Feed Stratford!

Sterling House Food Pantry

Food Pantry Hours
Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays 1:00 – 300 pm
Evening appointments are available upon request.

Please call us to ask about making an appointment: (203) 378-2606

On your first visit to our Food Pantry, please bring the following:
– Identification
– Reusable bags to carry food/supplies
– You will asked to complete paperwork, as per our partnership with CT Food Bank

Emergency food assistance is provided to individuals and families. A variety of food, toiletries, diapers, and pet food is available. Clients can visit pantry once per month unless circumstances warrant this to be more often.

Holy Name of Jesus Church: Drive-Thru Food Pantry

Where:  1950 Barnum Avenue, Stratford CT

When:  Tuesday, December 8th , 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

HO HO HO Santa has a mailbox in Stratford

“Meet-the-Author” at Stratford Library

Stratford Resident will Discuss her Debut Novel,” Catchlight

By The Stratford Library

The Stratford Library will host author Brooke Adams Law for a special “Meet-the-Author” program on Tuesday, December 8 from 6-7:30 pm. The Stratford resident will discuss her debut novel, Catchlight.  The program, available on the Library’s Zoom platform, is free and open to the public.

Author Brooke Adams Law in Catchlight asks the question: Who would you be without your memory?  When Katherine Keene is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her four grown children must grapple with how to care for her – and how to remake their relationships with each other. And then there’s the secret that threatens their family’s very identity. Will the Keenes find healing and reconciliation – or implode from within?  Brooke Adams Law’s debut novel was the winner of the 2019 Fairfield University Book Prize.  Kirkus Reviews called Catchlight “an impressive debut” and the book was featured on Good Morning America’s 12 must-read books for October and on WTNH Good Morning Connecticut.  Law is a writer, writing teacher and retreat leader. A mother of two young children, she leads online workshops for writers from around the world.

For further information, call the Library at 203.385.4162 and to register for the program visit: https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7217945.

 

Stratford Senior Services

Tamara Trojanowski, MHSA
Administrator with Town of Stratford Community Services

The Baldwin Center remains closed to the public and we do not have a definitive re-opening date due to renovations and the ever-changing COVID-19 public health crisis.  Senior Services staff members are in every day and planning what we need to do to welcome you back safely.  For example, we are establishing a cleaning and disinfecting plan, training staff, developing new policies, and ordering materials.

We are closely following the guidance from the CT Department of Health, Stratford Health Department and the Governor’s Reopen Connecticut.  We are disappointed that won’t be sharing the holidays with you in person this year, but we would love to hear from you.

Give us a call or drop us a line. Better yet, if we don’t have your email, please send it to seniorservices@townofstratford.com so that we can send you timely information and you can register for virtual programs.

Local Fitness Instructor Gets Stratford Youth to Move via Virtual Challenges

New After School Fitness Program to Rolled out December 1.

by Sally Head
Head Space Fitness

Stratford Teens, both Middle and High Schoolers, will now have a chance to put on their sneakers and learn kickboxing, strength-training, circuit training skills as well as yoga
and meditation practices.

Sally Head, of Head Space Fitness of Stratford, will lead these classes virtually every Tuesday at 4 p.m. via Zoom through the Town’s Board of Education after school
program. Sally Head is a Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach, and 200 RYT Yoga Teacher.

“Like any good exercise program”, states Ms. Head, “they only work if the students who enroll participate in it regularly. If they come to class every week, they see results and get the most benefit from being consistent and it builds connection with the students and the community.”

Ms. Head is super excited to work with the local youth. As an online kids’ coach, she loves to keep the kids engaged throughout the year especially if they play a team sport which had to be halted due to Covid. “A lot of these kids really miss the drills and skills from practices, so I try to give them a good opportunity to practice their skills, even if it is right from their own living room.

For more information please call the main office of the child’s school or contact Sally Head at www.headspace.fit.

The program, which is funded by two 21st  Century Community Learning Centers grants from the Connecticut State Department of Education- one for the middle schools, one
for the high schools. According to Dr. Kevin Klemme, Stratford Board of Education’s Grant Administrator, “the focus is on providing at-risk students and their families with academic support and enhancement activities to strengthen engagement with school.”

“Because of COVID and hybrid/distance learning, many students need additional support, so this year the program is being offered to any middle school or high school students,” Mr. Klemme added. The program especially welcomes students who enroll and participate regularly, as they get the most benefit from a consistent connection.

The various programs meet most afternoons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (online this year) from October through May. The exceptions are holidays or early closing days.

Each session offers both academic assistance from certified teachers and enrichment activities, which also provide an opportunity to connect socially online with other students.

Enhancement activities include clubs, games, art projects, and field trips (virtual this year)—and now, fitness.  The specific activities each year are based on the interests of participating students. Many of the enhancement activities, especially the field trips, are arranged in collaboration with the Town of Stratford Community Services, which is a partner in both grants.

Stratford Library Opens Lawn Sign Exhibit on Monday

Lawn Signs to be Dedicated in Public Ceremony

Stratford Library Lawn Sign Exhibit Ribbon Cutting

An anti-racism lawn sign exhibit featuring quotes from famous and not-so-famous people of color will be unveiled on the Stratford Library’s front lawn, Main Street entrance, on Monday November 16th at 4 pm. All are invited to attend the brief ribbon cutting ceremony.

“Sodbusters and Colleges: The Winning of the West”: Wild West Series Ends

by Tom Holehan
Public Relations and Programming
Stratford Library

Stratford Library Concludes Old West Series
The Stratford Library concludes its special 4-part series about the American Old West of “Sunday Afternoon Talks”, its monthly series of informative and entertaining talks hosted by Charles Lautier and featuring prominent local guest speakers. The Old West series, which features guest speaker Hamish Lutris, will offer its final session on Zoom November 22 at 2 pm.

“Sodbusters and Colleges: The Winning of the West” is the finale of Lutris’ stunning series.  In 1860, most of the western plains were uninhabited by Americans; the 1890 census revealed that the frontier, where US law did not hold sway, had disappeared. Civilization had come to the entire West in only 40 years.

How? This talk will focus on the immigration, technologies, and political actions that made possible the taming of the vast land that we call the West.

Guest speaker Hamish Lutris is an Associate Professor of History, Political Science, and Geography at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut. He has worked in some of America’s premier natural and historical sites, leading hiking and historical programs. He has also lectured extensively in the United States, Europe, and Canada, presenting programs on wide-ranging historical topics, including Native American history, the Civil War, Scientific History, Social and Cultural History, World War I, World War II and the American West.

The series, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 2-3:30 pm on the Zoom format. For further information call the Library at: 203.385-4162 or register for the talk online at:  https://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7073202.

Note: LIBRARY TO CLOSE FOR THANKSGIVING
The Library will close on Wednesday, November 25 at 5 pm and all day on Thursday, November 26 in observation of the Thanksgiving holiday.  The library will reopen on Friday, November 27 at 10 am.

Come One Come All: Community Events Scheduled With Safe Covid 19 Protocols

by the Stratford Community Organizations Council

Stratford Library:

An anti-racism lawn sign exhibit featuring quotes from famous and not-so-famous people of color will be unveiled on the Library’s front lawn, Main Street entrance, on Monday November 16th at 4 pm. All are invited to attend the brief ribbon cutting ceremony.

Numerous online programs for all ages are currently underway. Visitors should check the Library’s website for information: www.stratfordlibrary.org.

The Library’s annual fundraiser set for next April has not been postponed until September 2021.

Sterling House:

Sterling House has expanded their hours: Expanded hours include 9am – 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 9am – 1pm on Saturday. Events in the works include: 2020 Holiday Toy Drive November Service Saturday: Thanksgiving Cards Thanksgiving Food Drive

Arts Alliance of Stratford:

Arts Alliance of Stratford has been working with high school students interested in journalism to do an interview project.

Stratford Economic Development/ Stratford Strong:

Stratford Strong: The basic needs taskforce is addressing food insecurity and back-to-school efforts. The taskforce feels they are in a good place. The communication/resource taskforce has been focusing on small businesses.

– One grant program was released on Friday, November 13th to help small businesses (<20 employees).
– Another possible grant will be coming for microenterprises ( <5 employees).

If you know anyone interested have them reach out to Economic Development. The group is working hard to come up with ideas to host holiday events safely. If you have an idea, pass it along to Economic Development!

Stratford Historical Society:

The Historical Society will be hosting another Stratford Lighthouse tour on November 21st, with rain date of December 5th . Three time slots are available: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Each time slot is limited to 10 people, and advance registration is required. Social distancing will be maintained and face masks will be mandatory. The historical society hopes to make the tour a monthly program.

To register for the open house, visit townofstratford.recdesk.com/Community/Program  and scroll to “Lighthouse Tour.”

There will be a virtual presentation being held on December 12th entitled “Suffregettes in
Corsellettes”.

Parent’s Place:

Looking for a coordinator (BA Early Childhood or Social Work).

The outdoor play groups will be moving to virtual play groups as weather gets colder.

Continuing Education:

Classes are up and running. Being offered both virtually and in-person.

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: http://covidtesting.ynhhs.org/.

Appointments are not needed but can make the process faster. 

Other ways to find testing:

  • Visit YNHHS.org or call 833-ASK-YNHH
  • Sign up using the MyChart App (http://mychart.ynhhs.org/MyChart-PRD/)
  • Simply walk up to the community test site below.

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

November 4, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
November 11, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
November 18, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
November 25,  8:30 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 

Great Reads Ready for All

New England History and Female “Convicts” shipped from England to Tasmania

“Sunday Afternoon Talks” New England at 400

New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day” with Professor Eric D. Lehman on November 15, will be held from 2-3:30 pm on Zoom. University of Bridgeport professor Eric D. Lehman will discuss his latest book, New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day, telling stories about the four centuries of lives, loves, failures, and successes of our fellow New Englanders.

Eric D. Lehman is the author or editor of seventeen books of history, travel, and fiction, including Yankee’s New England, Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut, The Quotable New Englander, and Becoming Tom Thumb, which won the Victorian Society of America Award and was chosen by the ALA as one of the best university press books of the year. His novella Shadows of Paris was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award, won a silver medal in romance from the Foreword Review, and was judged the novella of the year by the Next Generation Independent Book Awards.

The event is free and open to the public. For further information call the Stratford Library at: 203-385-4162.

Christina Kline’s “The Exiles” to be Discussed on Nov. 18

The Stratford Library “Books Over Coffee” program continues with an online Zoom discussion of Christina Baker Kline’s historical drama, The Exiles, on Wednesday, November 18. The program, hosted by Linda LiDestri, will be held from 12 – 1 pm. The book talk is free and open to the public.

The Exiles is Christina Baker Kline’s historical fiction novel that takes place in the early 1840s and focusses on the transport of female “convicts” from England to Tasmania. The transport of prisoners to North America and Australia is generally known, but not about the female population to Tasmania. Christina Baker Kline his established herself as a novelist who plumbs noteworthy but little-known facets of the past, and The Exiles marks her third foray into the genre. While her Orphan Train and A Piece of the World were grounded in American history, The Exiles makes a bold geographic and cultural leap.

Limited reading copies of The Exiles are available for loan at the library’s Circulation Desk. All “Books Over Coffee” titles are available at the Library or on Kindle eReader for loan. Patrons can also download the eBook or audiobook through the OverDrive app at the Library. “Books Over Coffee” will conclude its 2020 season on December 16 with Dear Edward by Jane Napolitano.

For furthur information call the Library at: 203-385-4162 or register online at: http://stratfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7073380.

“Courageous Conversations”

Racial Equity Subject of Zoom Talks Goal: Building Bridges for a stronger Stratford

by Stratford Citizens Addressing Racial Equity (C.A.R.E.).

A series of six Conversations on Racial Equity began on Thursday, November 5th via the Zoom platform. The new series is presented by Stratford C.A.R.E (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity) and sponsored by the Town of Stratford, the Stratford Clergy Association, The Stratford Rotary Club and the Stratford Library. The program is free and open to the public.

Led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, the goal of the program is to make people come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all. The use of thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts about how racism has shaped our environment were discussed.

Participants also worked in small groups to discuss how to unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference in Stratford. The series began with “Starting Point: Implicit Bias”. Participants were encouraged to watch a short video, “Peanut Butter & Jelly Racism”, before the meeting that introduced the concept of implicit bias. Minor glitches occurred (some of those who signed up for the series were not able to get in the Zoom meeting) and minor issues with the opening video for the meeting, a Ted Talk by Verna Myers, a Diversity Advocate, in 2014, were quickly addressed.

Participants were then broken out into “working” groups. There were 12 of us including a facilitator. We were able to interact with each other and hold meaningful discussions. (Who knew you could do that on Zoom?)

The remaining programs in the series include: “Housing Disparities” on December 3; “Health Disparities” (January 7, 2021); “Educational Disparities” (February 4); “Employment Disparities” (March 4); and “Criminal Justice Disparities” (April 1). It is not necessary to attend every session in order to take part in the series.

To register for the free conversation series visit: www.stratfordcare.org/courage.