In the news and on the move in 2011...
A NEW HOME TO SERVE OUR SHARED COMMUNITY
After a more than twenty-year search, we have found a new home in which to serve our shared community, continuing our efforts to provide children, youth and families access to programming in a safe and supportive environment. Located at 83 Prospect Street in Waterbury, the new building will keep us in close proximity to downtown as well as to our community collaborators. WYSS extends our sincere thanks to our Board of Directors who worked so diligently to make our new home a reality, to Waterbury Mayor Jarjura for his recommendation of financial support and the City Board of Alderman for its approval and to the Waterbury Development Corporation for funding our building grant proposal.
REASONS TO BE THANKFUL
The smell of turkey, stuffing and all the fixings filled the halls of WYSS! For the 5th year in a row, the Holy Cross Girl's Soccer Team showed true team spirit as they worked together with their coach and parents to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for 150 of our youth and their families. We also received 30 precooked turkey dinners and assembled 50 Thanksgiving baskets to give to the families that were not able to attend the dinner.
CITY WIDE BACK TO SCHOOL RALLY 2011
WYSS in partnership with the Waterbury Department of Education, the Mayor's Office and over 60 community agencies hosted our 14th annual City Wide Back To School Rally, August 24th at Library Park, downtown Waterbury. Over 2,500 were in attendance!! The event prepares local youth to return to school motivated and ready to learn. This years special guest speaker was Felix Rodriguez, award winning author of the book Dad, Me & Mohammad Ali. Information about community resources, health & safety was available for parents; there was free food, beverages, giveaways, live entertainment, face painting and much more for all to enjoy. 2011 City Wide Back To School Rally Slideshow
THROUGH A CHILD'S EYES
This year's Summer Youth Employment Program included a blogging program spearheaded by Chelsea Murray from the Waterbury Observer. The program, which was called "Through A Child's Eyes", included 11 girls from the Department Of Children & Families (DCF); blogging about their lives in "the system". Chelsea wrote about her experience running this 6 week program, including the surprise visit from the former CEO of WWE, Linda McMahon and the extraordinary impression she made on the girls. Read this moving article published in the Waterbury Observer, "Blogging For Change".
YOUTH HELPING TO BATTLE HUNGER
A group of our Summer Youth Employment Program participants had the opportunity this summer to work with the Double D Diner; "the worlds only virtual diner fighting hunger". The youth started the program learning about the widespread problems of hunger and poverty and then went to work with the Double D Diner; joining in it's battle to help fight hunger. The youth worked on the website, collected donations and even joined "The Hunger Hero” to deliver food to The Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries!! If you would like to join in the battle to fight hunger; visit the Double D Diner and order yourself a "virtual" meal!
GEOCACHING...A HIGH-TECH TREASURE HUNT
Geocachers came all the way from New York & New Jersey to join Waterbury Youth Services and Waterbury Police Activity League (PAL) in their Geocaching “Cache In-Trash Out” event on Saturday, May 14th. The event which was part of the City wide Earth Day Cleanup was a great success!! Participants armed with gloves and bags cleaned up trash as they had fun searching for the 10 caches that were hidden throughout our city.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
TECHNOLOGY WISHES GRANTED
As a non-profit we rely heavily on donations ...including donations for computer equipment. In December the Republican-American published a "Wish List" for local non-profit agencies. We wished for newer computers and what a response we received!! Naugatuck Saving Bank donated 17 computers, monitors, and 3 printers (picture on the left). We also received a monetary donation to purchase a new computer, 3 used computers from Zackin Zimyeski Sullivan C.P.A. and 1 from WYSS Board member Elaine McCabe. These computers will be used for staff, for the children at our Safe Home to do their homework, to set up a student tutoring center and to expand our computer lab.
DONATIONS BRING WARMTH TO MANY
It has been a cold winter with record snowfall in the Waterbury area. Many of our youth and their families, and families from the community were able to stay warm this winter thanks to the donation of coats that came from a coat drive that was run by Charmaine Wright and her students at Sacred Heart High School.