Summer Learning is Cool at Caroline House

Learning, laughing, and keeping it cool... that's what children in grades 2 through 8 were doing in our 2016 Summer Program.  

Thanks to more than 90 enthusiastic high school, college, and adult volunteer tutors during the 3-week program, over 40 children engaged in reading, math, journaling, art, outdoor games, and much more!

Celebrating 20 Years of Caroline House

On Sunday, October 18, 2015, current and former students, staff, volunteers, board members and their families gathered for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Caroline House.  All shared in a Eucharistic celebration of thanksgiving at St. Charles Borromeo Church, followed by a reception at the McGivney Center and an open house at Caroline House.

Thanksgiving      ~ To all the wonderful women and children who have been students at Caroline House.   ~ To those who continue to study, trying their best to make a better life for themselves and their families.   ~ To our wonderful tutors, volunteers and staff whose dedication and kindness have encouraged and inspired over the years.   ~ To our donors who over the past twenty years have made our dream a reality and given hope for the future.   ~ To all the members of our Board of Directors who have helped to keep the Caroline House dream alive.  ~ To Father Allen, Father Frank, Deacon Lance, the parishioners of St. Charles, the McGivney Center and all our assistants today…. Thank you.

Caroline House Receives Grant from FCCF Fund for Women and Girls for Women's ESL & Life Skills

Our Women’s ESL and Life Skills Program has received a $15,000 grant from the Fairfield County’s Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls.  Thank you FCCF!  With September around the corner, this grant will benefit new and returning students.  Speaking about the grant and our program, Sister Peg said, “…With the help of teachers and tutors, women can dream higher and wider, unrestricted by gender stereotypes.”  Read the full press release.

Swimming Through Summer With Learning and Fun

In June and July, over 40 children - and more than 80 high school and adult volunteer tutors and mentors -dove into a 3-week summer learning adventure at Caroline House.  This year’s summer tutoring program offered a variety of reading, math, and creative arts/journaling activities.  Mixed in were lots of outdoor games and crafts to make for fun and friendship.  All help to prevent summer learning lapses as we work to close the achievement gap and inspire a love of learning.

  • Save the Children spent two days teaching our kids child-focused emergency plans as part of their Get Ready Get Safe project. 

  • Reading tutors helped students pick out over 300 books for the children to take home and keep as their own. 

  • Show Time!  On the last day of the program, friends and family were invited to plays the children performed, based on favorite stories including The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Moving Up: Women's Graduation & Promotion

On January 15, 2015, Caroline House held a Graduation and Promotion Ceremony to recognize women graduating from the English Literacy Program and those moving on to the next level in their English language studies.  All the women took a moment to honor and thank Sister Irene Hughes, SSND for her dedication to teaching and caring for her students, as she retires from her time as an instructor at Caroline House.

The nine graduates of Level 4 all began at Caroline House in our Basic English class and progressed through 5 levels of English as a Second Language classes.  Beyond improving their English skills, the group found friendships and love at Caroline House.  After the ceremony, the graduates gave a mini-concert, highlighted by a song with lyrics written by graduate Elena.  The chorus reads:

Caroline House, you give me so much all the time.
With you I learned, laughed, and cried.
Caroline House, you showed me to trust in myself.
Always you’ll be in my prayers, Caroline House.
Proud teacher Sister Justine with Caroline House January 2015 graduates.  Congrats Grads!         View more photos on our Facebook page.

Proud teacher Sister Justine with Caroline House January 2015 graduates.  Congrats Grads!         View more photos on our Facebook page.

Giving Thanks for Our Volunteers

During this season of Thanksgiving, we reflect on all the volunteers who help us carry out our mission.  We are grateful to so many who give their time and talents to help, teach, and encourage at Caroline House with loving and caring hearts.

Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.
— Erma Bombeck

Magical, Musical Family Fiesta!

Our annual Fun Fiesta was held on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton.  A terrific time was had by Caroline House students and their families, as well as friends, staff, and volunteers!

Delicious food and live entertainment made for a special afternoon.

Special thanks to Leo the Magician, Grace Shay, Lyndy Toole, and the Caroline House students for their gifts of magic, music, and singing.

Check out all the photos on our Fun Fundraiser 2014 Facebook album.

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Bright Beginnings: A New School Year

We are welcoming many returning students - as well as women and children who are new to Caroline House - to their first week of the 2014-2015 school year.   Women are arriving prepared to learn and improve their English language and life skills to make a positive difference in their own lives… and inspire them to “pay it forward” to help their families and communities.  

 

Preschoolers & Moms Enjoy Zoo Field Trip

All school children enjoy a field trip and a different type of learning experience. The Caroline House preschoolers are no exception. On April 24, 2014, a busload of children and their mothers visited the Bronx Zoo. This trip was due to the generosity of St. Luke’s Parish of Westport and its parishioners.

Jean Fredricks, Caroline House Preschool Director, said, “This is the seventh time we have been able to visit the Bronx Zoo through the generosity of St. Luke’s and many other benefactors. The Bronx Zoo trip is the highlight of our school year, and the children enjoy and learn so much from their visit. Most importantly, our mothers enjoy the excitement of a family outing. This is a trip that most of our women could not afford on their own; and for many women, it is their first time visiting a zoo.”

BJ's Charitable Foundation awards grant to Caroline House

Basic Apr2013 Flor, Valentina, Maria.jpg

We are excited to announce that Caroline House has been awarded an $8,000 grant from BJ’s Charitable Foundation to support our Mother and Child Literacy Program.  The grant will help provide program supplies for women and children, including textbooks and workbooks used by ESL students Flor, Valentina, and Maria pictured at right. 

Funding will also be applied toward the purchase of new computers used by the women students and tutored children, as well as snacks for the preschool and school-age children served at Caroline House.  

Caroline House Graduates are "pretty in pink" on the East Side of Bridgeport

Caroline House held a mid-year graduation for completion of English as a Second Language program.

Bridgeport, CT January 2013 – Eight ladies dressed in pink graduated from Caroline House after completing Level Four of their ESL classes.  All the other students of Caroline House were “tickled pink” because they were promoted to the next Level in learning English.

The graduating students sang Beethoven’s Ode to Joy as their commencement song.  Executive Director Sister Peg said to the Caroline House students, “What a perfect song for you to sing!  Today is day of great joy.  You should be so proud of your accomplishments in learning English and new life skills.”

Reflections on the Past Week at Caroline House

The Newtown tragedy has brought us all such a feeling of sadness.  The Caroline House offers our prayers for the families in Newtown.  In the midst of this sadness, Caroline House has been fortunate to have had an outpouring of generosity from the people of St. Luke Church in Westport St. Bridget of Ireland in Stamford, Barnes and Noble, Toys for Tots, Nannies as Needed and dozens of individuals who brought Christmas gifts.  Our students in Level Four hosted a baby shower for a classmate. Last week another student had a 9 lb baby girl!