DHSPA closeup volunteer with Senior Send-Off sign 2020

DHS Parents Association: Yard Signs Congratulated Each DHS 2020 Senior on Tuesday, More Celebrations Planned

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To the editor,
We are writing to update you on the news surrounding the inaugural Senior Send-Off. Given the uncertainty surrounding social distancing policies for large gatherings, the Darien High School Parents Association (DHSPA) has come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot hold our event as originally envisioned. However, we are currently hard at work planning safe and creative ways to honor all 361 members of the DHS Class of 2020 over the course of the next month. On Tuesday, May 12, parent volunteers placed signs in the yards of each DHS senior. We are grateful to The Depot for their assistance in this project.

Instructor Muffy Pendergast Rowayton Arts Center class 2020

Register Now for Rowayton Arts Center Classes for Kids K to Grade 5

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Rowayton Arts Center is offering two new weekly online art classes for children in Kindergarten through Grade 5. — an announcement from Rowayton Arts Center

Both classes will be taught on Zoom by Muffy Pendergast, the well known “Empress” of New Haven’s annual Giant Puppet and People Making Mayhem Parade. Zoom has now made it possible to share her creative teachings with the students of our community. The classes will be age appropriate and will focus on teaching the various elements of art through engaging and fun-filled projects, using items you already have in your house. Any extra supplies will be delivered to homes on a weekly basis.

CT Lt Gov Susan Bysiewicz wide

TODAY at NOON: CT Virtual Town Hall on Health, Safety Resources for CT Children and Families

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At 12 noon today, Thursday, April 16, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz will host a Virtual-Town Hall regarding some of the health and safety resources available to support Connecticut children and families. Registration in advance is required. The Virtual-Town Hall will feature the Tri-Chairs of the Council on Women and Girls Health & Safety Subcommittee:

—Department of Children and Families, Commissioner Vannessa Dorantes

—Office of Early Childhood, Commissioner Beth Bye

—Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon

Register online here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Editor’s note: This information was passed on to Darienite.com and other news organizations in town by First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.

Darien High School DHS 9-13-16

First Selectman Bans Use of Public Baseball/Softball Fields in Town and Vehicles at Darien High

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Darien High School is shut off to all traffic, other than for COVID-19 testing, “in order to eliminate the public from gathering in a manner that risks the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson declared in a late Friday afternoon proclamation. Also, all public baseball and softball fields in town, both those at town parks and schools, along with the batting cages at McGuane Park “are hereby ordered closed,” the proclamation states. The order banning vehicles only applies to Darien High School and is not “applicable to the other schools within the district until it becomes necessary to do so,” the proclamation states. The order takes effect immediately and “shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency unless earlier modified by the Chief Executive Officer,” the proclamation said. “[T]here is a need to eliminate public gatherings at Darien High School and elsewhere so as to eliminate the possible risks of the spread of COVID-19,” Stevenson says in the proclamation.

Digital Weekends Bruce Museum

Online Activities and Projects You Can Do at Home, from the Bruce Museum

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The Bruce Museum in Greenwich is presenting online short videos and descriptions of projects kids, teens and families can do at home as you socially isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the announcement about the program series, called “Digital Weekends,” from the Bruce Museum:

Digital Weekends with the Bruce are fun, hands-on art and science projects for you and your family. Over the next several weekends, teaching artist Grayson Kennedy and Youth and Family Programs Manager Megan Brown will lead you in an online activity based on exhibitions at the Bruce Museum. Use the linked videos and write-ups to make something fun and creative while you’re home. This week, for our first project, we will explore the artwork of L. A. Ring, whose paintings featured in the exhibition On the Edge of the World: Masterworks by Laurits Andersen Ring from SMK – the National Gallery of Denmark.

Bruce Museum STEAM activity

For Kids in Grades 1 to 5: Bruce Museum Has At-Home STEAM Activities You Can Find Online

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While closed to the public for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich is posting weekly activities involving STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) for kids in Grades 1 through 5 stuck at home. From the museum’s announcement:

Manager of School and Community Programs, Corinne Flax has created weekly STEAM activities for families with children at home. These weekly activities will focus on basic STEAM concepts. Learners will get the chance to design, test, modify, experiment, hypothesize and much more. A little about the series, At Home STEAM Activities:

●     The series is for children ranging from 1st through 5th Grades.  Each activity can take as little as 30 minutes or as much as an entire afternoon, depending on the interest level of your learners.

The Depot

Depot Youth Center Moves Online With These Webinars and Programs

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The Depot Youth Center is using the internet to connect with youth and parents, with three webinars coming up and various Depot groups now online, the organization announced. Programs for Youth
“Teen programs and clubs have been moved to an online platform, including Jesse Lewis Choose Love, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), GNO (Girls Night Out), The Garden Club, the Volunteer Club, Student Governing Board, Respect Works and more,” according to an announcement Darienite.com received Monday. “The hope is for the kids to better manage this crisis together and continue to have a forum in which to connect with one another to alleviate the natural rise of anxiety and depression that social isolation can bring,” the announcement said. Email links have been sent to Depot members. Webinars for Parents
From the announcement:

The Depot will remain a source of support for the parent community as well — we are focusing to provide webinars and online support on subjects that are top of mind right now.

Webinar College Planning April 1 2020

Webinar: Academics and College Planning in Today’s New Environment

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In a live, online presentation, the founder and CEO of Carnegie Prep will discuss how families navigate the changing world of academics and college admissions amid school closures and standardized test cancellations. Starting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 1, Lynn Carnegie will discuss the importance of creating a plan for each student, from focusing on academics, online learning, and structure right now to preparing for the SAT, ACT, AP Exams, and Subject Tests this spring and summer. The event is sponsored by the Depot, Darien Youth Center and requires online registration. Register here and take a brief survey to help Carnegie tailor her talk to address your child’s situation. You will receive the link the our webinar upon confirmation of the online form.

Jayme Stevenson somber

First Selectman to Those Gathering in Groups at Darien Parks: Don’t You Make Me Shut Them Down

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First Selectman Jayme Stevenson says people using town parks need to avoid gathering in groups to prevent spread of COVID-19 — or she’ll have to shut them the parks down, which she said would be a shame. As of Wednesday, it partly started: The Darien Parks and Recreation Department has already shut down use of tennis and paddle courts at town parks at Stevenson’s direction, as announced in this tweet:


“Socially distancing is the most important thing for us to do right now,” Stevenson said. “We can stop this virus in its tracks if we all pledge to ourselves and one another that we’re going to follow the appropriate social distancing protocols.” Stevenson urged parents to tell their children to stop gathering in groups in their neighborhoods or elsewhere in town, and she said that at this time play dates are a bad idea, as well:

“It would be a terrible thing for any one of us to have the virus, not be symptomatic and transfer it to one of our friends, one of our loved ones, our parents, our grandparents — somebody with a medical condition. “So please: You cannot gather.”

Shark Maritime Aquarium

Presenting the Maritime Aquarium Online: Including Live Q&As, Streaming IMAX Movies

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering special online ways for guests and educators to still connect and learn during the current COVID-19 time of closure, including live Q&As with staff as well as streaming IMAX movies. — an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium

On March 17, the Maritime Aquarium began offering live Q&As with members of its Animal-Husbandry team at 3 p.m. each day on the Aquarium’s Facebook page. Each session will mainly focus on an animal or topic shown via recorded video, but questions can be about any related Aquarium subject. Questions can be submitted any time between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. via the Aquarium’s social-media pages – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – and then live on Facebook during the 3 p.m. “Watch Party” webcast. “We very strongly feel the need to make our resources available to our guests, members and schools, even though we are required to be apart,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth.

Darien Dash 2018 first place team

You Can Register for This Weekend’s Darien Dash Scavenger Hunt Through Thursday

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Registration is open through Thursday, March 12, for the Darien Youth Commission’s third annual townwide scavenger hunt, the Darien Dash, which takes place on Saturday. — an announcement from the Darien Youth Commission

Teams partaking in the scavenger hunt will compete to score the most points by answering town-based riddles and visiting participating merchants based on clues. The Darien Dash takes place from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, March 14. It begins at the Town Hall gym and ends at The Depot Youth Center on Heights Road, where points will be tallied and prizes given to winners. Participation in the event is open to all ages, but requires a vehicle and driver to travel about town, based on answers to riddles.

DHS Parents Association to Start ‘Senior Send-Off’ Party for Graduating Seniors

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After years of discussions with the high school’s administration, parents and community leaders, the Darien High School Parents Association got the green light earlier this fall to start a new tradition — the “Senior Send-Off.”
Taking place right after the Darien High School prom on Friday, May 15th, the Senior Send-Off will be a fun, inclusive, substance-free celebration for all DHS seniors that provides a final opportunity for them to celebrate with their entire graduating class before they head off to senior internships the following week. — an announcement from the Darien High School Parents Association
Whether students attend prom or not, all DHS seniors are invited to attend. The party’s theme will be a closely guarded secret until students step through the door of the still-secret location that evening, but clues will be given in the weeks leading up to the night full of food, games, entertainment, raffle prizes, memories and more. This celebration is a Darien High School Parents Association (DHSPA) sponsored event being planned and organized by a parent volunteer committee that already boasts nearly 100 parents sworn to secrecy. It will be funded entirely through donations from parents and the community.

Lego Weekend 2020 Maritime Aquarium

This Weekend, March 7 to 8, Is Lego Weekend at the Maritime Aquarium

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Piece together a shark, jellyfish, seal or other marine animal to add to an enormous ocean scene March 7 and 8 during “Lego Weekend” at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. Editor’s note: This is a prudential question for individual parents to answer: Do you mind if your kid goes to an event now or in the very near future where your kid might pick up COVID-19? Or is it better to get your child to some events now, before we find out that COVID-19 is already nearby and it may be much less safe for a while? Now is safer than later, when the pandemic inevitably comes here, but is it safe enough? On the other hand, will you be keeping them at home (when they’re not in school) for months, perhaps well over a year, until a vaccine is created?

Darien Library Introduces New Projects and Tech in Its TEA Room for Kids

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Does your kid use the TEA Room at Darien Library? If your boy or girl in Grades 3 to 6 does use it, here’s what’s new; if they don’t use it, consider this a list of reasons why they might want to. In an email Tuesday the library announced “new, fun projects and tech to explore in the TEA Room,” the library’s mini-makerspace/learning lab/artist studio for kids in Grades 3 to 6. What the TEA Room Is
The library offers classes in the TEA Room on subjects from circuitry to printmaking (learn more about scheduled classes here — although there aren’t any for this week). You’re also welcome to reserve the room to explore all of our supplies and technologies.