In 1992, the School Sisters of Notre Dame sought to broaden their community's commitment to the education of women and children in need. Beyond traditional programs, settings and populations, the Sisters extended their dedicated efforts to include the basic learning needs of poor and isolated women and children in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The decision was made to help immigrant women acquire the knowledge and skills to improve their own lives and the lives of their children. With this concept — and the courage of the conviction it implied — the Sisters opened Caroline House in November of 1995 to educate and empower underserved women and children.

Since 1995, Caroline House has:

  • Secured and adapted for educational use a large house at 574 Stillman Street in a blighted and low-income area of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

  • Retained staff (3 full-time and 7 part-time positions) to run a literacy program for women with on-site care for their children.

  • Expanded programs to include basic computer and life resource skills, counseling, networking services, tutoring for school-age children, and citizenship classes.

  • Completed construction of a $90,000 building addition in the summer of 1997 to accommodate more participants.

  • Refurbished the third floor in 2004 and 2005 to serve additional students.

  • Completed a building addition in the summer of 2012, increasing teaching space in the first floor preschool classroom (including a new kitchen area) and in one of the second floor classrooms used for ESL, life skills, children's tutoring, and promotion/graduation ceremonies.

  • Provided education and support services to more than 1,700 women and children, to date.