Be Part of the Solution. Make your voice heard!

The Stratford Housing Partnership is conducting this community survey about housing needs in Stratford and possible housing strategies for the future.

The Housing Partnership is a Town committee established in 1990 and reinvigorated in 2020 to, among other things;

1.  Examine housing needs and housing opportunities within the Town.
2.  Periodically advise Town Boards and Commissions with regard to housing matters, including affordable housing.
3.  Develop and activate a long-range plan to satisfy housing needs in the Town (as required by State law).

This survey was developed by members of The Stratford Housing Partnership with the assist of our Planning and Zoning Administration. Your input will help the Town of Stratford plan for the future of the community.

Thank you for participating!

Follow this link to the SHP Survey:

Stratford Housing Partnership consists of appointments made by Mayor Laura Hoydick.
The members are:
Representative of the Zoning Commission Christopher Silhavey
Representative of Planning Commission Harold Watson
Representative of Inland Wetlands & Waterfront Commission Christopher Blake
Representative of Stratford Housing Authority Elizabeth Sulik
Representative of Economic and Community Development Commission Jennifer Sheldon
Member of the Local Business Community Desmond Ndzi
Member of a Public Interest Group Beth Daponte
Stratford Urban Planning Professional Susmitha Attota
The next meeting will be scheduled for the end January at which time they will discuss the results of the survey..

Food Bank

Drive-Thru Food Pantry

Holy Name of Jesus Church
1950 Barnum Avenue, Stratford CT
Tuesday, January 12th, 3:00 – 4:00 PM

To encourage social distancing and help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Stratford Health Department, CT Food Bank, and Holy Name of Jesus Church have partnered to offer a drive-thru food pantry. We ask for all those attending the drive-thru pantry to adhere to the following directions:

  • Stay in your car at all times
  • Pop your trunk (if possible)
  • A pre-selected bag of food will be placed in your car
  • One bag per car

Unwind (Yoga) and Chill Out (reading)

Two new programs for the month of January have been announced at the Stratford Library.

by Tom Holehan,
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

Evening Program, Unwind Yoga will be conducted on Thursdays January 7, 14, 21 at 7 pm via Zoom

De-stress from the day and prepare body and mind for a restful night with online yoga. Kripalu Yoga instructor, Savannah Prezioso will guide you through yoga poses to release stress and calm your mind all from your own home. Prezioso has been practicing yoga for over 13 years. Her classes are intuitive, playful and inspiring. She creates a safe space for students to facilitate a connection between breath and movement allowing for a powerful meditative experience. Her classes are accessible to beginners and seasoned practitioners alike with various opportunities for modifications.   Classes are free and will be held via Zoom on weekly Thursdays January 7, 14 and 21 at 7 pm.

Sign up for each class to receive the Zoom links.

Bibliotherapy: Reading as Therapy Tuesday, Jan 26 at 7 pm via Zoom

Reading can be a wonderful escape and offers so many benefits. Join the Library to learn about fascinating historical attitudes regarding reading as a therapeutic activity, including time periods when books were formally prescribed to patients. Mary Mahoney, Historian and Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Trinity College, will present an overview of bibliotherapy, and then bring viewers to the present with thoughts about reading during this modern-day pandemic.  Since some people are reading more during this time, while others are finding it hard to focus, the speaker will lead a brief discussion and offer suggestions for reading reflection prompts as a way to nourish one’s life as a reader, even when it can be difficult to concentrate enough to read.  A Grab ‘n’ Go “Bibliotherapy Kit” with items to enhance your reading experience will be available for registrants to pick up. Call: 203.385.4164 for further information. “Bibliotherapy is a creative arts therapies modality that involves storytelling or the reading of specific texts with the purpose of healing. It uses an individual’s relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. Bibliotherapy is often combined with writing therapy.” Wikipedia

Fun and Games for Children of all Ages!

Planned Children’s Events in 2021 Stratford Library

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library Children’s Department continues to offer stimulating programs for local kids and their families. Kick off the New Year by participating in one (or all) of the following events.

DIY Storytimes
The Stratford Library posts DIY Storytimes on the website at every Saturday. Families can enjoy these online storytimes any time. Themes for January include Time, Animals Dress Up, Penguins, Opposites, and Snowy Days.

The Great Family Read
The Great Family Read, a monthly book program for children grades 3 to 6 and their families. Each month, the Library will choose a high-interest book that both kids and their grownups will enjoy. The title will be available via the Library’s Hoopla ebook multi user platform, so each person in the family will be able to borrow their own digital copy of the book at the same time. January’s Great Family Read will be “New Kid” by Jerry Craft.  This graphic novel tells the story of Jordan Banks, a seventh grade artist who feels torn when his parents enroll him in an academically rigorous, but not very diverse, private school. “New Kid” is the winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, and a current nominee for the Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award.

Register for this program at on the Events page, and the Library will provide you with discussion questions, information, and fun activities/supplies related to the book that families can use to create an engaging literacy experience.

School Support Tips
The Library posts School Support Tips every Monday to help families learn at home. Visit the website at to see new tips each Monday. Past tips have included the Library’s “Book Care Song” and “Borrowing ebooks.”

Online, Live Storytimes
The Stratford Library offers winter storytimes via Zoom beginning January 4. Toddler Time meets Mondays at 10:30 am for ages 1 to 2. Preschool Storytime meets Tuesdays at 10:30 am for ages 3 to 5. Baby Lapsit meets Thursdays at 10:30 am for ages 0 to 1. Storytime will not meet Jan. 18. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Draw with Josie
The Stratford Library’s volunteers Josie, Maggie, and Natalie invite children ages 6 to 12 to an online drawing class. The first class meets Monday, January 4 at 4 pm. Learn to draw Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy. Children should bring a pencil, eraser, and paper to the Zoom. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Read to Dogs
Children can practice their reading online with therapy dog Drago on Tuesday, January 5 at 4 pm courtesy of the Stratford Library. Therapy dogs love to listen to children read, even online! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Phonics/Alphabet Parade
Grab ‘n’ go kits will be available throughout January for Phonics Parade (ages 5-8) and Alphabet Parade (ages 4-6) learning. Register online to reserve a kit then pick it up within two weeks. With Alphabet Parade, children will receive a simple craft relating to a letter of the alphabet and a writing practice sheet. With Phonics Parade, children can complete phonics practice and a game or activity that emphasizes sight words and letter sounds. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Coding Club
Stratford Library’s Coding Club meets online Wednesday, January 6 at 4 pm for children ages 7 to 12. Each class has two activities: a demonstration of a Scratch coding project that children can work on independently and a group activity involving secret codes, made-up languages, or hieroglyphics. Learn to think like a coder! To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Homework Help
The Stratford Library offers Homework Help to children in grades Kindergarten to six on Thursday nights at 6:30 pm over Zoom. Children should bring homework and will work with teen tutors on assignments. This program is courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund and the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events

Astronomy Club
Stratford Library’s Astronomy Club meets online on Monday, January 11 at 4 pm for ages 7 to 12. January’s topic is “Constellation Challenge” – learn about the winter constellations and how to find them in Connecticut’s night sky. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Tuesday Craft Nights
The Stratford Library Children’s Department offers online crafting with grab ‘n’ go kits on Tuesday nights this winter. The January project is “Apron Decorating.” Ages 3 to 6 meet January 12 at 6:30 pm on Zoom and ages 6-12 meet January 19 at 7 pm on Zoom. Future Tuesday crafting projects for February and March will be listed on the Library’s Events calendar. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Book Scientists
Book Scientists is a new grab ‘n’ go learning experience offered by the Stratford Library Children’s Department. Each month, children ages 3 to 12 can sign up for different Book Scientists topics. Each Book Scientists kit will include two Library books, a craft and/or an extension activity. Library books will be chosen by the child’s age. The Book Scientists kits for January are Pets and Weather, and children can sign up for one or both. Pick up Book Scientists kits with a Library card in the Children’s Department. When you are done, return the Library books by their due date and keep everything else!

To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Learn About Dog Training
Children and families are invited to join the Stratford Library and Miss Lauren, owner of Drago and Veloce, for a short Zoom about dog training, dog shows, and tips for training a dog. Miss Lauren, owner of two Spinone Italiano dogs, will show commands her dogs have learned, what skills dogs display in shows like the American Kennel Club’s, and tips for training a dog. All kids who want to learn about dogs are welcome to attend and ask questions. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

Nutmeg Book Group
The Stratford Library’s Nutmeg Book Group will meet Monday, January 25 at 7 pm on Zoom to discuss “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang with children grades 4 to 6. Front Desk stars Mia and her family as they work at a motel with an unscrupulous owner. 10-year-old Mia manages the front desk and helps the guests while pursuing her own dreams of becoming a writer. Registered participants will receive a grab ‘n’ go kit containing a free copy of the book and other materials, courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund. Children should read the book prior to the discussion. To register, visit the website at, then choose Events.

The Library is currently offering limited computer use for adults with reservations and contact-free Take Out borrowing services, online programs, take and go program kits, Reference Chat and 24/7 online access to ebooks, audiobooks, movies and music

For more information about Library programs and services for children, call 203.385.4165 or visit

Merry Christmas from the Staff at the Stratford Crier

May your holiday be blessed with the love of family and friends. Though this Christmas will be different, we are all in this together, and we are united in wishing for Peace and Love. Here’s wishing you happiness and health to you and yours in the year ahead.

The Big Story: A Winter Market for Stratford

The Shakespeare Market

Coming Soon!! The Shakespeare Market – A  bi-monthly outdoor food and craft market on the grounds of the American Shakespeare  Festival Theatre at 1850 Elm Street in Stratford.

Targeting JANUARY 17, 2021, on the First and Third Sundays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. beginning January 17 th through to April 18th . In development now but are aiming for a January 17th launch with crafts, food vendors and activities supported by community organization partners.

Get outside! Visit one of Stratford’s hidden gems! Check out the vendors! Talk a brisk walk and see the beautiful Housatonic River, learn about Stratford’s history at Mac’s Harbor, or wander down to Bond’s Dock!

Don’t let this be the Winter of Your Discontent! Don’t let COVID keep you inside! Come out and socially distance with us on first and third Sundays from January 17 through April 18.

Find Out More!!!!

Stratford Library set to begin Books Over Coffee on Zoom beginning January 27th

Special “Meet the Author” Events Also Planned

by  Tom Holehan
Public Relations & Programming at the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library has announced its selections for the Winter/Spring 2021 series of “Books Over Coffee”, a monthly book discussion program that has been a popular staple at the library for over 30 years. The library continues to offer this lively forum even during unusual times by utilizing the Zoom platform. “Books Over Coffee”, is free and open to the public, and offered on monthly Wednesday afternoons from 12-1 pm hosted on Zoom by Stratford Library staffer Linda LiDestri.

Opening the new series on Wednesday, January 27 will be “One Day – The Extraordinary Story Of An Ordinary 24 Hours in America” by Gene Weingarten. On New Year’s Day 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Gene Weingarten asked three strangers to, literally, pluck a day, month, and year from a hat. That day–chosen completely at random–turned out to be Sunday, December 28, 1986, by any conventional measure a most ordinary day. Weingarten spent the next six years proving that there is no such thing. ONE DAY asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily,
daunting challenge of being human.

Other book selections for 2021 will be James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong” on February 24 (special for “Black History Month”), “Florence Adler Swims Forever” by Rachel Beanland (March 31, “Women’s History Month”), “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell (April 28), “The Survivors” by Jane Harper (May 26) and “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall (June 30, “Pride Month”). Both “Deacon King Kong” and “Hamnet” were recently selected by The New York Times as two of the best books of 2020.

In addition, special “Meet-the-Author” events are being planned with writers Paul Backalenick (“Carrie’s Secret”) and Roberta Seret (“Transylvania Trilogy”). Copies of all books are currently available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. The titles are also available for loan on Kindle and Nook eReaders. Participants are invited to register for the January “Books Over Coffee” session online at:

For further information, visit the Stratford Library at 2203 Main Street in Stratford, Connecticut or call its Public Relations and Programming Office at: 203.385.4162. Timely information is also available on the library’s website at:

Calling all Stratford Stars: Missing the Theatre??

Stratford Recreation is making theatre happen! Virtually

Grades 4-High School
by Stratford Recreation

The Stratford Recreation Department will be conducting virtual theatre workshops.

The six week theatre workshop program offers Young Actors and Actresses, looking for new opportunities to find ways to perform during a Pandemic. The program offers students an opportunity to develop theatre skills, such as acting on stage/camera, Improv, script and scene readings and character development. Each week will include interactive games and actors will create their own commercials and videos.

For further information on dates, times, and how to sign up, go to:

Stratford Community Updates

by the Stratford Community Organizations Council

Stratford Library:
The Library’s diversity lawn exhibit has been met with much praise and goodwill. It will remain on display at least through the end of the year, weather permitting. A variety of online programs for all ages continues and folks should check out the Library website for further information at

Evening hours began at the Library last month with Tuesdays/Wednesdays from 1:00 – 8:00 PM.

Square One Theatre Company:
It currently looks like the theatre won’t be reopening until November 2021. At that time it will conclude it’s 2019 season. Check out for updated information.

Stratford Community Services:
Telehealth is available at community services for anyone in need of counseling. Call Community Services to make a referral or set up an appointment.

Stratford Senior Services:
They continue to process Energy Assistance application through telephone intake and drop box. Operation Fuel winter season began on December 1st .

The Baldwin Center newsletter can be found on the Town’s Website. They continue to do virtual programming, bingo, trivia, meditation. The Baldwin Center has had a couple of very successful “drive thru” meal programs, a breakfast for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving sandwich and plan to do this every month. Renovations on the building are going out to bid and are expected to start in February/March.

Stratford Beautification Committee:
The Committee has decorated the gazebo at Paradise Green and working on Town Hall, Fire,
and Police Departments. Winners of the Beautification Committee Holiday Decorating Contest
will be announced on December 23rd . Let’s recognize those in Stratford who put the time and
energy into decorating their houses and yards for the holiday season. To vote go to

The YMCA is open and running as usual, but at a reduced capacity. Classes are now held at 25% capacity (about 4 people).

Events such as Kids Paint & Sip, Vacation Club, Lifeguard Certification, and Swim Lessons are available to join by appointment.

The UMCA is hosting hybrid learning students onsite.

Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut:
Offering a 5-week tutor training class for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer tutor. See Flyer for Details.

COVID-19 Testing:

Help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. Get tested today! 

COVID-19 Testing is available to all community members.

If you have symptoms and would like a test, please call your physician. If you do not have a physician, please sign up for an appointment at one of our community test sites or call our COVID-19 Call Center at 833-ASK-YNHH.

If you do not have symptoms and want to be tested, please sign up for an appointment at one of our community sites by scanning this QR code or going to this website:

Appointments are not needed but can make the process faster. 

Other ways to find testing:

  • Visit or call 833-ASK-YNHH
  • Sign up using the MyChart App (
  • Simply walk up to the community test site below.

Test Site: Bunnell High School Gym
1 Bulldog Blvd, Stratford

December 23, 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
December 30, 8:45 am – 2:30 pm

If you have insurance, bring your card. As always, there will be no cost to you.

Bring a photo ID (if possible) and wear a face mask or covering when visiting 


Stratford Library Sets Final 2020 Zoom Books Over Coffee Talk

Napolitano’s “Dear Edward” Discussed December 16

Tom Holehan, Public Relations & Programming
Stratford Library

The Stratford Library “Books Over Coffee” program concludes 2020 with an online discussion of Jane Napolitano’s moving bestseller, Dear Edward, on Wednesday, December 16. The online Zoom program, hosted by Linda LiDestri, will be held between 12-1 pm. The book talk is free and open to the public. One summer morning, twelve year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Tragically, the plane crashes and Edward is the sole survivor. Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place for himself in a world without his family and Napolitano’s compelling novel asks: When you’ve lost everything, how do find yourself? How do you discover your purpose? What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again. Limited reading copies of Dear Edward are available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. All “Books Over Coffee” titles are available at the Library or on Kindle eReaders for loan. Patrons can also download the eBook or audiobook through the OverDrive app at the Library. “Books Over Coffee” has a new series of titles ready for the 2021 season to be announced at the December 16 program.

For further information call the Library at: 203.385-4162 or register online for Dear Edward at: