Stamford Annual Community Convening
On February 7, 2020 Stamford Cradle to Career held its Annual Community Convening at UCONN’s Stamford Campus. It was a morning full of learning, sharing, and community action.
It is evident that Stamford supports its Cradle to Career initiatives as the event’s opened remarks were made by Stamford Mayor David Martin and Dr. Tamu Lucero, Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools. The concluding keynote was given by Olympia Dell Flora, Associate Superintendent for School Development with Stamford Public Schools, who believes that it truly takes a village to improve schools and has found ways to engage multiple stakeholders including students, staff, parents, and community members.
Breakout sessions included programs and topics which highlighted the work being done in the Connecticut StriveTogether Cradle to Career partnerships: Waterbury Bridge to Success introduced Youth Talk BACK!—a training series that engages youth in critical and meaningful conversations about race, racism, oppression, equity, and liberation; The Norwalk/Child Development Infoline (CDI) Early Childhood Initiative, which was established to ensure that children enter kindergarten developmentally ready to learn by using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), a developmental screening tool; and the work of Bridgeport Prospers “Bridgeport Baby Bundle,” which builds community champions and coordinates systems of care using the StriveTogether model of collective impact; and the work that Stamford Public Schools has done to bring focus on improving school climate through the use of Restorative practice.
Jo Ann Freiberg gave an interactive workshop that focused on the importance of building relationships with students in order to change the dynamic of school discipline. School Connectedness Factors are designed to build relationships with students thereby changing the dynamic of school discipline from that which is punitive and based on compliance, to discipline that is based on mutual decision making. It was an inspiring workshop that confirmed that love and understanding is necessary for real transformation to occur.