January News From Hall

January News From Hall

Last month, Congressionally Directed Spending Grants were announced—and I am thrilled to announce that Hall will be receiving $4.5 million to support the expansion of our programs and facilities here on the East Side of Bridgeport.

This grant will make a massive difference for our neighbors, and it shows the faith our community leaders and legislators have in our programs. As a supporter of our mission, I know you share that faith, too.

I am so grateful for your belief in the power of this community. You continually show up and help us improve community health, support families, and educate the next generation.

Together, our future is limitless. Thank you.

With gratitude,
Bob Dzurenda
Executive Director

Investing in community

Hall Neighborhood House is the recipient of a $4.5M Congressionally Directed Spending Grant! These funds will allow us to expand our footprint, upgrade our facilities, and meet important needs for our childcare, youth, and senior programs.

Serving more children

This month, we opened two new early childhood classrooms, increasing our capacity by 24 children! We are so excited to be able to provide high-quality, affordable childcare to even more children and families in our community.

Early childhood education sets the foundation for a lifetime of learning, and we continue to look for ways to provide access to affordable care to more families in Bridgeport!

Sacred Heart obstacle course

We had such a special visit from Sacred Heart University students who built an innovative obstacle course in our gym! Our students had so much fun racing through the course.

Congratulations, Felicia! Welcome, Dianne!

We are excited to congratulate Felicia Anthony as she transitions to her new role as our Classroom Coordinator, and welcome Dianne Lillicraf, our new Health Services Manager. As we expand our services, they will help ensure we are meeting all of our neighbors’ needs.

Supporting senior mental health

Hall Neighborhood House is partnering with Southwest Community Health to provide group and individual counseling sessions for seniors! We are proud to break down the stigma around mental health care and provide access to dedicated, professional support right here at Hall.

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 with Hall Neighborhood House

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 with Hall Neighborhood House

Every year on March 8, we recognize International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Here at Hall Neighborhood House, we are excited to celebrate the strong women who make our community as vibrant as it is today!

We are proud that our history includes so many thoughtful and passionate women—including our founders and our namesake, Sarah Hall. In 1886, a group of community-minded women started the Associated Charities of Bridgeport to help young migrant families adjust to life in the industrious and growing community of Bridgeport, CT. Then, in 1901, one of the founders, a woman named Sarah Hall, donated her home as a residence for young women. At this “Hall Home,” women received training and job placement assistance—and a few short years later, they began offering nursery and childcare services.

The vision and dedication of this small group of women more than a century ago built the foundation of Hall Neighborhood House and set the stage for where we are today.

Since those early days, countless staff, teachers, and board members have continued to use their unique strengths to carry out our mission to this day. Women across the organization lead by example, inspiring the young women who are active participants in our programs.

Hall is dedicated to creatively and comprehensively meeting the needs of women in our community. In our childcare and preschool programs, young girls prepare for a successful transition to kindergarten by building literacy and social skills. And in our youth programs, talented young women make art, take computer classes, play sports, and explore career options, taking advantage of varied opportunities to learn and grow.

We also host Beats by Girlz: Bridgeport, a community partner program that helps girls break into the male-dominated fields of music engineering and producing. Beats by Girlz participants learn with the best using our state-of-the-art music studio, which includes recording rooms and professional mixing equipment. Girls can also choose to be paired with a mentor who addresses their specific goals.

From the youngest children to our vibrant community of seniors, we invest in and celebrate women and girls of all ages, today and every day. We want Hall Neighborhood House to be a place where women are encouraged to cultivate their unique talents and reach their individual goals, with the support of leaders, teammates, and mentors.

And this network of support includes you.

With your generous support, Hall can continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for girls and women. When women thrive, we all thrive. Today, on International Women’s Day, support Hall’s year-round programming by making a gift today in honor of the women in your life.

Make a one-time or recurring donation at hallneighborhoodhouse.org/donate

To our team: Thank you.

To our team: Thank you.

At Hall Neighborhood House, we are endlessly grateful for our hardworking, passionate, dedicated staff. We have the best team. If you haven’t gotten a chance to meet them yet, here are a few things you should know:

They love to learn.
They are kind.
They cherish our community.
They find creative ways to solve difficult problems.

During the past year, Hall Neighborhood House has not only remained open to our community, we’ve grown our services to meet the extra need.

We couldn’t have adapted and expanded without each and every teacher and program director we have on board.

They spent countless hours creating and implementing new COVID-safe protocols, sometimes restructuring entire programs if that’s what it took to ensure our community stayed healthy. They’ve balanced safety and connection with sensitivity and care. And they’ve kept spirits up as we navigated tough circumstances.

Our early childhood program remains best-in-class and has served as a haven for many local families who need affordable child care more than ever before, with some parents working from home and others unemployed due to the recession. Our teachers have ensured a stellar and safe learning environment for the youngest members of our community.

Our youth program has adjusted to the realities of virtual learning. Not everyone has reliable internet or computer access, or an adult at home who has extra time for homework help, so we opened space for a group of students to attend virtual classes and complete their assignments right here at Hall Neighborhood House. After school, many other students join us for tutoring and time to play. It is no small feat that Hall Neighborhood House employees have ensured a consistent space for students to safely learn and socialize—something that’s rare these days.

In the summer, kids from around the neighborhood had a blast with our programs, laughing and learning like kids should.

They were still able to enjoy these activities because our staff was working extra hard to keep them safe and healthy.

All summer long, seniors played Bingo outside where they could still gather safely. As temperatures dropped, we began delivering meals to seniors in their homes, ensuring that they still had someone looking out for them, even when we couldn’t meet in-person. In recent months, we’ve vaccinated over 100 senior citizens—and soon, we’ll begin welcoming small groups of vaccinated seniors back inside Hall Neighborhood House for activities. Our team is listening deeply to what the community needs and exploring creative ways to grow our services while keeping everyone healthy.
And this winter, as we began offering COVID testing and vaccinations here at Hall Neighborhood House, our team demonstrated flexibility and care once again. Staff helped us create space for additional medical personnel on-site, reorganize schedules so that our partners could use the gym for vaccines, and even shared parking spaces! We are committed to meeting the needs of our community, and our staff has made it possible for us to introduce new services for our neighbors, improve our processes, and keep everyone safe and healthy.

Thank you to every program director, teacher, and team member at Hall Neighborhood House.

Your leadership is what makes every activity at Hall Neighborhood House possible. Thank you for your resourcefulness as we have explored new initiatives, your flexibility in seeing where the most need exists, and your creativity as we develop solutions to these challenges.

Your investment in children, seniors, and families on the East Side of Bridgeport is what brings us and our community hope, even in the toughest of times. Thank you for your expertise, your patience, and your wisdom.

We appreciate you, Hall Neighborhood House team. You bring a smile to our faces every day. Thank you for your work. Together we can make life better!