April News at Hall

April News at Hall

Students in our After School Program have been completing exciting activities in our Hall of Science all month long—and we’ve loved having a front-row seat to watch them learn.

Meanwhile, our seniors are enjoying new fitness equipment and exercise lessons provided by incredible community partners.

And we continue to welcome groups of volunteers to serve our neighbors. Thank you for investing in our community and helping us keep making life better for everyone around us.

We are grateful for your partnership and excited to share these updates with you!

Hall of Science Highlights

Students learn about electricity through hands-on demonstrations.

Our new Hall of Science, led by STEM Coordinator Mr. David, gives students the chance to learn about sound, electricity, flight, space, and more. We’re proud to provide access to state-of-the-art tools like the Stellina telescope and PocketLabs that give young people a detailed look at the world around them.

Check out our latest blog post to learn more about recent science lessons.

Thermoforming

Students used vacuum formers to make hologram projectors out of a sheet of plastic. The machine heats a thin plastic sheet until it can be stretched and formed, then students can project shapes and designs. Access to this kind of equipment is powerful and inspiring for students in our programs!

Hosting Bridge Academy

We were delighted to host the Bridge Academy Middle School March Madness tournament! Students and staff enjoyed great games of basketball and put on an amazing show for spectators.

We loved watching students and staff play together and participate in some friendly competition!

Dentist Day

In March, we recognized Dentist Day! Providing accessible healthcare is integral to our mission of making life better—and dental care is a key part of that. Thank you to all of the community dentists who share their time, expertise, and resources with our neighbors, creating brighter smiles for all!

Thank You, Bridgeport International Academy!

Here at Hall Neighborhood House we couldn’t do what we do without our amazing volunteers!

Thank you to Bridgeport International Academy for spending a day with us—building new exercise equipment for seniors, designing and facilitating an obstacle course for students, and helping out in the STEM room.

We are so grateful for the generous and joyful support!

Senior Exercise Equipment

We are so excited to have new exercise equipment available for our seniors—and special thanks to our partners at Sacred Heart University for coming to talk to seniors about the importance of exercise for their mental and physical health.

Hall Neighborhood House receives $54,000 grant from Delta Dental

Hall Neighborhood House receives $54,000 grant from Delta Dental

Here at Hall Neighborhood House, we are in an exciting season of expansion—and one of our primary goals is to help meet the immediate and essential healthcare needs of our community. 

Over the past year, we’ve seen great success with our community health clinic, and now we are in the construction phase of a brand new dental clinic, thanks in large part to an incredibly generous grant from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation! The grant, awarded in the amount of $54,000, will help cover construction costs and the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment. 

Through our comprehensive healthcare programs, we’re focused on providing preventative care options to our neighbors in Bridgeport. When members of our community can access regular checkups, screenings, and vaccinations right here at Hall Neighborhood House, they are able to save time, save money, and keep themselves and their families healthy. 

The new Hall Neighborhood House dental clinic will provide sealants, fillings, cleanings, and regular checkups to Bridgeport residents of all ages. We’ll teach dental hygiene to the youngest members of our community and address our oldest residents’ unique oral health needs. We expect to finish construction on this new facility in December 2021.

We are so thankful for the generosity of Delta Dental. Their organization regularly provides charitable contributions to solve oral health challenges in New Jersey and Connecticut, and they primarily fund organizations that support underserved populations, especially children, seniors, and veterans. 

Their contribution is making it possible for us to make a difference in the lives of Bridgeport residents, providing the affordable and convenient dental care our neighbors need and deserve.

We Care for Our Community

We Care for Our Community

Everything we do at Hall Neighborhood House is driven by our core values. They are the guiding lights for our team as we learn to serve our community better every day. We love our neighbors on the East Side of Bridgeport, and part of what makes our organization so special is that we care for our community. As neighbors, we are responsible for one another and take pride in how we show up for each other.

To us, caring is not an adjective; it’s an action. Here’s how we take action to care for our community on the East Side of Bridgeport: 

We have pride in ourselves and the work we do.

At Hall Neighborhood House we do what’s needed, and we do it well. When we do our best as individuals and feel fulfilled by our work, the whole organization benefits!  

We seek out outside accreditation on both individual and organizational levels. Our classroom staff all have teaching certifications and are highly trained in education and child development. They also undergo regular training on important safety topics, including food handling, first aid, and CPR. We prioritize learning and personal development alongside our daily responsibilities. 

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we have received a number of national and state accreditations and hold a 5-star rating from Charity Navigator. These impartial measures provide a holistic look at our impact as an organization, confirming the quality of our programs and leadership.

We’re always immensely proud to share the work that we do—whether that’s giving Senator Blumenthal a tour of our new facilities, sharing our story in the CT Post, or discussing available programs with new families. 

Maybe you caught recent segments on News 12 about our Health Center opening and its upcoming dental expansion. We’re proud that our community sees the ways that we care and recognizes Hall Neighborhood House as a valuable local resource, and we’re thankful for opportunities to share our story. 

We take pride in our physical space.

Our building is the heart and soul of our community. We know that it will continue to take care of us if we are diligent about taking care of it—and we look forward to expanding our space over the next few years to serve even more families. 

Our friends at the Trumbull Rotary Club are instrumental partners in keeping our building looking great. Their ongoing donations of garden beds, landscaping services, and time keep Hall Neighborhood House a beautiful and welcoming space. They help lay the groundwork that our community maintains.

And community members of all ages help make our space a welcoming place every single day. Children and seniors alike have taken responsibility for our raised garden beds. The flowers and vegetables are thriving thanks to their hard work! And our older students have contributed incredible artwork to brighten our hallways. Hall Neighborhood House is a source of community pride—a place that we build and care for together.

We commit to our relationships. 

At Hall Neighborhood House, we make a long-term commitment to our neighbors. Our mission is to provide comprehensive services to empower the residents on the East Side of Bridgeport, no matter their stage of life. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t gather in person, so we had to get creative to meet our commitments. When our community couldn’t come to us, we brought safe, socially distanced support to them.

Our incredible staff delivered over 2,000 bags of groceries and over 400 meals to seniors’ homes, helping to make sure that no one went hungry. They also livened up quarantine by delivering activity kits for students.

As the public health situation improved we worked to find ways to welcome students into the building safely, allowing them to access the internet and attend online school with few distractions. 

This year, we are celebrating 135 years in Bridgeport. That’s over a century of caring for our community, meeting its diversity of needs with intentionality and respect. You, too, can join this community of care by making a gift today. By doing so, you are contributing to the community we are proud to call our own.

Hall Neighborhood House will participate in a national study of early care classrooms

Hall Neighborhood House will participate in a national study of early care classrooms

Hall Neighborhood House is proud to have been selected for a very important childcare study funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The “Variations in Implementation of Quality Interventions (VIQI): Examining the Quality Child Outcomes Relationship in Child Care and Early Education” study focuses on children’s experiences in early care and education programs across the country. Researchers are studying how classroom quality supports learning in order to understand what classroom conditions lead to improved educational outcomes for students. They will also be looking at interactions between children and teachers. We are very excited to take part in this important research!

“Participating in this study allows our teachers to receive additional professional coaching in implementing effective curriculum in their classroom,” said Hector Burgos, Hall Neighborhood House’s Director of Early Childhood Programs. “We continue to find ways to improve our programming so we can provide high-quality care to the families we serve in our community.”

The results of the VIQI project will be used to inform research, policy developments, and programmatic improvements for childcare programs across the nation.

As participants in the second phase of this study (the first, a pilot phase, concluded in 2019) we have access to extensive resources and support, including a financial stipend. Our teachers will be testing promising curricula, taking advantage of increased professional development opportunities, and attending teacher training led by experts in the field. This is an incredible opportunity for Hall Neighborhood House, and we look forward to seeing the benefits for our teachers and students!

To learn more about the study visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/project/variations-implementation-quality-interventions-examining-quality-child-outcomes

What’s Happening at Hall: November

What’s Happening at Hall: November

The holiday season is a busy time for all of us—but it’s also a time for us to give back, practice generosity, and care for our community.

In the coming months, we are hosting our annual toy drive for children and students, celebrating the international day of giving on Giving Tuesday, and helping our neighbors have a very happy Hall-i-days!

When you make a gift to Hall Neighborhood House this winter, you’re giving more than just a present a child can unwrap. You’re helping us spread joy, encouragement, and opportunity in our neighborhood.

Thank you for your partnership. We are grateful to share this season of celebration and generosity with you!

Bob Dzurenda
Executive Director

Celebrate the Hall-i-days with this season’s toy drive

Help us give every child at Hall Neighborhood House a very happy Hall-i-days!
Contribute to our annual toy drive by dropping off new, unwrapped toys at Hall—or making a donation to help us purchase toys for the awesome kids in our community!

Learn more, sign up, and get all the details about how to purchase and deliver your gift.

Register for our Holiday Hoops tournament!

Spread the word! Our Holiday Hoops basketball tournament for students in grades 5-8 is happening from December 27-30! Registered teams are guaranteed at least 3 games and each player will receive a t-shirt! The entry fee is $100 per team. Local dance or cheerleading teams are also invited to perform during the tournament!

Contact Tournament Director Rick Sherrod at 203-673-7632 or kg2rd4@optonline.net to learn more or sign up.

Trunk-or-Treat

We celebrated Halloween in style, thanks to so many amazing community volunteers! Through candy donations, candy distribution at the event, and amazing costumes, you all showed up for the kids in our community, giving them an unforgettable Trunk or Treat experience. Thank you for contributing to this spectacularly spooky event!

A visit from Earthplace

This October, we had some very special visitors from Earthplace! Our students got to see and interact with animal ambassadors, then they learned about the importance of taking care of our shared home. Thank you to Earthplace for teaching us about our environment and introducing us to new reptile and mammal friends!

Project playground update

Our new playground set has arrived! Thank you to everyone who contributed to help give our kids the safe, fun playground they deserve. Our students play hard—and they are going to love exploring this brand new play set.

Volunteer at Hall

We are grateful for our volunteers! Thank you to the incredible members of our community who help our After School Program students with homework, serve our seniors, and keep our facilities looking great. Learn how you can get involved at hallneighborhoodhouse.org/volunteer