologist and a school administrator. He is a Milford resident, married with 2 children, and is an avid UCONN basketball fan.      

“Having spent the past 30 years working in southwestern Connecticut, I am well aware of the outstanding services provided by Boys and Girls Village for children and adolescents in our state,” said French. “I am delighted to be joining the team and very much looking forward to the work that lies ahead.”

Boys & Girls Village Charles F Hayden School is a K-12 state-approved, special education school that helps children to grow academically while also learning how to handle their own emotional and behavioral challenges. The school uses the most up-to-date technology and curriculum, a comprehensive treatment team for each child, and diverse experiential activities to ensure individual success. Vocational programming is offered to young adults to provide knowledge and training to develop the life skills, job skills, and financial literacy they will need to secure gainful employment and obtain self-sufficiency as they begin their adult life.

]]> (Laura Roberts) Neighbors Thu, 11 Jul 2019 07:03:46 -0400
500 Golden Ticket “Bananas” Hidden at Area Libraries on June 22

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Five hundred Golden Ticket “Bananas” are hidden in children’s books about monkeys, both fiction and non-fiction, in libraries throughout the area. Prizes include one GRAND PRIZE of a Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the Zoo, one FIRST PRIZE of a free children’s birthday party, along with multiple family yearly memberships, free passes for families and individuals, free monkey plush toys, discounts at the Zoo gift shop, soft serve ice cream cones and carousel rides.  

When: Saturday, June 22, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

(Hours may vary; check with participating libraries)

Where: Libraries in participating towns: Trumbull, Wilton, Milford, Weston, New Canaan, Monroe, Stratford, Easton, Newtown, three branches in Fairfield, Danbury, Cheshire, Derby, Beacon Falls, Seymour, both branches in Shelton, Hamden, and all branches in Bridgeport.

Why: To celebrate the opening of the newest species arriving at the Zoo later this summer, a pair of Black-handed Spider monkeys in a new, 21stcentury habitat, while supporting literacy and a love of reading. 

How: Simply go to a participating library and search through children’s books on monkeys to find a Golden Ticket Banana. Peel off the sticker on front and see what you’ve won! Librarians are fully engaged in the contest and are happy to assist any child who needs help. 

About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo

Let your curiosity run wild! Connecticut's only zoo, celebrating its 97thanniversary this year, features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Guests won't want to miss our Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopards, maned wolf family, Mexican and Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include the new Natt Family Red Panda Habitat, the South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, plus the Pampas Plains, featuring Giant anteaters, Chacoan peccaries and more. Guests can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on our colorful, indoor carousel. For more information, visit

]]> (Lisa Clair) Events Fri, 21 Jun 2019 07:47:04 -0400
Monroe Area College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Winners Announced

23 Students from Connecticut awarded College Sponsored Scholarships

Monroe area students were awarded College-sponsored Merit Scholarships. These students are part of a distinguished group of about 7,600 high school seniors who will receive National Merit Scholarships for college undergraduate study worth over $31 million.

Award recipients close to Monroe are as follows:

PublishedDate Student City Probable Career College Sponsor High School
2019-06-05 12:00 Cason G. Stone Darien Engineering National Merit Vanderbilt University Scholarship Darien H. S., Darien
2019-06-05 12:00 Noah V. Sobel-Lewin New Haven Economics National Merit University Of Chicago Scholarship Hopkins School, New Haven
2019-06-05 12:00 Daniel Bouzolin Seymour Mechanical Engineering National Merit University Of Texas At Dallas Scholarship Seymour H. S., Seymour
2019-06-05 12:00 Soumya L. Ganti Trumbull International Relations National Merit Boston University Scholarship Trumbull H. S., Trumbull
2019-06-05 12:00 Liam Patrick McEniry Trumbull Computer Engineering National Merit Northeastern University Scholarship Trumbull H. S., Trumbull
2019-06-05 12:00 Andrew Moy Westport Business Administration National Merit University Of Richmond Scholarship Staples H. S., Westport
2019-06-05 12:00 Joshua C. Zhang Westport Economics National Merit University Of Chicago Scholarship Staples H. S., Westport


Today, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced over 3,500 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of Scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2019 competition to about 4,100.

Today’s announcement is the third National Merit Scholar release in 2019 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). NMSC named recipients of corporate-sponsored awards on April 17 and winners of National Merit® $2500 Scholarships on May 8. Additional recipients of college-sponsored awards will be announced on July 15. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Earlier this spring, NMSC announced winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and National Merit $2500 Scholarships.

This year, 173 higher education institutions are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards through the National Merit Scholarship Program. Sponsor colleges and universities include 95 private and 78 public institutions located in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

Over 1.6 million juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. Last fall, approximately 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of the national total of graduating high school seniors. Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors.


]]> (National Merit Scholarship Corporation) Neighbors Wed, 05 Jun 2019 03:00:00 -0400
Monroe Area High Schools Honored with College Success Award

GreatSchools has just announced the winners of the second-annual 2019 College Success Awards. (See the list below for High Schools in Connecticut honored near Monroe).

According to GreatSchools, this award recognizes 1,722 high schools across 25 states that have a successful track record of going beyond simply graduating students to helping them enroll in college and succeed once they get there. Winners represent about 20% of eligible public high schools. Eligibility is determined by data availability and ranges on a state-by-state basis from 13% to 88%.

Avon High School took top honors, and three other CT High Schools received a ten for ten Great Schools Summary Ranking - Weston High School, Connecticut IB Academy, and Marine Science Magnet High School Of Southeastern Connecticut.

The high schools in Connecticut that have won the GreatSchools 2019 College Success Award include:

Rating School Total enrolled % Low-income % College enrollment - State average: 72% Persistence % - State average: 86%
9/10 Masuk High School 1092 8% 89% 95%
9/10 Joel Barlow High School 1008 4% 88% 95%
9/10 Trumbull High School 2151 8% 90% 95%
5/10 Seymour High School 664 24% 76% 90%

For a full list of schools please go to

The College Success Award-winning high schools stand out based on school-level college readiness and postsecondary data collected and shared by their states. “This data tells us whether students enroll in college, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist to their second year,” GreatSchools states.

Learn more about GreatSchools College Success Awards here.

]]> (Tara Daly) Places Fri, 17 May 2019 12:00:51 -0400
See Where Monroe Schools Rank in U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report has just released their 2019 Best High Schools Rankings. The rankings of the schools closest to Monroe are:

High School CT Rank Nat Rank Grad Rate Readiness Enrollment
Masuk High School #33 #1,436 97% 47.1 1,051

View the complete ranking of high schools in Connecticut here. View the complete ranking of high schools in the United States here.

U.S. News ranked 17,245 public high schools, out of a review of more than 23,000 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. According to U.S. News, the number of ranked schools is up from more than 2,700 last year. The new rankings, developed in conjunction with nonprofit research firm RTI International, are based on a revamped methodology that weighs six indicators of school quality for the 2016-2017 school year. View the methodology here.

The top five high schools in Connecticut

  1. Darien High School
  2. Weston High School
  3. Achievement First Hartford Academy
  4. Ridgefield High School
  5. Connecticut IB Academy

The highest-ranked schools are those whose students excelled on state tests and performed beyond expectations; participated in and passed a variety of college-level exams; and graduated in high proportions, according to U.S. News.

U.S. News also assigned a separate STEM ranking for 250 high schools whose students excelled on AP science and math tests. To be eligible, schools had to appear in the top 1,000 of the overall national ranking, according to the article.

Read the article in its entirety here.


]]> (Tara Daly) Neighbors Tue, 30 Apr 2019 13:39:14 -0400
Connecticut to Receive New Funding for Tick Research, Monroe Tick Data Shown Below

More help is on the way to study the tick problem in Connecticut.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently funded the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) to collect and test for more organisms that cause human diseases, including Lyme disease, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

According to the article, CAES will begin testing for more tick species and for more pathogens.

The chart below shows the data from collected ticks for towns near Monroe in 2017, the latest available:

Town Total_Identified Total_Tested Total_Positive Percent_Positive
Monroe 55 45 17 0.378

The full list including all towns is available here. A total of 5,577 ticks feeding on humans were submitted by residents, health departments, and physician offices for identification in 2017. Of these, 3,993 were tested for the evidence of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative organism for Lyme disease, and 1,277 (32.0%) were found positive.  For information on submitting ticks please go to the CAES website here.

Connecticut provides a number of fantastic resources to help prevent tick-borne diseases including this fact sheet on prevention and use of insect repellents, and a handbook on tick management by Dr. Stafford. The CDC page on lyme disease

The Wall Street Journal said that Connecticut reported more than 35,000 cases of diseases contracted through tick bites from 2004 to 2016, according to the CDC. That makes it the state with the fifth most cases, behind Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Tick season stretches from April to October, although infections peak during the summer months.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Public safety Mon, 29 Apr 2019 08:50:00 -0400
Connecticut State Police Accepting Applications at Locations Near Monroe for State Police Troopers until May 31

Today is the DAY! The Connecticut State Police is accepting applications for the position of State Police Trooper Trainee. Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2019.

The State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of State Police is currently accepting applications to establish a pool of qualified applicants to fill future vacant State Police Trooper Trainee positions across the State.    

The Connecticut State Police offers numerous Career Opportunities across our beautiful State, with opportunities for promotional advancement and geographic transfers.   Adding to the attractive locations and upward mobility are excellent Compensation and Benefits including a full Health Benefitspackage, along with additional Supplemental Benefits and a 25 year Hazardous Duty retirement.  

The CT Troop  locations nearest to Monroe are:

Troop Street City Phone
TROOP A – Southbury 90 Lakeside Road Southbury (800) 375-9918
TROOP G – Bridgeport 149 Prospect Street Bridgeport (800) 575-6330
TROOP I – Bethany 631 Amity Road Bethany (800) 956-8818

There is a six stage process for hiring:

  1. Application Period:How to Apply for the SPTT Job Opening
  2. Physical Fitness Assessment: Candidates must take and pass a Physical Fitness Assessment that measures muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility.  Valid CHIP cards will be accepted prior to the CT State Police Physical Ability Test, tentatively scheduled for August.  To register, please follow the instructions on the CHIP Test Schedule.     

   Instructional Video Links:

  1. Polygraph Examination: Inquiries concerning employment history; driving history; medical history; financial history; gambling history; illegal possession, use and sale of drugs/narcotics; criminal activity; military history; illegal sexual activity; use of alcohol; general personal data; prior conduct in police/security/corrections fields; subversive, revolutionary or gang activity; basic honesty and integrity.
  2. Background Investigation:  Comprehensive review of employment, education, training, criminal, motor vehicle and credit history.
  3. Psychological Evaluation: Combination of written tests and interviews to assess suitability for employment in law enforcement.
  4. Medical Evaluation: Comprehensive physical examination, including drug screening.

Operational needs of the agency will weigh heavily on the initial assignment of hired Troopers.  However, we work with our staff to identify locations that are geographically compatible to their desired location.  The agency seeks trustworthy, motivated, driven individuals who are able to work well on their own as well as in a team environment.   We strive to provide superior Public Safety Services for Connecticut and achieve them through our Mission.

DESPP is committed to protecting and improving the quality of life for all by providing a broad range of public safety services, training, regulatory guidance and scientific services utilizing enforcement, prevention, education and state of the art science and technology.

In striving to accomplish this mission, State Police embody core values with great PRIDE:

  • Professionalism through an elite and diverse team of trained men and women.
  • Respect for ourselves and others through our words and actions.
  • Integrity through adherence to standards and values that merit public trust.
  • Dedication to our colleagues, our values, and to the service of others.
  • Equality through fair and unprejudiced application of the law.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Connecticut State Police Troopers, please view the video below and visit    

]]> (CT State Trooper) Public safety Mon, 15 Apr 2019 14:04:38 -0400
State of Connecticut Partners With Dalio Philanthropies to Strengthen Public Education and Promote Greater Economic Opportunity

Dalio Philanthropies Pledges $100 Million to Connecticut; Collaboration Aims to Raise $300 Million to Benefit Youth and Under-Resourced Communities Throughout the State

(HARTFORD, CT) – Ray and Barbara Dalio of Dalio Philanthropies today joined Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, First Lady Annie Lamont, leaders in the General Assembly, students and other stakeholders to announce the launch of a partnership strengthening public education and promoting greater economic opportunity in Connecticut. Through Connecticut’s leadership and the support of Dalio Philanthropies, the partnership seeks to raise $300 million over five years: $100 million from the State of Connecticut that will be matched by $100 million from Dalio Philanthropies and another $100 million from other philanthropists and business leaders.

A video of the announcement is available here.

The $100 million from Dalio Philanthropies is the largest known philanthropic donation to benefit the state in Connecticut’s history. The partnership will benefit residents of Connecticut’s under-resourced communities, with a specific focus on communities where there is both a high poverty rate and a high concentration of youth (14-24) who are showing signs of disengagement or disconnection from high school.

Dalio Philanthropies and the State of Connecticut formed the partnership in response to the state’s current challenges:

  • More than one out of every five high school students in Connecticut are either disengaged or disconnected from school;
  • The annual fiscal impact of high school dropouts on the state budget is more than $900 million;
  • Connecticut ranks among the highest states in terms of income inequality; and
  • Employers across the state are looking to hire skilled workers in historic and emerging industries.

The partnership will:

  • Work with local stakeholders to ensure that community voice and input shape programming design and help advance positive outcomes as quickly and sustainably as possible;
  • Serve disengaged and disconnected youth or entrepreneurs working in under-resourced communities;
  • Utilize practices with demonstrated positive impact in Connecticut or other states and communities;
  • Monitor, measure, and report progress against specific agreed upon impact objectives; and
  • Likely form an independent organization to leverage community expertise and administer resources with representation from Dalio Philanthropies, and the legislative and executive branches.

Given this unprecedented opportunity to leverage a 2-to-1 match, the governor is proposing to appropriate the first contribution from the projected surplus this year. The state match for future years of the five-year commitment will be discussed with the legislature before developing final budgets.

To promote greater economic opportunity, the partnership will support and encourage microfinance and community entrepreneurship initiatives. For example, the partnership might explore funding entrepreneurs with small loans and early stage equity capital and providing non-financial supports such as mentorship and access to networks to help individuals start their own businesses in under-resourced communities so that they can create opportunities for their families and fellow citizens.

To strengthen public education, the partnership will engage non-profit organizations, high schools, higher education, and employers to connect young people to upwardly-mobile jobs. Public education and workforce development programs will include an integrated focus on youth development and wraparound programming to give youth the holistic supports they need to succeed. This could include collaborative endeavors to support educators and schools in individualizing interventions for each student, particularly at moments of transition, as well as programming to reach disconnected youth by providing the supports they need to get back in school and/or connect to the workforce.

“The Dalios, especially Barbara, have made improving public education a priority and thousands of young people will have a better chance to succeed because of their commitment,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “There are many individuals who care deeply about Connecticut and its future generations. We’ve come together today for a historic investment to support, encourage, and mentor our young people so they can achieve their greatest potential. I’m grateful to the Dalios, to all our community leaders and educators, and to all of our young people who are working every day to make our state the best it can be.”

“Our educators and community programs provide extraordinary support to our young people in Connecticut,” Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said. “However, our state needs more investment and initiatives in under-resourced communities. This partnership between Dalio Philanthropies, the General Assembly, Governor Lamont, and other philanthropists and business leaders is an important investment in our young people. The entire state appreciates the generosity and commitment of the Dalio family. I also want to thank Governor Lamont for his work in leading this effort that has the potential to be transformative.”

“This is not just about two people being proud of their state and wanting to give back, but also an understanding of the special challenges our youth in certain communities face and investing in their future,” Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington) said. “Reaching our young people in need with mentoring and opportunity along with encouraging local entrepreneurship is exactly the formula we need, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

“We appreciate Governor Lamont’s out of the box creative thinking in moving the state forward in pursuit of alternative methods of funding, such as a public-private partnership,” the legislature’s Republican leaders, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, said in a joint statement. “We share the goal of creating more opportunity for Connecticut’s youth. This is an idea that is certainly worth exploring, but also that needs to be vetted in great detail. The wellbeing of Connecticut and all who live here is of the utmost importance to all of us and we look forward to many more in-depth conversations to ensure that all people in Connecticut have the best opportunity to succeed.”

“Giving students the education that leads to career and job opportunities is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as a society,” Barbara Dalio, co-founder and director of Dalio Philanthropies, said. “When students are given the career and job training opportunities and they can see a path that excites them, they will thrive. Ray and I are thrilled to partner with Governor Lamont and communities to make this vision possible.”

“Equal access to education and job opportunities are required for any system to be fair and productive,” Ray Dalio, co-founder and president of Dalio Philanthropies, said. “Unfortunately, these are now lacking in Connecticut, particularly in poor areas of the state where poverty impedes children’s ability to get a quality education and for adults to get jobs. I believe that all members of our Connecticut community should pull together to rectify these intolerable circumstances. Barbara has for many years been tirelessly working alongside our state’s educational and community leaders to help provide our public school system with the support it needs to close the educational opportunity gaps. Building on her work and Governor Lamont’s call to work together, we are excited to help initiate this partnership to improve public education and provide jobs and microfinancing opportunities to those in the most depressed areas of our state. We hope to make these changes sustainable over the long run by raising incomes, lowering social costs, and making Connecticut a more hospitable environment for those who will contribute to its well-being.”

About Dalio Philanthropies

Dalio Philanthropies furthers the Dalio family’s diverse philanthropic passions, which include strengthening public education in Connecticut, financial inclusion and social entrepreneurship. Dalio Philanthropies has invested more than $50 million in the state’s public school districts, nonprofit organizations, and communities over the past four years alone. Dalio Philanthropies’ support for financial inclusion efforts total over $72 million to date. To learn more, visit

]]> (CT State) Charities Tue, 09 Apr 2019 03:57:47 -0400
Schools Near Monroe Awarded by CT Department of Education as Schools of Distinction

The CSDE is recognizing 160 schools across the state as Schools of Distinction for high overall performance, high academic growth, and/or improvement in overall performance. It is commendable that 43 of the 160 Schools of Distinction are located in Alliance Districts.

“The 2017-18 accountability results show progress is being made on several performance and growth indicators and it is especially encouraging to see increases in performance and growth for our most vulnerable student groups,” said Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell. “This is a sign we are moving in the right direction and delivering on our promise of equity and excellence for all Connecticut students.

The Schools in the Monroe area recognized as Schools of Distinction are as follows:

School Index-Score ELA Math Phys Fitness Distinction
Amity Regional High School 91.00% 93.51% 91.59% 93.68% High Performance
Amity Middle School: Bethany 84.78% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% High Growth (All Students) - Math
Bryant School 69.64% 73.47% 64.33% 50.00% High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA
Shelter Rock School 91.70% 95.57% 95.47% 76.92% High Performance and High Growth (All Students) - ELA & Math and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA & Math
Middlebrook School 89.23% 100.00% 100.00% 89.77% High Performance and High Growth (All Students) - ELA and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA & Math
Tashua School 88.99% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% High Performance
Booth Hill School 88.22% 100.00% 100.00% 85.00% High Performance and High Growth (All Students) - ELA and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA & Math
Jennings School 87.47% 100.00% 99.71% 95.91% High Performance
Thomas Hooker School 86.63% 100.00% 96.97% 89.80% High Performance and High Growth (All Students) - ELA & Math and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA & Math
Monroe Elementary School 85.54% 100.00% 100.00% 78.57% High Growth (All Students) - ELA and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA
Fawn Hollow Elementary School 84.17% 100.00% 100.00% 77.04% High Growth (All Students) - ELA and High Growth (High Needs Students) - ELA
Osborn Hill School 83.53% 100.00% 100.00% 93.83% High Growth (All Students) - Math
Holland Hill School 83.42% 100.00% 95.37% 88.17% High Growth (All Students) - ELA & Math and High Growth (High Needs Students) - Math
Daniels Farm School 82.04% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% High Growth (All Students) - ELA
Orchard Hills School 80.48% 98.56% 99.70% Chronic Absenteeism

Academic growth is a cornerstone of the Next Generation Accountability System. Unlike achievement which is a status measure, academic growth values the improvement in academic achievement of matched students in Grades 4 through 8. It is the best available broad measure of curriculum and instructional effectiveness. Connecticut’s academic growth results in 2017-18 were higher than in 2016-17. There is still room for improvement statewide toward the ultimate target of 100%. The CSDE is also pleased to release a document entitled Voices from the Field: Factors Influencing Academic Growth which is a compilation of the local policies, educator practices, strategies, and/or systems implemented by high growth schools that others may replicate.

]]> (Scott Schmidt) Life Tue, 02 Apr 2019 04:00:00 -0400
Board of Regents Sets 2019-20 Average Tuition Rates to CT Colleges to Over $24k For Residents

The system-wide average tuition and fees for the CSUs will be $11,417 for in-state commuter students and $24,716 for resident students for the 2019-20 academic year.

Under the adopted structure, tuition for CSU students will increase by 5 percent while mandatory university fees will be held flat and room fee increases will be capped at 2.5 percent

The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) today voted unanimously to set tuition and fees for the four Connecticut State Universities (CSUs) and Charter Oak State College (COSC). Under the adopted structure, tuition for CSU students will increase by 5 percent while mandatory university fees will be held flat and room fee increases will be capped at 2.5 percent. All told, CSU average tuition and fees will increase by $479 or 4.4 percent for an in-state undergraduate commuter student and by $860 or 3.6 percent for in-state residential students. Tuition for COSC students will increase by 2.9 percent, while fees will increase by 4.2 percent.

“Tuition increases are always a last resort, and the board did not take this decision lightly,” Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) President Mark Ojakian said. “We have always maintained that we would not balance budgets on the backs of students, and this step is no exception. Even despite the increase, we anticipate drawing down on up to $20 million in university reserves. Our state colleges and universities are and will continue to be the most affordable and accessible option for Connecticut students to receive quality and affordable higher education.”

Governor Ned Lamont’s budget proposal calls for flat funding plus partial coverage of SEBAC raises. Without additional state funding, this tuition increase is expected to leave universities with a budget gap of approximately $20 million. The ultimate shortfall will be closed with use of reserves, campus spending reductions, or a combination.



Out of State




University Fee




University General


Up to 5%

Up to 5%


Room Fee



Food Service Fee






Out of State









*  Held flat except out of state may be reduced by up to 5% to address competition

** May exceed 5% to rectify inconsistencies in tuition and fee schedules

*** Based on contractual costs

**** Mandatory fees

 The average COSC student will pay $319 per credit in the 2019-20 academic year. Tuition for community colleges has not yet been set and is expected to be decided at the April BOR meeting.

]]> (CT Board of Regents) Places Mon, 01 Apr 2019 04:00:00 -0400