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    Dear Friends

    I’m looking forward to a great week ahead including the topping off of Columbus Family Academy, National “Read for the Record,” Mayor’s Night Out and much more. I’ll hope you’ll join me at the some of the following events and activities.


    We’re mid-way into September now, it’s getting cooler outside and we’re getting closer to a time when shelters and pantries need your help the most. I encourage you to do what you can to help local food banks, shelters and community based organizations that could benefit from donations of food, clothing, blankets and other resources. For a list of places you can offer help to, please click on the appropriate link on our website. We have neighbors that need our help, let’s lend a hand.


    The annual New Haven calendar is nearing completion. This year’s theme is "New Haven offbeat occupations." we have already visited and photographed a beekeeper, the woman who dusts the dinosaurs at the Peabody, and a few other individuals with truly different passions/occupations. But we are still looking for suggestions - if you know of a New Haven person (strictly New Haven, please) to suggest, please email us at: catherined@new-haven.k12.ct.us.


    Are you looking for a job? Project More wants to help. They’re hosting a job fair Wednesday at 830 Grand Avenue from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm. Bring your resume and be prepared to speak to great local employers about employment opportunities.


    Once every couple months I visit a different part of the City to hear your concerns and to introduce you to the heads of all of the City’s departments who can help you with any question or problem you’re experiencing. Wednesday we’ll be at Beecher school at 7pm. I hope to see you then!


    Thursday I’ll be at Nathan Hale School at noon to read “The Story of Ferdinand” as part of “Read for the Record 2007.” Last year this program set a Guinness Book record for the most people reading the same book on the same day with children around the world. We hope to meet or beat that record this year. For more information on this campaign please visit: www.readfortherecord.org


    As part of our wellness program, a Blood Pressure Screening session will be held next Thursday, September 20, 2007 for all City Hall employees at 165 Church St 2nd Floor between 11:00 - 1:30.

    MONDAY, SEPT. 17, 2007, 10 A.M., FAIR HAVEN SCHOOL, 164 GRAND AVE.

    Dr. Mayo and staff will observe a class and honor New Haven's Teacher of the Year, Luis Rosa, who teaches bilingual math students. Also honored will be finalists for Teacher of the Year: Cheri Cardinal, King/Robinson; Dania Champlin, Sheridan; Lorna Edwards, Betsy Ross Arts Magnet; and Susan Gudas, Troup Magnet Academy of Science. Mr. Rosa is innovative, highly structured, respected and effective in the work he does with 7th, 8th and 9th grade bilingual math students. Along with excellent instructional strategies, Mr. Rosa goes the extra mile to engage his students. His after-school program that begins with kite making lessons and culminates in a kite flying festival is a popular staple, as are his bike-making workshops that reach out to hard-to-reach-students in an innovative way. A talented guitarist, Mr. Rosa brings music and song into his math lessons "to show the students that rhythm is actually comprised of beats per minute." This summer, Mr. Rosa continued a family tradition and delivered medicine to needy children in the Dominican Republic as part of a church mission.


    I will join students and staff of Columbus Family Academy as well as aldermen, Dr. Mayo and others in a count down at the school’s topping off ceremony on Wednesday. The school is temporarily operating in swing space, at the former Strong School, while the $15.3 million renovation of the 255 Blatchley building is underway. Topping off ceremonies fall between groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings and occur when the highest structural element of a project is about to be swung into place.

    Have a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.


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