On Thursday, September 27, Dr. Elizabeth Williamson, Senior Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Education (New England Region), will visit Meriden. She was invited by Meriden Children First to view first hand local school improvement efforts, the Meriden Family Zone, and downtown transformation efforts.
Dr. Williamson’s visit will begin at Hanover Elementary School at 9:15 a.m., where she will be briefed on the school system’s improvement efforts by Superintendent Dr. Mark Benigni. At Hanover, Dr. Williamson will have an opportunity to address school officials, tour the school, and take part in a roundtable conversation with Hanover staff.
She will then visit the Meriden Family Zone (MFZ) and meet a Zone family. The MFZ is a Children First pilot project supporting families in a distressed area of downtown. It is modeled after the highly successful Harlem Children’s Zone.
At 11 a.m., Dr. Williamson will arrive at Roger Sherman Elementary School, where she will take a tour and participate in a roundtable conversation with local foundations, Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce President Sean Moore, Mayor Michael Rohde, City Manager Lawrence Kendzior, and MFZ staff.
“This visit will give Dr. Williamson an opportunity to see the extensive efforts of city, school and community leaders to improve our schools, including several initiatives made possible through our Promise Neighborhood planning grant,” said Meriden Children First Executive Director David Radcliffe.
Meriden was awarded the $465,000 planning grant through the U.S. Department of Education last December. Since then, hundreds of individuals from dozens of state and local community partner organizations have been working to build upon the already impressive efforts to enhance city schools and neighborhoods and develop a cradle-to-career continuum of supports for Meriden’s children.
“Meriden’s far-reaching school improvement efforts, many of which are already being implemented, together with a massive downtown revitalization project, represent a critical investment in our city’s future—its children,” Radcliffe said.
For more information about Children First, the Meriden Family Zone, or Dr. Williamson’s visit, please contact David Radcliffe at (203) 630-3566.