Ridge Hill School is one of 10 schools statewide selected to be sites for school-based Family Resource Centers that will provide an array of additional wraparound services for children and their families, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.
"Initiatives include home visitations to screen for child development needs, before- and after-school care, summer camps, child-rearing skills classes, high school equivalency classes, and English as a Second Language (ESL) programming, among other services," according to a statement released Wednesday by the governor's office.
According to Hamden Board of Education Chairman Michael D’Agostino, the additional Family Resource Center at Ridge Hill school will provide parents access to needed healthcare, day care, social services and continuing educational services.
D’Agostino said that the center will also provide activities for early education, as well as English Language Learner education for parents.
“Our goal is to cement the bond between the community and our schools and family resource centers help us do that,” said D’Agostino.
“Our administration completed the grant application within 10 days”, said D’Agostino. “We were fortunate not only to have had a strong application, but also a strong legislative delegation, led Majority leader Brendan Sharkey, who appreciate the need for such resource centers.”.
“We have had great success with our family resource center at Church Street school,” added Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz; “This center will operate in a similar manner but will be focused on the needs of the Ridge Hill family.”
The state's 30 Alliance Districts were eligible to apply for the 10 slots, and on Wednesday the successful schools were announced. In addition to Ridge Hill School, they include:
“Expanding these family resource centers means more children and parents will be able to take advantage of the kinds of services that can make all the difference in a young person’s life,” Malloy said. “Whether it’s an afterschool program that opens up a new world to a young mind or a little extra help for an English language learner, the result is a young person that’s poised for success in school and whatever else they choose to do later in life.
"Simply put, creating more family resources centers will help us level the playing field, so we can begin to eliminate the nation’s largest achievement gap.”
There will be 10 new pre-school seats open at Ridge Hill School's new center. Rabinowitz has said the district has a need for as many as 50 additional seats.
The school has this summer that created the space needed for the resource center.