Greenwich superintendent to take part in two virtual conversations
With the Greenwich Public Schools ready to welcome students back to classrooms, Superintendent Toni Jones will take part in a “community conversation” to answer questions from parents and residents.
The League of Women Voters of Greenwich and the PTA Council have joined forced to hold a Zoom event with Jones starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 18.
Anne-Marie Hesser from the league and Brian Peldunas from the PTAC will moderate the discussion.
The event is part of an ongoing series of talks about local governance, League President Sandra Waters said. Past League Zoom events have featured the Board of Selectmen, Police Chief James Heavey and town Registrars of Voters Fred DeCaro III and Mary Hegarty.
“We have found Zoom conversations to be very well attended, and a good opportunity for everyone to learn something new,” Waters said.
The event will likely include questions about reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic as well as discussion on the school budget process, special education and governance, she said.
Schools are scheduled to reopen on Sept. 9. The plan is for in-person classes at all elementary and middle schools and to use a hybrid plan at Greenwich High School. Under that plan, half of the students will go to class Mondays and Tuesdays, with the other half attending in-person on Thursdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, all high schoolers will use remote learning.
The district will also offer a full-time remote learning options to students. The Board of Education is scheduled to meet over Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
The YWCA Greenwich has rescheduled a planned digital discussion called “Black@: A Conversation About Race, Culture and Curriculum in Our Schools.”
The talk had been scheduled for Aug. 5, the day after Tropical Storm Isaias hit town and left many residents without electricity and online access.
The discussion is now scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 12.
The free event “will examine the aspects of the school experience that perpetuate implicit bias and racism, as well as how both public and independent schools are addressing these critical issues,” the YWCA Greenwich said.
Antonia Thompson from the Stamford Mayor’s Youth Services Bureau will moderate the event. The panel will feature Greenwich Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones; Shanelle Henry, director of equity and inclusion at Greens Farms Academy in Westport; and Ann Neary, a National Board certified teacher from Staples High School in Westport.
The Black@ event is part of a series of conversations that has emerged in the region and the nation after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers in May. The deadly incident, and many others like it, sparked national debates and protests with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The program is part of its new series called “Towards Equity: A Series Examining Systematic Racism” that will explore systems and examples of racism and oppression through panel discussions, webinars, books, films and other events. All of the events will be free.
“The Black@ panel discussion and our new ‘Towards Equity’ series speak to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women,” YWCA Greenwich President and CEO Mary Lee Kiernan said. “These events will elevate our efforts to raise awareness and build coalitions that work against systemic racism.”
The event will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more information and to register, visit www.ywcagrn.org/TowardsEquityEducation.
After the initial success of its textile recycling program, the town will add more places for residents to drop off materials, including one in the heart of Cos Cob.
There are already collection bins in the parking lot of the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center; the front entrance of the Arch Street Teen Center; the side of the building at the Nathaniel Witherell; and at Holly Hill, next to the office trailer and the recycling containers for plastic bags and shredded paper.
New bins will be added soon to the Town Hall parking lot when the construction project is done and to the parking lot between Cos Cob Library and the Cos Cob Fire House. No date was given for the installation.
Residents can drop off clothing, shoes, accessories, towels and bedding in any condition at the collection bins. Stuffed animals, rugs and pillows are not accepted.
The recycling program is a partnership between the town and the Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board.
The progam “will add the recycling of textiles to our ever-expanding list of materials that avoid the solid waste heap,” First Selectman Fred Camillo said. It increases recycling while adding revenue that can be used “to promote the greening of Greenwich,” he said.
“Our goal is to be the environmental gold standard of Connecticut, and this is another positive step in that direction,” Camillo said.
Fairco-Greentree Recycling, a for-profit company based in Fairfield, collects the textiles to be recycled at no cost to the town. Part of the proceeds that the company gets from its work will be donated to GRAB for its education and community outreach work to promote recycling.
“We are excited to work with GRAB and the town of Greenwich,” said James Clemente of Fairco-Greentree. “We are part of a new trend in the salvage business, which aims to support the employment of more workers to keep textiles out of the landfill and provide shoes and clothes to people in need via the secondary marketplace.”
The program’s goal is to divert textiles from the waste stream to conserve natural resources, prevent pollution, create jobs and reduce the volume of waste incinerated. Since the coronavirus pandemic has forced many donation sites to close, GRAB said there has been an increased demand for entities that accept textiles.
“In the U.S., 85 percent of textiles are tossed in the trash, but nearly all can be reused and recycled as secondhand clothing, rags and even building materials,” GRAB member Julie DesChamps said. “Given their value on the secondary market and massive environmental footprint, no textile should be trashed.
“The collaboration with Fairco-Greentree affords Greenwich residents a sustainable option to divert this valuable material from the municipal waste stream and provides benefits to our community and the environment,” she said.
The Greenwich Library is offering help for residents who interested in learning more about financial issues and topics with several online events this month.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 11, the library will host a webinar targeted for recent college graduates called “How to Avoid the Paycheck to Paycheck Culture” with author Kristen Jacks, author of “Money In Your Twenties.” The program is designed to help residents in their 20s tackle two problem areas: tax ignorance and overspending.
“This webinar is perfect for recent graduates, and their parents, or anyone interested in avoiding getting stuck in this common post-graduate predicament,” the library said.
The library will hold a webinar at 10 a.m. Aug. 19 called “COVID-19 & Your Job Search: 5 Game-Changer Search Strategies for Times of Uncertainty.” Job search strategy expert Noelle Gross will “explain what the coronavirus means for your job search, what to focus on and how you can make the most of an unexpected hiring slowdown to produce hiring opportunities in the future.”
At 6 p.m. Aug. 19, the library will hold a “Financial Wellness Wednesday” seminar with real estate consultant Valerie King. It is designed to show the pros and cons of buying a home and the steps involved in purchasing real estate, the library said.
For more information and to sign up for the webinars, visit www.greenwichlibrary.org/.