Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner Vol. 5

February 12, 2024

Local Girls Code for a Cause

In early spring, The Women & Girls Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation in collaboration with RHoK, Jr. hosts an annual hackathon for social good with girls in 4th-8th grades.

“RHoK, Jr. exposes girls to the joy of computer programming, presenting them with the possibility of pursuing a STEM-related career, which can more than double their earning potential,” said Barbara Dughi of the Women & Girls Fund.

This day-long event brings together volunteer mentors from local high schools with middle-school girls who spend the day together devising smartphone applications using an MIT-developed coding tool.

Each team of girls is assigned a local nonprofit hoping to address an issue or challenge with the use of technology. The girls work with nonprofit staff and volunteers, and RHoK, Jr. technology mentors to code unique applications that address those issues.

Winchester Children Come Out To Play

Winchester Children Come out to Play

A community playground at Pearson School has long been a dream of Winchester children and a goal of many community members. In the fall of 2017, the Winchester Board of Education decided to make that dream a reality, holding a community meeting, interviewing students, and seeking feedback from parents on playground construction.

By spring of 2018, through donations from community members and local businesses, the Board had a little more than half of the money needed to make the dream of a community playground a reality.

A grant from the Draper Foundation Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation provided the needed resources to close the gap and begin construction on the playground.

"At recess without a playground, we usually just sit around and talk," said a Pearson School student.

"With a playscape, we can run around, and jump, and play!"

Officially open for running, jumping and playing, the new high-quality steel coated playscape with a vinyl finish is accessible to children of all abilities. The community playground features multiple activity areas, decks, and swings that provide a safe and engaging place to play.

Food Rescue is on the Way

Food Rescue is on the Way

In Litchfield County Connecticut almost 20,000 people, including more than 6,500 children are food insecure, meaning they don't have reliable access to nutritious food. Food Rescue US in Northwest Connecticut is working to change those numbers.

"Hunger in the United States doesn't make sense,"
says Kathy Minck, Food Rescue US Northwest Connecticut site director. "Our Mission exists as the simple solution to end local hunger."

Through mobile app technology, Food Rescue US in Northwest Connecticut connects restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, and farmers markets with unneeded food to a team of local food-rescue volunteers. Volunteers are notified through the app when food is available. They pick up the food and deliver it to local soup kitchens and food pantries, typically within 30 minutes.

"With your support we are able to prevent fresh food from ending up in land fills while ensuring more families have access to healthy meals year-round," said Carol Shattuck of Food Rescue US.

Food Rescue US in Northwest Connecticut was made possible through grants from the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund and the Robert V. Carr Fund, funds of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.

Classical Music for All

Classical Music for All

The Northwest Music Association brings classical music to the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, holding four Baroque concerts each year in Salisbury. The concerts showcase the works of composers Bach, Telemann and Handel with trumpet, oboe, horn, flute, voice, and strings, and include duets, trios, quartets, up to and including a full ensemble.

Funded completely by donations and grants, the concerts are free to all attendees.

“We welcome a diverse audience and hope to serve as an introduction to Baroque/Classical music to those who may not have had much exposure or access to such concerts," said Marilyn Gross of the Northwest Music Association.

The 2018 Northwest Music Association Baroque concerts were made possible in-part by a grant from the Edward W. Diskavich Fund of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.