Fairfield County community members are invited to a free dinner and hear from children at a Courage to Speak Foundation drug-free education event this month.
Fairfield County community members are invited to a free dinner and hear from children at a Courage to Speak Foundation drug-free education event this month. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Courage to Speak Foundation

Around Fairfield Schools: Drug-Free 'Free' Dinner, Lockdown Drill, Senior Citizenship

Sadly, a generation of children has now grown up with lockdown drills, so it will come as no surprise to parents that their kids in Strawberry Hill School in Stamford had a  "shelter in place" drill onThursday, Feb. 27.

Principal Frank Rodriguez sent out a notification letter on Thursday morning and posted it on the school's website, saying "a building shelter in place drill" was planned. 

The notice explained procedures, which are basically standard for any school in Fairfield County. It noted that the standard safety procedures practiced are similar to a fire drill or an evacuation drill. During the 10- to 15-minute-long shelter-in-place drill, no one wold be allowed in or out of the building, hallways would be cleared and students would remain in their classrooms with the doors closed, "following their normal routines."

"We work closely with the Director of Safety to refine the procedures and set forth overall safety recommendations to the district," said the letter. 

Complimentary Dinner, Kids' Drug-Free Presentation Coming To Norwalk School

Children from Norwalk schools will present drug-free messages at a free dinner this month at Nathan Hale Middle School. The event, hosted by the Courage to Speak Foundation, is open to all community members from Fairfield County and will take place on Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. 

Students from Nathan Hale, Ponus Ridge, Roton and West Rocks Middle Schools, Brookside Elementary School and Side by Side Charter School will present their drug-prevention artwork, created during the Courage to Speak Drug-Free Education Program in health class. Parents, students and Courage to Speak CEO and founder Ginger Katz will also speak that evening.

Master of Ceremonies will be Dr. Albert Sackey, Principal of Nathan Hale Middle School. Participants will include Norwalk’s Mayor, Harry Rilling, Chief of Operations, Frank Costanzo, and Norwalk Deputy Chief, Susan Zecca, in addition to school principals, prevention and treatment professionals, teachers, parents, business and community leaders, representatives of state and local government and members of the Courage to Speak Foundation Board of Directors.

A complimentary dinner will be provided for all guests.

“Bringing students and parents together to talk openly and honestly about the dangers of drugs is the most important goal of the Courage to Speak Foundation, Empowering Youth to be Drug-Free Family Night. By helping our students become outstanding anti-drug advocates and mentors for their friends and younger siblings, we hope to eradicate the problem of drug and alcohol use among young people across the country," said Katz.

Click here for tickets.

Seniors: Chance To Pick Up Citizenship Scholarships

Graduation is getting close so don't delay having your community-minded son or daughter apply for this opportunity. The First County Bank Foundation is now accepting applications for the annual Richard E. Taber Citizenship Award. 

Different from other scholarships in that selection is not solely based on top academic achievement or athletic ability, recipients are those who have who demonstrated leadership and caring for their community, according to the bank. The criteria for selection are best defined by “CLASS”: Citizenship, Leadership, Academics, Service and Sportsmanship.

Three $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school seniors in our community. The deadline for submitting an application is May 1. Each recipient will receive a personalized certificate and a check for $5,000, which will be sent directly to the college of acceptance. Decisions on scholarship recipients will be made by the end of May.

The award was named in honor of Richard “Dick” Taber who retired in 2011 from First County Bank as chairman and CEO and initiated the First County Bank Foundation, which he championed during his 40 years at First County Bank. 

 “We’re proud to honor Dick’s legacy of volunteerism and community involvement with our annual scholarship program,” said Robert J. Granata, president of First County Bank Foundation, chairman and CEO of First County Bank. 

The scholarship recipients must be high school seniors with a B average over their junior and senior years who have been accepted to an accredited two- or four-year college or university. They will be selected without regard to race, sex, religion or creed. Additional information as well as an online application is available at First County Bank's website.

 “Over the years, we have recognized countless local high school seniors and we continue to be amazed by their level of commitment to the community. We look forward to receiving this year’s applications and awarding scholarships to another three deserving students,” added Granata.