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    Dear Friends

    New Art in the Beecher School

    I’ve worked a good deal over the past few years to make sure our City’s children can learn and work in facilities with all the educational resources they need. Our school renovation program doesn’t just give New Haven students more resources, however; it also provides a beautiful learning environment that will hopefully help inspire our students and give them pride in their school.

    This week, the New Haven’s Beecher School has not only been completely renovated, but it will also receive some artwork to make it an even more enjoyable place to learn. A kinetic sculpture that creates constantly changing patterns, by artist Tim Prentice, will be installed this Thursday, April 12th at the school.

    Third Graders Take Over Aldermanic Chamber

    Last Wednesday, 50 third graders from Hooker Elementary School took a field trip to a place I’ve come to know quite well—City Hall. The students are studying immigration in school, and the trip was set up to give them a chance to ask me and Ward 1 Alderman Nick Shalek questions about immigration, diversity, and municipal government in general. The students received a mini-tour of the building before we all sat down in the aldermanic chambers. All of the kids had name cards in front of their seats, just like real aldermen. I was blown away by the eagerness and enthusiasm of our City’s children—not to mention how sharp they all were—and I hope that down the line some of those students return to City Hall as leaders of this community.

    Easter Egg Hunt

    This past Saturday provided another chance for our young New Haven residents to make their way downtown: the annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Green. While our City’s energetic kids always seem to find the eggs incredibly quickly, I think the brisk weather this year gave them extra motivation to finish the hunt in what can only be described as astonishingly little time. I doubt very many shivering parents complained. The children weren’t the only ones in attendance, however; Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny made an appearance, chauffeured by a City fire truck.

    Book Mobile

    This week, the New Haven Book Mobile will begin its bimonthly visits of two New Haven senior centers, helping people sign up for library cards, rent books of their interest, and participate in book clubs at the centers. This program will kick-off at Bella Vista at 3:30 on Tuesday (April 10), and at West River on Wednesday (April 11) at 1:30.

    Big Read

    The Big Read, a program that encourages reading for education, enjoyment and enlightenment will be launched this Friday! In the next two months, participants from across the New Haven community read the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and engage in discussions about the book. The New Haven Free Public Libraries and International Festival of Arts & Ideas are crucial partners in bringing the Big Read to the City. I’ll include more information about the Big Read in next week’s Monday Message.

    For more information, please call 946-8130.

    Let’s take a look at the week ahead:

    Big Read Rally

    Friday, April 13, 1:30 p.m.; City Hall, 165 Church St.

    The Big Read officially begins with a grand announcement. A motorcade delivers 1,000 copies of To Kill a Mockingbird to a rally at City Hall. Students and volunteers will help build a Mockingbird mountain in the spacious lobby of City Hall. Guests will be welcomed by the Mayor, city and state officials, and the leaders of all the community partner organizations. All are welcome.

    I hope you have a happy and healthy week!

    Very Truly Yours,

    John DeStefano, Jr.



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