Allegra Erickson and Christina Passaretti Thriving Youth Task Force TYTF

Two New Members Named to Community Fund of Darien’s Thriving Youth Task Force

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The Thriving Youth Task Force announced Monday that Allegra Erickson and Christina Passaretti will join its executive board for the 2021/22 school year. — an announcement from The Community Fund of Darien
Erickson will assume the role of Executive Board co-chair.  She will succeed Shelly Skoglund, who will complete her term as co-chair this year. Christina Passaretti will serve as vice chair, succeeding Susan Marks, who will also complete her term this year. Erickson brings a wealth of experience to the Thriving Youth Task Force. She has served our community on the PTO executive boards of Hindley Elementary, Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School and was a board member, Youth Asset Team adult advisor, and Community Investment executive board member for The Community Fund of Darien.

Doug Lennox Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers Hires New Swim Coach, an Olympics Competitor With Broad Experience

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Chelsea Piers Connecticut has hired Doug Lennox, a 2008 Beijing Olympian, as head coach of the Chelsea Piers Aquatics Club. — an announcement from Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Lennox comes to Connecticut from Princeton University, where he served his alma mater for the last four years as the men’s assistant swim coach & recruiting coordinator. “After my experiences at Princeton, I feel it is time for me to return to my roots and work with younger athletes” Lennox said. “I am eager to bring my knowledge, experience and passion to age group and senior level student-athletes who are striving to compete at the collegiate & international levels.”

The search for a new coach identified candidates from across the country, Chelsea Piers Connecticut Athletic Director Kevin Burton said. Lennox is the first coach Burton has recruited.

TL Duryea dress

Art Exhibit, Family Event in New Canaan to Promote Girls’ Confidence

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The Carriage Barn Arts Center will open an exhibit, May 27, “She Is Rising,” a celebration of women of various ages, backgrounds and ethnicities — some captured from life, and others imagined — who represent female power. — an announcement from LiveGirl

LiveGirl, a co-sponsor of the exhibit, also will host a “celebratory event” outside the Carriage Barn on Friday, June 4. “Family Fun Friday” is a “celebration of female power and the arts” featuring carnival games, an art scavenger hunt, cocktails, Flaco’s Taco Truck, Darien artist/activist TL Duryea “completing a masterpiece,” live music by Melissa Wasserman. Family Fun Friday runs from 5 to 7 p.m., June 4. Tickets are $25 and available here, on the LiveGirl website.

The birds and the bees presentations at Darien Library

Darien Library Presents Online Discussions for Parents on Talking About ‘The Birds and the Bees’

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Unsure of how to start a conversation about reproduction or sexual health with your children? Join Amanda D. Romaniello, a licensed professional counselor, in Darien Library’s “Birds and the Bees” programs to learn how to discuss topics in an informational yet developmentally appropriate way. Romaniello has over a decade of experience in the mental health field. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and an M.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is currently in private practice in Fairfield.

Phone Internet Web

Internet Safety Webinar for Parents Thursday Night, April 22

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In a 90-minute webinar Thursday night, April 22, Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts will present the positives and pitfalls of today’s most popular programs to help parents decide what’s right for their families. — an announcement from Darien Library, The Depot Youth Center and the Darien Police Association
Topics covered include:
•        Social Networking: Concerns parents should have
•        Cyberbullying: How to talk to your children about getting involved
•        Texting and Sexting
•        Popular/Trending Apps
•        Picture Sharing
•        Privacy Settings: Understanding the importance
•        Digital Footprints: Positive and negative impacts
•        Apps / programs that help parents monitor their families
•        Parental controls and available resources
69– Percentage of teens who regularly receive personal messages from people they have never met.      11 – Average age of children when they are first exposed to Internet pornography.      33 – Percentage of teens who admit they have been the victim of cyberbullying.     365+ – Connecticut schools and organizations who have hosted Internet Safety Concepts for stunts and parents.

YWCA Darien/Norwalk Stand Against Racism

YWCA Darien/Norwalk Launches ‘Stand Against Racism’ Essay, Poster, Poetry Contest for Grades 6 to 12

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The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is launching an Essay + Poster Art + Poetry Youth Contest to provide Darien and Norwalk students in Grades 6 to 12 an outlet to explore racism in a safe, accessible manner. — an announcement from the YWCA Darien/Norwalk

The contest invites students from Norwalk and Darien to use their creativity as a tool to Stand Against Racism. All students in Grades 6 through 12 are eligible and encouraged to participate by responding to the prompt: #How I Take A Stand Against Racism. It is the hope of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk that within the context of local and national events students take some time and reflect on what they are seeing in the world around them and demonstrate through their creativity how they can have an impact. The contest’s goal is to highlight how students take action when faced with challenges resulting from racism, and to encourage students to share their experiences and ideas with the community.

If They Had Known documentary poster

Online Documentary for Teens, Parents on Combining Prescriptions, Alcohol: Online Wednesday

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“If They Had Known,” a 35-minute documentary about an accidental death that shouldn’t have happened, will be presented online, for free,, by New Canaan Cares and Silver Hill Hospital. The documentary, recommended for teens age 13 and up and their parents, will be available online starting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 14. A discussion will follow with Dr. Frank Bartolomeo, Silver Hill Hospital director of adolescent services. Partying in high school and college is nothing new, but how kids party these days has changed. To attend this virtual program, you can register here.

The Dinosaur Place, an Attraction for Dino-Loving Kids, Opens for the Season in Montville

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If your kids love dinosaurs and you’re looking for something different in a daytrip, a place with 50 life-sized models of dinosaurs and a variety of amusements at the eastern end of the state could be just what makes that day the best one of spring break. Nature’s Art Village, which includes The Dinosaur Place, its 60-acre “Outdoor Adventure Park,” is now open for the 2021 season. It takes a while to get there from here — an hour and 14 minutes along I-95, according to Google Maps, but your kids may be so tuckered out that they’ll be sleeping on the return trip. Here’s how the business describes The Dinosaur Place in its announcement about the season opening:
Home to over 50 life-sized dinosaurs on pristine nature trails, The Dinosaur Place is filled with fun adventures including a dinosaur-themed maze, two caves with animatronic dinosaurs, Monty’s Playground, featuring T-Rex Tower, and TWO brand-new exhibits which will be making their debut throughout the spring and summer in the newest section of the park, Lapilli Landing. These attractions include Peewee Putters, a 6-hole miniature golf experience for children of every age, and Pedal Pushers, an equestrian-themed pedal kart track for ages 6 and up weaving its way around the new addition.

Red Curtain

Tween and Teen ONLINE Theatre Workshop: The Wizard of Oz

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Aspiring actors and actresses will love this theatre workshop! In a playful environment, tweens and teens will create fantastic improvisations under the guidance of drama teacher Ingrid Schaeffer. Together, the theatre group will perform an inspired version of “The Wizard of Oz” after reading through the script. All you need to participate is an active imagination! This free workshop, meant for teens and tweens from ages 11 to 18, takes place from 1 to 2:15 p.m., Saturday, April 10.

Learn How to Best Honor Your Loved One With A Great Obituary

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Learn the basics of how best to honor your loved one with an obituary in this hour-long class with Jamie Passaro, who runs dear person obits based in Eugene, Oregon. — an announcement from Darien Library

Writing an obituary is an important task. Obituaries are history, journalism, and poetry. They are often the last word. All participants will receive Jamie’s 25-page booklet “Writing an Obituary in Four Easy Steps.”

Mother's Day sign 2021 Thank You for Bee-ing an Amazzzzing Mom

Get Mom a Personalized Lawn Sign from Darien Arts Center for Mother’s Day

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Personalized lawn signs for moms may be ordered through the Darien Arts Center website until April 25, and will be hand-delivered on Saturday, May 8 – just in time for Mother’s Day. — an announcement from Darien Arts Center

The Darien Arts Center is pleased to announce its spring fundraiser, “Sign of My Love,” which celebrates loved ones by gifting them with a customized lawn sign and message. The lawn signs (Delivery to Darien addresses only) are a perfect and unique way to show your love for Mother’s Day, or recognize a special person, while supporting the Darien Arts Center. Signs are $30 each and there are 3 designs from which to choose. Signs may also be picked up at the Darien Arts Center office (2 Renshaw Road, Darien) on Thursday, May 6th and Friday, May 7th, between 10AM-3PM.

Sensory Friendly Evening Maritime Aquarium

Maritime Aquarium Offers a ‘Sensory-Friendly’ Night April 8 for Those Who Need It

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is planning a special evening on Thursday, April 8 to give guests with sensory-processing differences a fun, comfortable and accepting environment. — an announcement from The Maritime Aquarium

During this “Sensory-Friendly Evening,” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., lights in the Aquarium will be lower, and music and other sounds will be turned down or off. Plus, admission will be discounted, and the aquarium will show movies in the new 4D Theater without special effects. Tom Naiman, the aquarium’s director of education, said the Aquarium created “Sensory-Friendly” events in 2016 to be supportive of children and adults with special needs who may find a visit to the aquarium too stressful. “We have been offering occasional ‘Sensory-Friendly’ events in recognition that some elements of our exhibits can present a challenge because the spaces may be seen as too bright or loud or crowded for some people,” Naiman said.