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 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 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

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 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 that use sight words and the sounds in words to promote reading. To register, visit the Library’s website at 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 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 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 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 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 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

History or Football? “Sunday Afternoon Talks” Set for November 1-22

by the Stratford Library

The Stratford Library will present four special sessions of its popular “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series of informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers, on Sunday, November 1-22 at 2 pm.  The four talks will be presented on consecutive Sundays on the Zoom platform.  They are free and open to the public.

American Revolutionary War historian, Eric Chandler, will return to the Library with his talk, “In the Beginning and the Wars before the Revolution: We’re all Englishmen, Right?” on Sunday, November 1. Chandler explores the series of bloody confrontations between Native Americans, as well as in the North American theaters of European wars as the Great Powers maneuvered to extend their empires abroad and how they helped fan the flames leading to the War for Independence. Chandler is currently serving his third term as a member of the Norwalk Historical Commission, sits on the Norwalk Historical Society Board of Directors as well as the Board of Directors for the recreated Sheldon’s Horse, 2 nd Regiment Continental Light Dragoons for which he also serves as lieutenant and adjutant. To register online for the Zoom talk visit:

The remaining programs for November are: “Hell on Wheels: The Wild West” with Professor Hamish Lutris on November 8, “New England at 400: From Plymouth Rock to the Present Day” with Professor Eric D. Lehman on November 15 and “Sodbusters and Colleges: The Winning of the West” with Professor Lutris on November 22.

The series, hosted by Charles Lautier of Stratford, will be held from 2-3:30 pm on the Zoom format. For further information call the Stratford Library at: 203-385-4162.

The Day That Was…

On September 11th Stratford Police Sargent Jamie “Javi” Rivera posted on Facebook (see screen shot of post below) which was then widely shared and condemned on social media. In his post Sargent Rivera claimed “Black lives matter is a terrorist organization!!!! They call for the killing of cops. No matter what color.”

The post went viral, resulting in a statement published by Mayor Laura Hoydick and the Rev. D. Stanley Lord, President of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, following a meeting between Rev. Lord and Police Chief Joseph McNeil. Additional statements were also issued by Town organizations condemning Sgt. Rivera’s post.

During the Town Council meeting on September 14th Stratford residents spoke during the Public Forum on the recent Facebook post by Sgt. Rivera

Rev. Lord, Greater Bridgeport NAACP
Dr. Tina Manus
Yolanda Mitchell
Donald Goodson
Sonya Huber
Stacey Tavaras
Linda Fernandes
Kimberly Rice
Stephanie Philips


All speakers called for police accountability for the incident, including (but not limited to) a police review board, education and training. Mr. Goodson noted that every crisis presents an opportunity, and hoped that Stratford would take this incident to work with the NAACP and well as members of C.A.R.E ((Citizens Addressing Racial Equity). There was also calls for an investigation into Sgt. Rivera’s post, as apparently there is a Code of Conduct for the police department that might have been violated.

The Stratford Crier made an editorial decision to post all of the statements for reader information with no comment or opinion. Before posting this article a call was placed to Mayor Hoydick and Police Chief McNeil for comment. Their offices did not respond.


Racial Equity Subject of Zoom Talks “Conversations” Begin November 5

A series of six Conversations on Racial Equity is set for the Zoom platform beginning Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 pm. The new series is presented by Stratford CARE (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity) and sponsored by the Town of Stratford, the Stratford Clergy Association 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. Thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts about how racism has shaped our environment will be discussed and participants will also work in small groups to discuss how to unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference in Stratford.

The series begins on November 5 with “Starting Point: Implicit Bias” held on Zoom from 7:30-8:45 pm. 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:

Statement from the Stratford Republican Party

Lou Decilio, Chairman of the Stratford Republican Party

This is being handled by the administration, Chief of Police, the NAACP, and CARES.
Everyone is in communications and I’m confident it will be settled.


Statement from the Stratford Democrats

By Steve Taccogna, Chairman of the Stratford Democrats

The Stratford Democratic Town Committee strongly condemns the irresponsible, offensive, and erroneous comments made by Sgt. Jaime Rivera of the Stratford Police Department about the Black Lives Matter movement.

These comments are unacceptable and reprehensible. They are aimed at movements to end systemic police brutality against black men, women, and children and to silence those calling for such reform. This act of bad faith calls into serious question the suitability of the officers who stand against this goal.

It is vital that we hold people accountable for their words and deeds, especially those in whom we have placed our trust and our safety. It is also imperative that those who do not share the values of routing out racism in our law enforcement system and in our communities be investigated and assessed on whether they can conduct their jobs without bias or malice.

We await the Stratford Police Department’s plan to address this individual incident, to prevent similar situations in the future, and to rout out in its own department the underlying sentiments that lead to behaviors such as those exhibited by Sgt. Rivera.

Stratford Library Open for Business

By Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

While the world paused to get its bearings, the Stratford Library did the same. As we all shift back to our autumn “normal,” we thought it would be helpful to update you all on some of the goings on at the Library that you may (or may not!) already know about, including:

● The entire Library is open for browsing, borrowing!

● Computers for Adults and Teens can be reserved in advance for a one hour time slot. Call: 203 385-4164 for an appointment.

● Express computers are available for printing and quick computing needs, no appointment necessary for a 15 minute session, once a day.

● You will enter the building through the back (parking lot) entrance and will be greeted by a staff member who will screen you prior to entry.

● Masks must be worn by everyone (age 2 and up) while in the library.

● The Library will begin assessing overdue fees on September 28th (no fees will be charged from March 13 through September 26). However, if you still find yourself wary of venturing out, please call 203-385-4160 and we’ll work with you to try to extend loan periods. It may not always be possible, especially if items have holds on them, but we will work with you!  All items may be returned 24/7 in the Book Drops located at the front and rear of the Library.

● Items returned to the Stratford Library are quarantined for 3-5 days, so they are not immediately removed from your account (no overdue fees are charged for quarantine days).  If you see returned materials still on your account six days after returning them, call 203-385-4160

● Use your Stratford Library card to access free, downloadable books, videos, audiobooks, music and magazines.

● Photocopiers and scanners are available, no appointment necessary.

● The microfilm reader/printer is available by appointment.  Call 203-385-4161.

● Our Adult, Teen, & Children’s Departments are working harder than ever to bring you a variety of wonderful virtual programs Grab ‘n’ Go kits. Check out our Events Calendar or sign-up for library eNewsletters for the latest news on our programs & services.

● If you still prefer contact free Take-Out Service, call to make arrangements (Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164).