New Britain Named Finalist for All-America City Award
2016 Award to Honor Communities Raising Healthy, Successful Children & Youth; City Delegation to Make Presentation in Denver June 17-19
New Britain, Conn., May 17, 2016 – Fresh on the heels of being named a “Pacesetter Community” by the nationally renowned Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for its success in elevating the academic performance and engagement of city schoolchildren, New Britain is again in the national spotlight.
New Britain has been selected by the National Civic League as a finalist for the prestigious All-America City Award (AAC). The award, presented to 10 communities annually, celebrates and recognizes neighborhoods, villages, towns, cities, counties, tribes and regions nationwide that engage residents in innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges.
A community delegation will present the city’s story before a jury of nationally recognized business, local government and philanthropic leaders June 17-19 in Denver, Colorado. Twenty communities are competing for the 10 designations.
The 2016 award focuses on those communities that have developed innovative solutions to ensure all children are healthy and supported to succeed in school and in life. The Coalition for New Britain’s Youth applied for the award on behalf of the city, highlighting the community’s collaborative success in combatting chronic absenteeism, reducing summer learning loss and improving the health of New Britain children and youth.
“The City of New Britain has a story to tell,” said Mayor Erin Stewart. “We have evolved from a hardware city to a smart city of innovation where investing in our children and their success is a priority. I’m proud of this recognition.”
“I am thrilled that the work of the Coalition’s member organizations is being recognized by this national organization,” added Robin Lamott Sparks, Executive Director of the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth. “New Britain is at the forefront addressing these issues, and the collective commitment of our community to making lives better for our children and youth is making a difference.”
The Coalition’s partnership with the Consolidated School District of New Britain (CSDNB) has been an important contributor to the community’s success. “This recognition affirms that the collective impact of our city residents can accomplish great things,” said Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra. “I am proud to lead the school district and partner with the Mayor and the Coalition to achieve brighter outcomes for our students.”
Specifics of the city’s visit to and presentation in Denver are being feverishly coordinated by Sparks and a still-evolving team. Among those slated to take part in Denver along with Sparks and Sarra are Mallory Deprey, Program Coordinator, YWCA of New Britain; Merrill Gay, Chair, New Britain Board of Education Wellness Committee; Dayjah Green, former participant, House of Teens; Jerrell Hargraves, Family Intervention Liaison, New Britain Board of Education and Alderman, City of New Britain; Ryan Morgan, Project Manager, Consolidated School District of New Britain Safe Schools/Healthy Students program; Elaine Riccio, Site Coordinator, Jefferson Family Resource Center; Kristian Rosado, Alderman, City of New Britain; Kaylah Smith, Program & Scholarship Associate, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain; Tim Stewart, President, Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce; and Joe Vaverchak, District Supervisor of Attendance/Residency, Consolidated School District of New Britain.
The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Coalition’s fiscal agent and single-largest supporter as part of the Foundation’s First Years First early childhood development initiative, has committed up to $10,000 to support travel and related expenses.
“The Coalition’s work is a major component of the Foundation’s focus on early childhood development, and we wanted to make certain that cost was not a barrier to the delegation’s ability to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity,” said Jim Williamson, President of the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. “We are thrilled that those making the trip will represent our city’s rich diversity.”
In addition to the formal presentation, New Britain will be represented in Denver with a display of items and giveaways emblematic of the city and its people. The city’s business, academic and non-profit communities are encouraged to donate small giveaway items representative of the city by June 1. For more information, contact Kaylah Smith, Program and Scholarship Associate with the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, at 860-229-6018, ext. 305, or email@example.com.
In naming New Britain one of 20 finalists, National Civic League evaluators cited the community’s multi-pronged approach to creating space for children to thrive and strong quantitative outcomes. New Britain’s focus on a team approach to solving community-wide challenges was well-received: “Cross-sector collaboration was apparent throughout the application,” stated evaluators.
For a complete listing of all finalists and more about the All-America City Award, visit www.nationalcivicleague.org.
The Coalition for New Britain’s Youth is a citywide group of community stakeholders committed to improving the lives of New Britain’s youth, birth through age 24. The Coalition includes parents, educators, government officials, health and social service agencies and others as members. Partners use reliable data to develop common strategies, align efforts and evaluate progress toward achieving their shared vision, ensuring the children and youth of New Britain have the skills they need to be successful in life.
The Coalition represents the merger of four of New Britain’s influential collaboratives: the New Britain Youth Network, the New Britain School Readiness Council, the Health and Wellness Committee of the School Board, and the Coalition for New Britain’s Children. Rather than working independently, the partners agreed to join forces to increase the impact they can collectively have on our youth’s lives.
To learn more about the Coalition or to become a member, visit www.coalition4nbyouth.org.