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Family Festival Rallies State and Community for Education

NEW Haven, CT – Parents and educators have rallied together local and state leaders for quality childhood education. Senator Martin Looney and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro will participate in the Seventh Annual Fair Haven Family Stroll & Festival which fundraises and promotes awareness about the issue.

Senator Richard Blumenthal also supports the event and the goal of the festival. “Access to affordable, high-quality education for our youth is essential for building stronger families and communities,” he noted. “I applaud the Friends Center for Children, the Elm City Montessori School, and the Fair Haven community for raising awareness of the importance of high-quality early education and making New Haven a better place to live, grow, and learn.”

The family festival, which features live music and hands on activities “is a fantastic opportunity to engage our community in the overarching conversation about quality early childhood education in this country,” said Allyx Schiavone, Executive Director of the Friends Center for Children. “We know that high-quality early education programs have a high return on the investment, making it that much more important to educate our community to inspire a change nationwide.”

Community engagement is crucial to the success of the event. “We are living through an important era in community empowerment and it is critical that communities, organizations, and individuals seize every opportunity to rally behind and support what we value,” said Genevive Walker, Director of Programs at ConnCAT and this year’s Festival Emcee. “As a life-long resident of Fair Haven, an educator, and parent, I am particularly proud that Fair Haven Family Stroll is shining a light on inequities in access to high-quality early childhood education. Every parent wants this for their children, moreover the whole community benefits when there is equal access.”

Last year the event gathered over 900 people and raised over $6,000 through donations, sponsorships, registration fees, and pledges. The Stroll part of the event is a 1.5 mile walk around the Quinnipiac River which kicks off the day’s fun and will be led by Southern Connecticut State University Drumline. Organizers expect continued growth of the event and will welcome over 30 non-profit and community resource organizations to the Quinnipiac River Park, site of the Stroll and Festival and an area the city has worked to revitalize. “Fair Haven is a diverse neighborhood with historic homes and a beautiful waterfront,” said The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven Community Outreach Director Lee Cruz.

“Those of us who live here are delighted to have such wonderful early childhood education options in our community and the Fair Haven Family Stroll & Festival helps keep quality early childhood education available for a variety of families,” added Cruz. “Please come, bring your children, family, and friends. There will be activities, food, and fun for people of all ages. Help keep quality early childhood education available for children in your life and in our community.”

The Fair Haven Family Stroll & Festival starts at 10am for the river walk and 11am for the festival on Saturday, May 6th and concludes at 2pm at the Quinnipiac River Park on Front St. and Grand Ave. A suggested donation of $10 per family can be made at the registration desk. In the case of rain, the event will reschedule for Saturday, May 20th.

About Friends Center for Children

Founded in 2007, the Friends Center for Children is an early childhood, non-sectarian education center providing year-round, full-time care for children ages 3 months to 5 years. Its mission is to educate children, empower families, inspire teachers, engage community and embrace diversity. The Friends Center offers a child-centered, hands-on learning experience in a safe and nurturing environment. With a values-based curriculum, children learn through creative play and a wide range of developmentally-appropriate activities. As a cooperative organization, parents and teachers at the Center work together to create a diverse and supportive community. 



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