The Trustee Fund of Connecticut Community Foundation, established through contributions by current and former Board members, has granted its second annual awards to the Bridge to Success Community Partnership and Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in recognition of their successes in creating collaborations and partnerships to make our region better.
Karen Rainville, in her third week as executive director at the Bridge to Success (BTS) Community Partnership, accepted the award for her new employer. She recently succeeded Lori Hart, who served as executive director of BTS for seven years and grew the partnership to over 95 organizations, families, and volunteers. BTS partners pledge to work together so all youth in Waterbury are socially and emotionally ready for school, read well by grade three, and graduate from high school on time to ensure they will be ready for the careers they choose.
In recognizing Bridge to Success, the Trustees specifically highlighted the Partnership’s “Boost” program, which is joining Waterbury schools, community groups, and other local assets in providing “wrap around” services for Waterbury’s schoolchildren and their families. In connecting kids and families in need to community social services, Boost aims to ensure that children are emotionally and physically cared for so they can come to school prepared to learn.
Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, led by Executive Director Dan Rostan, has for decades provided the community with superb symphonic and orchestral music. In recent years, though, Rostan said that the Symphony has endeavored, “to break down the traditional ‘proscenium arch’ that divides audience from orchestra by increasingly inviting the community to be involved.”
One way the Symphony has reached outside the concert hall is through music education for Waterbury youth. Now entering its fifth year, the Symphony’s Bravo! Waterbury program gives children in grades kindergarten through six daily after school training in instrumental and vocal music. Working intensively towards musical progress, Bravo! kids learn be to autonomous and self-confident and to work as a team. To date, hundreds of Waterbury schoolchildren have participated.
Jack Baker, founder of the Trustee Fund, said “Bridge to Success and the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra are two Waterbury treasures. They are models of community partnership and collaboration —uniting and connecting people, resources, talents and expertise to serve our city’s residents in innovative ways. Members of our Trustee Fund are thrilled to further the work of these fine organizations. In the end, Waterbury residents are the real winners.”
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Pictured above: Karen Rainville (L) and Lori Hart (R) accept the 2016 Trustee Fund award for the Bridge to Success Community Partnership.