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    Dear Friends:

    This is Teacher Appreciation Week! New Haven Public School Teachers are a talented and dedicated group of men and women who don’t always receive the recognition they deserve for their hard work. This week, let’s make sure to take the time to thank our City’s educators for all that they do. In their classrooms, teachers have the opportunity to connect and interact with New Haven’s youth in a way that few others can. They make a difference in the lives of our kids and in our communities. As we celebrate teachers this week, we should look at what we all can do to serve as educators in the lives of our youth. We should all make a commitment to reach out and mentor, tutor or serve as a resource for at least one child in our community.

    2008 Reverend Howard Nash Community Leadership Award Breakfast

    Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. I will be speaking at the 2008 Reverend Howard Nash Community Leadership Award Breakfast at the New Haven Lawn Club, an important event where dedicated individuals who have contributed to our community through their work are honored. This year, I will join Award organizers in honoring Dr. Dorsey Kendrick, President of Gateway College and Cynthia Farrar, Director of Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies. This event is organized by Community Mediation, Inc. At this event I will speak to the importance of community involvement and the need for all of us to work together in the spirit of justice, the cornerstone of Father Nash’s legacy.

    Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention Banquet

    Thursday evening, I will participate in the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention Banquet at the Trumbull Marriott. Our communities of faith have an extraordinary opportunity to touch the lives of our residents and particularly of our young people. I look forward to addressing this convention and talking to them about youth, our community and the importance of their work.

    Here’s what’s happening in New Haven Public Schools this week:

    THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008, 5:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M., NEW HAVEN LAWN CLUB: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and NewAlliance Bank will announce and honor the recipients of the Teacher Excellence awards. Congratulations to Donald Brechlin, Hill Regional Career; Eiko Hosozawa-Feldezner, Vincent E. Mauro; Abby Osruzka, Timothy Dwight elementary; Donna Schlank, Vincent E. Mauro; and Susan Block Brown, Sheridan Communications & Technology Magnet.

    THURSDAY, MAY 8, CELENTANO SCHOOL, 400 CANNER, 8:30 A.M. – 11 A.M.: Popular children’s author Tony Abbott, also a Connecticut resident, (The Secrets of Droon, KRINGLE AND FIREGIRL) is volunteering his morning to come and speak to students at Celentano School. The kids have been reading his popular Droon series. He will discuss his books and tell students how he came to be an author of fiction books. He also will sign books. Contact: Gillian Lewis, 691-3400.

    THURSDAY, MAY 8, 10 A.M., KING/ROBINSON, 150 FOURNIER ST.: King/Robinson Interdistrict Magnet School celebrates the school’s official authorization as an International Baccalaureate Organization Primary Years Program. The event starts with a neighborhood processional at 10 a.m., a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. and a reception at 11:30 p.m. King/Robinson is the first school in the State to have the dual designation for both middle and primary years under the IB designation. King/Robinson joins some 2,050 schools in 125 countries that are official IB schools. For more information, click on: http://www.ibo.org. The designation means the school will enjoy inquiry-based learning infused with internationalism as a focus. For more info: 691-2700.

    FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008, 10:30 A.M., DAVIS STREET INTERDISTRICT MAGNET SCHOOL, 35 DAVIS ST.: I will attend this terrific event where we will experience the dress, flags and study of 35 different countries as students present their culminating International Day activity at Davis Street Interdistrict Magnet School. The event begins with a Processional of Flags and Ambassadors. Students model the native dress of 35 different countries and perform dance and musical selections as well as recitations. Funds are also collected to benefit the children of Haiti.

    FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008, 10 A.M. – 1 P.M., ASTHMA WALK AT THE NEW HAVEN ATHLETIC CENTER, 480 SHERMAN PARKWAY: Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects 20 million people in the U.S., including 5 million children. It is the number-one reason for missed school days. In New Haven, 18% of school aged children have asthma, with blacks and Hispanics disproportionately affected. To raise public awareness, the Greater New Haven Asthma Initiative joins the EPA in participating in Asthma Awareness Month. Students in grades 4-8 will assemble at the field house to take part in a walk, to browse among educational booths and displays. The events includes clowns, local sports team mascots and the American Lung Association’s Breath Express bus. Contact: Ashika Severin Brinkley, Health Dept. (203) 946-8547.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy week!

    Very truly yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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