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.

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

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.

Stratford Library offers “Medicare 101” Talk

Get Current Information and Changes for 2021
Zoom Info Session Set for October 27

The Stratford Library will host an informational session, “Medicare 101” on Tuesday, October 27 from 6-8 pm. The program will be presented on the Library’s Zoom platform. It is free and open to the public.

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare, or turning 65 over the next year or two you can learn about eligibility, how and when to enroll, when you can make changes, and the insurance options available to you. “Medicare 101” will be hosted by Independent insurance agent James Farnham. Adults will be able to review and compare what services are covered and not covered under Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. They can also detail the costs associated with medical and drug insurance and explore and evaluate Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans.

“Medicare 101” will help adults make more well-informed decisions and explain what Medicare means for the individual. Farnham’s program, geared to clarify, simplify and provide structure as well as develop an overall understanding of Medicare, is strictly educational. He is an independent agent appointed with 13 insurance companies working across six states.

To register online for “Medicare 101” visit:
For further information call: 203-385-4162.

Stratford Library Kids Event

The Stratford Library Children’s Department continues to offer stimulating programs for local kids and their families. 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. Staff will take calls Monday-Saturday, 10 A.M.-5 P.M.

Fall Storytimes will meet online via Zoom at the Stratford Library each week. On Mondays at 10:30 A.M., Toddler Time features rhymes and songs for ages 1-2. On Tuesdays at 10:30 A.M., Preschool Storytime features books and songs for ages 3-5. On Thursdays at 10:30 A.M., Baby Lapsit offers bounces, rhymes, and parent sharing for families of infants and toddlers. Halloween storytimes are Monday/Tuesday, October 26-27. Registered participants can visit the Library in costume at specific times to pick up a grab’n’go Halloween treat. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

The Stratford Library Children’s Department offers two fall reading programs for children. Children ages 0 to 4 can join “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” to share books with their children at home. Registered participants will receive a folder and check off sheets as well as special prizes along the way. Families can read any books they like as many times as they like to complete their 1000 books. Children grades K to 6 can join “Read Around Stratford” with monthly reading challenges as well as outdoor challenges around Stratford with sites that families can visit to complete scavenger hunts and more. Children who complete Read Around Stratford will receive a special gift next spring. This program is courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

DIY Saturday Storytimes are posted every Saturday on the Stratford Library’s Kids page. Families can enjoy storytimes with special themes to read online whenever is convenient. For more information, visit the website at www.stratfordlibrary.org/kids.

Homework Help
Families with children grades K to 6 can sign up for online Homework Help on Thursday nights at 6:30 P.M. on Zoom. Teen tutors will be available to help with homework and practice reading. Families are asked to bring homework or a reading book to the Zoom. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Alphabet Parade and Phonics Parade
Alphabet Parade and Phonics Parade will be offered by the Stratford Library Children’s Department on Wednesdays beginning in October. These programs meet on Zoom. Children ages 4-6 can join Alphabet Parade at 3:30 P.M. for the letter of that week. Children ages 5-8 can join Phonics Parade for gA.M.es that use sight words and the sounds in words to promote reading. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Draw with Josie
Meets on Zoom on Monday, October 12 at 4 P.M. for ages 7 to 12. This month, learn to draw Jack Skellington from the movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Children should bring a pencil, paper, and an eraser to the Zoom. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Science Camp
The Stratford Library’s Science Camp: Gumdrop Engineering workshop meets on Zoom Thursday, October 15 at 4 P.M. for ages 5-8. Registered participants can pick up an engineering grab’n’go bag to use during the Zoom class. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Kids Coding Club
The Stratford Library Kids Coding Club will meet Monday, October 19 at 4 P.M. on Zoom. Ages 7 to 12 are welcome to attend. Class will consist of a demonstration of a Scratch Coding project that children can try on their own and a group activity with ancient and modern codes. Projects may include hieroglyphs, made up languages, and tongue twisters.  To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Nutmeg Book Group
The Stratford Library’s Nutmeg Book Group will meet Monday, October 26 at 7 P.M. on Zoom to discuss the book “The Great Treehouse War” by Lisa Graff. Registered participants grades 4 to 6 will receive a free copy of the book and a goody bag courtesy of the Carol Pieper Memorial Fund.  To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203-385-4165 for more information.

Grab’n’Go Halloween!
Stratford children ages 3 to 12 are welcome to enjoy a Halloween grab’n’go treat pick up at the Stratford Library on Tuesday, October 27 from 4 to 5 P.M. Registered participants can come in costume, following Library safety guidelines, to the Library’s back courtyard and pick up a treat from the Children’s Department table. To register, visit the Library’s website at stratfordlibrary.org or call 203.385.4165 for more information.

Drive-Thru Food Pantry November 10th

Where: Holy Name of Jesus Church
1950 Barnum Avenue, Stratford CT

When: Tuesday, November 10th 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

Community Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing

Stop the Spread – Get Tested

Community COVID-19 Test Site Available

Stratford Health Department
468 Birdseye Street, Stratford, CT

Testing in Parking Lot


Friday, October 30, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020

Time: 9:00 am – 12:00pm (Last Person 11:45 am)

No Doctor’s Note Needed

Please bring the following: Photo ID and Insurance Card