What’s Happening at Hall: July 2021

What’s Happening at Hall: July 2021

June was a month to remember! We recognized a huge milestone together with a weekend full of celebration—including a carnival, a gala, ribbon-cutting, and more! Thank you for helping us honor Hall Neighborhood House’s 135 years in Bridgeport—and be sure to visit our website to see photos from all of these incredible events.

I’m so proud to be a part of this community—and of the ways we care for each other, respect each other, and work together, especially as we grow our health programs and launch our dental clinic. Through this exciting season of expansion, we hold fast to our values; they help us carry out our mission authentically.

Thank you to everyone for supporting our mission over the years! We are so excited for our future—and we hope you are too.

With gratitude,

Bob Dzurenda
Executive Director

Thank you for joining us for a Toast to 135

We are so thankful for all of the community members, supporters, and donors that helped make our Toast to 135 celebration special! Through our live and silent auctions we raised money for important programs for our students and community—and had a great time doing it.

Thank you for helping us celebrate our history and toast to all the exciting new opportunities in our future. Visit our website to see photos from the event.

The official health center ribbon cutting

We are thrilled to have finally cut the ribbon on our on-site health center! Together we celebrated the high-quality primary care we now offer at Hall Neighborhood House. Thank you to all the members of our community who helped us make it a special event, including special guests Congressman Himes, Senator Blumenthal, and Mayor Ganim. The Community Health Center operates in partnership with Optimus Health and is staffed with practitioners five days a week.

Student physicals offered on-site

Bridgeport Public Schools require physicals for all new students, and every student entering Kindergarten, grade 6, and grade 10. To schedule a physical, fill out the physical request form and return it to your student’s teacher. Appointments occur during the day and parents are invited to attend in person or via video conference.

Our values: respect

At Hall Neighborhood House, all of our programs are driven by a core set of values. For example, in our community, we treat one another with respect, no matter what. Read the latest installment of our values series on the Hall Neighborhood House blog. We talk about what respect means to us and how it helps us foster a diverse, vibrant, and interconnected community.

Fun at the family carnival

The Hall Neighborhood House Family Carnival, part of our Toast to 135 weekend, was a joy-filled celebration of our history in Bridgeport. We danced, enjoyed delicious tacos and pizza, jumped in bouncy houses,  and played games together with our neighbors! Photos from this great event are on our website.

Our front entrance gets a makeover

On Memorial Day Weekend the members of Crossroads Community Church braved the rain to give our front entrance a whole new look. They provided some much-needed landscaping, adding mulch and new plants.  Thank you for your hard work and generosity, Crossroads!

What’s Happening at Hall: June 2021

What’s Happening at Hall: June 2021

This year we’re marking 135 years in the Bridgeport community and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!

I’m especially looking forward to officially cutting the ribbon on our health center on Friday, June 11! We recognize the impact that Hall’s health services have already had on our community, and we look forward to continuing to expand these programs. With our dental clinic (coming soon!) we’re building on that strong foundation of care.

We’re also hosting a Family Carnival on Saturday, June 12. Stop by for BINGO, a bounce house, desserts, pizza, tacos, and more! There will also be opportunities to learn about the programs we offer.

Thank you for being part of the Hall Neighborhood House community!

With gratitude,

Bob Dzurenda
Executive Director

Dental clinic coming soon!

Thanks to generous grants from members of our community, including Impact Fairfield County, we will soon be able to provide fillings, sealants, cleanings, and routine checkups to Bridgeports residents of all ages! We are especially excited to be able to provide dental care to the students in our childcare programs. Parents who don’t have the ability to take a day off work for appointments can sign their children up for dental care during the regular school day. Check out the News 12 feature on the clinic to learn more!

Summer of service and fun

We are excited to provide a fun and exciting summer service program for our high schoolers! During the four-week program, which runs from July 19 to August 11, students will participate in volunteer projects, learn leadership skills, and have plenty of opportunities for fun! Students will also earn up to 24 service hours (useful for college applications, school requirements, and resumes) and visit places like the Beardsley Zoo, Shelton Sportscenter, and Maritime Aquarium.

Growing vegetables

Our gardens are blooming! Together our students and seniors planted a variety of vegetables in the raised beds the Trumbull Rotary gifted us. Green shoots are starting to spring up everywhere, and we enjoy monitoring the progress of our plants and learning about how they grow. Soon we will be able to pick, prepare, and taste our bountiful harvest.

Thank you to Impact Fairfield County

Impact Fairfield County, the area’s premier giving circle, awarded Hall Neighborhood House their $100,000 Core Mission grant! With this generous grant we are able to build our new dental center while continuing to provide varied and impactful programs for the community. We are so thankful for the generosity of the women of Impact!

Celebrate 135 with us

Join us on Friday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. as we cut the ribbon at our on-site community health center! Meet us outside the main entrance of Hall Neighborhood House.

Then attend the family carnival Saturday, June 12 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm! We’re transforming our parking lot into a fun, fantastic experience for the day.

Defining our values

At Hall Neighborhood House, all of our programs are driven by a core set of values. These central tenets of our community drive our actions and our relationships. Our leadership team thinks about these values all the time—and we want to share them with you! Learn why and how we operate the way we do by reading more about our values in the blog series on our website.

What’s Happening at Hall: May 2021

What’s Happening at Hall: May 2021

It’s been another busy month here at Hall Neighborhood House!

One of the highlights was hosting Senator Richard Blumenthal for a visit and tour of our facilities. We showed him our best-in-class preschool programs and shared how we work to enhance quality of life for seniors in the community. His visit was even featured on News 12—so make sure to take a look at the segment!

We have also been busy providing hundreds of COVID-19 vaccinations each day through our partnership with Optimus Health, expanding caregiver support programs, and preparing for youth summer camp.

Thank you for being part of the Hall Neighborhood House community!

Dance and yoga for preschoolers

Thanks to support from the Kirby Foundation, we recently began leading weekly yoga and dance classes for our preschoolers. Every week, these young leaders have an opportunity to express themselves through movement—and get a bit of energy out in the middle of the day! We love seeing how excited they are to play and learn together, and we are so grateful to add this special activity to their schedules.

Welcoming spring with a new garden

The Trumbull Rotary graciously provided us with four new raised garden beds and came to Hall Neighborhood House to install them. Raised beds are accessible to those with limited mobility, so we are very excited that our children and seniors will have the opportunity to garden together! The beds are also equipped with an innovative underground watering system.

Thank you to Trumbull Rotary for installing the beds, and thank you to Bartlett Tree Experts for donating mulch for around the gardens!

Cooking classes with BarTaco

Our community partners at BarTaco taught students how to make a variety of nutritious, delicious recipes—including brown rice bowls and tacos. The cooking classes emphasized skills like reading recipes, making meals, and fueling our bodies with healthy foods. Thank you to Chef Luis Nunez, Christopher Messina, and Scott Lawton, BarTaco CEO and Cofounder!

Expanding senior spaces

Our seniors have a passion for play—and nothing brings out their competitiveness like an afternoon of BINGO. We’ve added a senior game room downstairs at Hall Neighborhood House—a place where seniors can play games, do activities, or just enjoy spending time together. We continue to be on the lookout for ways we can add new services and opportunities to benefit our neighbors.

Vaccinating our community

We are proud to be a COVID-19 vaccination center for Bridgeport, and we have been working hard to expand community access to the vaccine. We are now able to administer over 250 vaccines a day on-site, in partnership with Optimus Health! We continue to do our part to help keep our neighbors safe and healthy.
More support for caregivers

We now offer individual and group counseling for caregivers of seniors to help caregivers navigate available resources, guide decisions, and offer support during difficult times. Individual sessions can be scheduled at your convenience, and group sessions meet 2-4 times a year.

More support for caregivers

We now offer individual and group counseling for caregivers of seniors to help caregivers navigate available resources, guide decisions, and offer support during difficult times. Individual sessions can be scheduled at your convenience, and group sessions meet 2-4 times a year.

March News from Hall

March News from Hall

We are in a season of preparation here at Hall Neighborhood House—preparing students for college, preparing children for kindergarten, preparing for new initiatives, and preparing to welcome back seniors in a few short weeks.

With the future in mind, we recently completed several renovation projects, including updating our lobby, building out a new behavioral health room in our community health center, and redesigning our senior center. We are also working on our lower-level game room so that students have even more space to play and learn.

We are so excited for all that is ahead—and can’t wait to share some of our February highlights with you!

Thank you for your support and encouragement of Hall Neighborhood House!

With gratitude,

Bob Dzurenda

Career Academy for high school students

Hall Neighborhood House’s Career Academy teaches area high school students how to build a resume, interview for jobs, develop computer skills, complete college applications, and access financial aid. The program also includes mentoring from current college students and the opportunity to connect with other students pursuing their next steps. Best of all, this helpful course is free for high schoolers—and it’s a great way for young people to prepare for their futures!

A new generator—and a COVID-19 vaccine update

In February, our friends at Mennillo Plumbing and WC McBride Electric helped us install a new generator in our Community Health Center, enabling us to keep COVID-19 vaccines on-site. In addition, our bilingual staff is here to help community members navigate the online portals and sign up for appointments—and every person who receives their first shot at Hall Neighborhood House is automatically registered to receive their second dose.

Celebrating Black History Month

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Our preschoolers and students celebrated Black History Month by creating art and participating in fun, engaging activities in their classrooms. We love seeing teachers and students work together to honor this important month—and we love having their colorful, creative works of art decorating the halls of Hall Neighborhood House!

Together for Bridgeport

Today and tomorrow, students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will be participating in Together for Bridgeport—a brand new collaborative art project led by Hall Neighborhood House staff. This free art program gives students the opportunity to learn new art techniques, develop their creativity, and make something beautiful together. We can’t wait to share the finished product with you!

Re-opening the Senior Center

With more and more of our seniors receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, we are taking steps to re-open our Senior Center! We just finished renovations on the space, and beginning later this month, we will welcome small groups of vaccinated seniors for socially distant activities like bingo and other games. This has been a long, challenging, isolating winter, and we are so excited to be able to gather safely in just a few weeks!

Dental Clinic

We have completed the first phase of construction on our new dental clinic! As Dr. Peter Ferrara of Ferrara Dental shared, “Oral health is essential for our overall wellbeing. To stay as healthy as possible, children and families in Bridgeport should have easy, convenient access to dental care. It’s great that Hall Neighborhood House is working to meet this need.” You can help us take the next steps toward opening this key service by supporting our healthcare expansion campaign!

Stay tuned! Here’s what’s coming soon…

  • Seniors returning to Hall Neighborhood House!
  • Renovations to the lower-level game room
  • Opening our behavioral health center


March News from Hall

February News from Hall

It has been a busy winter at Hall Neighborhood House! To keep you up-to-date on everything happening, we’re excited to launch our new newsletter—a monthly digest highlighting some of the biggest moments of the past month and looking ahead to what’s next. I encourage you to invite your friends to subscribe, too!

This month, we focused on keeping our community as safe and healthy as possible. Our new community health center has allowed us to offer a wide variety of health services, including physicals, wellness visits, COVID-19 testing, and, now, COVID-19 vaccines. Moving forward, we’re so excited to continue to expand these health resources for our neighbors. 

Thank you for your support and encouragement of Hall Neighborhood House! 

With gratitude, 

Bob Dzurenda

COVID-19 vaccines for seniors

This month, we began administering COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 seniors who participate in Hall Neighborhood House programs. We hope this is only the beginning! In the coming weeks, we will open up vaccination appointments to other seniors in the community and continue to work within government guidelines to offer vaccines to as many people as possible. We have a bilingual team on-site to help seniors navigate the online registration process, and seniors are welcome to stop by now or call 203-345-2024 to sign up and add their names to our waiting list. 

Virtual school support

When students transitioned to virtual or hybrid school, we quickly realized that families in our community needed a safe place where their children could access their online classes. We opened Hall Neighborhood House to a group of these students, and since September, our youth counselors have helped them log in to school, stay on task, and navigate their assignments all day long. 

Community Health Center

Our community health center is OPEN! Children, families, and seniors have been receiving medical care, including immunizations, check-ups, and wellness visits right here at Hall Neighborhood House. Care is provided in partnership with Optimus Health, making it a simple, safe, easy option for our neighbors on the East Side of Bridgeport. Our neighbors can stop by to learn more, or call 203-345-2024 to schedule an appointment.

Getting ready for Valentine’s Day

Students have been getting in the Valentine’s Day spirit and helping us decorate our space for the upcoming holiday. They completed collaborative art projects using tape and paint, and we were so impressed with the results! These talented young people amaze us with their creativity—and keep us smiling with their great attitudes. 

COVID-19 testing

Every week, we provide COVID-19 testing to our neighbors at no cost. Our partners at Yale New Haven Health offer walk-up testing every Tuesday from 8:30 – 4:00. We are proud to play our part in keeping our community healthy and grateful to our team of partners that make high-quality healthcare available right here at Hall Neighborhood House. 

Keeping parents up-to-date on their children’s learning

Our early learning program upgraded their ProCare services at the beginning of January, giving parents an inside look at their children’s daily activities, milestones, and more. This easy-to-use app also allows us to track attendance, provide “contactless” check-ins and check-outs, and communicate with parents and families. We are grateful to have technology that helps us stay as safe, healthy, and connected as possible. 

Stay tuned! Here’s what’s coming soon…

  • A new behavioral health center — opening in the near future!
  • Dental services offered through our Community Health Center
  • Renovations in the senior center in the lobby