We have new faces here at Caroline House! Our former Jesuit Volunteer, Taylor Barrow, has been hired on as the Community Programs and Outreach Coordinator. As a part of this position, she facilitates and runs the After-School and the Summer Program, acts as liaison between Caroline House and other local schools and organizations, and helps case manage students with various needs and problems. Originally from Detroit, MI, Taylor graduated from Boston University in 2016 with degrees in both Biology and Sociology. She along with her two interns are a vital part of Caroline House, and we are so excited to have them on board!

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

We are excited to announce that Caroline House has received a grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls.  Thank you FCCF for supporting our Women’s ESL and Life Skills Program! 

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Expressing gratitude for this grant and partnership, Caroline House Executive Director Lucy Freeman said, “We are preparing for the new school year and welcoming women and children as they return to our Caroline House community, ready to take their education in English language and literacy to the next level.  This grant will support our students’ continuing progress and help mothers and their children achieve skills and confidence that build strong families and strong communities.”     Read full press release here.

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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
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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.  

 
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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.”

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra
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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.  

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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.”

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

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!

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra

Caroline House is in full school session today after a long week of being out of power.  Most of Bridgeport is operational but we know many towns in Connecticut are not.  We hope and pray that all that are touched by this Sandy will recover soon.

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AuthorCyndie LaMastra