Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner May 2024

June 01, 2024

2024 Connecticut History Day

Encouraging Civic Engagement

Connecticut Democracy Center works to inspire people of all ages to engage in civic life and strengthen their communities through programs, including those held in Connecticut's Old State House, a museum offering educational programming and tours; Connecticut Kid Governor, a civics program that provides thousands of fifth graders each year with a first-hand experience of state government, voting, and civic participation; and Connecticut History Day, an annually program for middle and high school students.

A grant from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Draper Foundation Fund supported the Torrington Regional Connecticut History Day, a program that encourages students to research, create, and present projects ranging from essays and exhibits to websites, documentaries, and theatrical performances, at regional, state, and national contests. The grant also provides continued support for a Torrington Regional Coordinator to raise awareness of the program and encourage and support student and teacher participation.

"Half of students [participating in the program] receive free or subsidized lunches," said Matthew LaCoille of Connecticut Democracy Center. "This may be their first and possibly only enrichment activity."

"This grant has the potential to redefine how students view their futures."

Therapeutic arts participants share their van Gogh sunflower paintings

Access to Creative and Therapeutic Arts Programs

The Voice of Art (TVOC) creates art experiences that enrich lives through its Litchfield Art Festival, held in the spring, fall, and during the holiday season, and it's Virtual Art Gallery, which offers 3D walk-through virtual art shows.

TVOC also encourages community members to experience art as a self-healing therapeutic tool, providing educational and mental health-related studio art programs.

Recent grants from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Karen M. O'Connor Fund and the Northwest CT Community Foundation Khurshed Bhumgara Fund supported therapeutic art programs for older adults in the Northwest Corner.

"The class for seniors felt like a community. It opened us up to a completely new experience and gave us confidence.

"I have met so many nice people, which has also helped me to come out of my shell and enjoy more of life. Thank you," ​said recent Voice of Art therapeutic arts participants.

Opportunities for Learning and Exploring

Sharon Day Care Center is a nonprofit, NAEYC accredited, early childhood center that provides care to children from 8 weeks to 12 years old, including after school programming. Staff work to foster the physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development of young children through high-quality care in a safe and secure environment.

A recent grant from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund helped Sharon Day Care Center provide grocery store gift cards and weather appropriate clothing for enrolled children and supported Sharon Day Care Center's snack program.

A grant from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Khurshed Bhumgara Fund enabled Sharon Day Care Center to install two playscape climbers for the toddler playgrounds.

"Gross motor play is important for this age group as they are learning to move and explore in different ways." said Carrie-Ann Olsen of Sharon Day Care Center.

Your gift to the Northwest CT Community Foundation Community Leadership Fund works to improve the No​rthwest Corner of CT in so many ways: programs for the healthy development of our children, well-stocked soup kitchens and food pantries for struggling families, the development of affordable homes, assistance for college students navigating financial aid, and so much more. GIVE TO THE COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP FUND