Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR)
Development Office
Connecticut Junior Republic
550 Goshen Road, P. O. Box 161
Litchfield, CT 06759
Telephone 860-567-9423 x252
Fax 860-567-8127

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22ND ANNUAL CJR INVITATIONAL GOLF BENEFIT
TO BE HELD JUNE 19
The 22nd annual CJR Invitational Golf Benefit will be held on Monday, June 19, at the Torrington Country Club, with a 12 noon shot gun start.  Robert G. Phelan of Avon, Chairman and CEO of TriPoint, a performance-based insurance company based in Avon, is Chairman of the event.  Gregory S. Oneglia of Litchfield, Vice Chairman of the Torrington-based O&G Industries, is Founding Chairman.  O&G Industries is Connecticut's largest, privately held construction company.  

The following individuals are Vice Chairs of this year's benefit:
- John F. Boyd of Litchfield, Community Involvement
- Bill Dranginis of Litchfield, Golf
- Jennifer Parsons of Litchfield and Tina Posila of Wolcott, Prizes and Promotion
- Louisa Roraback of Goshen, Volunteers
- Jessica O. Travelstead, Sponsors

Celebrity participants for the day include NBC-30 news anchor Gerry Brooks and meteorologist Bob Maxon.  

Top contributors include the New Britain-based American Savings Foundation, which is the Premier Sponsor for the event.  Acramon Masonry, Anderson Kill and TriPoint, are Emerald Sponsors.  This year's event will include a Grand Prize drawing for a three-night, four day, all-inclusive stay at the luxurious Majestic Colonial Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, including a generous voucher towards round-trip airfare for two to the Caribbean. The Mitchell Auto Group, with dealerships in the Farmington Valley and Litchfield Hills, will donate an automobile for a Hole in One contest.

According to Event Chairman Robert Phelan, net proceeds of at least $75,000 are anticipated for this year's event.  Mr. Phelan indicated that all monies raised will benefit the approximately 2,000 at-risk, special needs and troubled children, youth and families that the Junior Republic serves annually through 11 program sites across Connecticut.

The CJR Invitational was established by Gregory Oneglia in 1996.  He expressed particular gratitude to this year's event's sponsors, a number of which have supported the benefit annually since its inception.  "We are very fortunate to have such loyal and generous participants," he stated.   "Our sponsors have helped us raise cumulative net proceeds that will exceed $1.4 million with this year's funds," he noted.

According to Mr. Phelan, the event also benefits from a committed and experienced team of volunteers.  "Some of our volunteers have been associated with the CJR Invitational since it was established in 1996.   
"I think we all share a commitment to helping CJR," he said.  
Daniel Rezende, Executive Director of the Connecticut Junior Republic, thanked the event's volunteers for their service.  "The outstanding leadership provided by Greg Oneglia, Bob Phelan and our volunteer team, enables us to conduct a memorable event and to raise significant and much-needed support to help some of Connecticut's most vulnerable young people and families," he noted.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization's combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 11 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group homes in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls in Waterbury.  A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive home-based services, and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's community-based locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.   Behavioral and mental health services are provided at most of the above locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on    Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut's public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email: hbarton@cjryouth.org.

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Connecticut Junior Republic Announces Campus Tours
The Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) recently announced that monthly tours of its Litchfield Campus will be offered for those interested in learning more about its programs and services.  Tours will be offered throughout the year on the following Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. on June 22, July 27, August 24, September 21, October 26, November 30, and December 21, 2017

The Junior Republic's 150-acre campus is located 2.5 miles north of the center of Litchfield on Route 63.  Tours will include the Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, the Michael P. Mortara Family Center and Wellness Center for Children, Youth and Families, the Bertha M. Wheeler Gymnasium and Pool Complex, the Robert W. Loomis Agricultural Center (CJR Farm), and a cottage residence.

Reservations for each tour date are requested and may be made by calling the CJR Development Office (860-567-9423, ext. 252) no later than the Tuesday afternoon preceding each tour date.

"The CJR Board of Directors joins me in encouraging members of the community to visit our Litchfield Campus," stated CJR Executive Director, Daniel W. Rezende.   "We hope participants will come away with a better sense of the many important ways we help at-risk, special needs and troubled boys, girls and families from Litchfield County, northwest Connecticut and the entire state of Connecticut," he said.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization's combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 11 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group homes in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls in Waterbury.  A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive home-based services, and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's community-based locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.   Behavioral and mental health services are provided at most of the above locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on    Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut's public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email: hbarton@cjryouth.org.

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On May 6th, The Litchfield Aid of CJR conducted its Kentucky-Derby-themed event, Horses and Hats in the Hills.  Net proceeds in excess of $27,000 were raised to benefit the approximately 2,000 boys and girls who are helped annually by the care, treatment and education programs provided by the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) in 11 program locations across the state.

The members of The Litchfield Aid of CJR thank all who supported this event through their participation and generous contributions.  Please click here to enjoy a slide show featuring this benefit.  

The Litchfield Aid of CJR was established in 1911 to support the programs of the Connecticut Junior Republic.  To learn more about The Litchfield Aid, please visit our website: www.litchfieldaid.org.

To learn more about the Connecticut Junior Republic and its services for children and families, please click here: www.ctjuniorrepublic.org.

With appreciation to all who supported Horses and Hats in the Hills,

Patricia Hearn, President
The Litchfield Aid of CJR

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Horses and Hats event a success for Litchfield Aid
Litchfield.bz (05-09-17)
Declan Murphy shows off his dancing skills at the Horses and Hats in the Hills fundraiser held by the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic. BZ photos

It was quite the evening at the Litchfield Inn on Saturday as the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic held its Horses and Hats in the Hills fundraiser in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby. The event drew 170 supporters of CJR and raised $45,000 for the organization.
Hugh Schoelzel cut a dashing figure.

Jim Stedronsky with, from left, Ruthann Olsson,
Mary Tavino and Nancy MacMillan-Stedronsky.

Jeannine Cooper, left, with Clifford Cooper and Eileen Litwin.

Paul Madore and Frank Fontana

Ron Leal with Martha Green, left, and Marla Patterson.

Peter and Mary Tavino

Cathy Fields and Nat Worden

Bibby Veerman and Joyce Briggs

Miles Borzilleri and Ken Merz

Ruthann Olsson and her first-place hat.

Local sports celebrity Brent Hawkins and his wife, Mary.

Tom Curran conducts the auction.

Jackie Zdanis holds one of the auction items.

The Nutmeg Ballet dancers perform.

Attendees watch the Kentucky Derby.

Norman and Trudie Hamilton cut the rug.

Kim and Bob D'Andrea and their daughter, Tiffany.

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Junior Republic (CJR) Receives Major Gift from The Litchfield Aid
Pamela McCann, President of The Litchfield Aid of CJR, recently presented the organization's 2016 contribution of $87,310 to Declan Murphy, President and Daniel Rezende, Executive Director of the Litchfield-based Connecticut Junior Republic. This gift represents $43,000 in proceeds from the Aid's High Stakes in the Hills Roaring 20's Speak Easy Gala last spring, as well as funds from the Aid's endowment, contributions from members, and proceeds from its October Bake Sale at CJR's Cars for Kids Automobile Show and Holiday Market fundraiser, held last month.

L-R: Pamela McCann, of Litchfield, President of The Litchfield Aid of CJR; Declan Murphy of Litchfield, President of the CJR Board of Directors; and Daniel Rezende, Executive Director, Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR).  Photo Credit: Francine Spencer

The 2016 gift is one of the largest annual contributions that The Litchfield Aid has made to CJR and will help to provide after-school and work-based learning programs for CJR boys and girls from the organization's Torrington Teen Outreach Program; music education for boys attending CJR's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center in Litchfield; and behavioral and mental health services for local children and families served by CJR's Wellness Center.  Scholarships will be provided for CJR students through the monies from The Litchfield Aid's Caroline Lillie Fund. These funds will enable CJR to assist alumni in obtaining a college or technical school education after graduating from high school.  

CJR President Declan Murphy expressed gratitude to the Aid for its exceptional support of the Junior Republic and for inspiring the generosity of others in the community for more than 100 years.  "The funds donated by the Litchfield Aid make a vital difference to CJR's ability to provide innovative programs and a therapeutic environment for the young people we serve from communities throughout Connecticut," he noted.  "Aid members also fulfill an important role in the community as goodwill and educational ambassadors, and this assistance has never been more important to CJR than it is today," he continued.  According to Mr. Murphy, countless friends and supporters have been introduced to the organization through their participation in The Litchfield Aid and its growing cadre of activities.  He expressed special appreciation to President Pamela McCann, for her outstanding leadership, which made possible The Aid's April, 2016 High Stakes in the Hills fundraising gala, as well as a bake sale that members organized in support of CJR's Car Show, and the very successful Holiday Market in December.  Combined, these events raised nearly $50,000 in net proceeds.
                                                
"The Litchfield Aid is CJR's most historic, committed and dedicated friend," stated CJR Executive Director Daniel Rezende.  "Its members have contributed more than 105 years of service on behalf of the Junior Republic and the young people we serve, as well as millions of dollars to provide improvements to CJR's programs, services and facilities," he continued.  

Litchfield Aid officers for the 2016-2017 year are:  Pamela McCann of Litchfield, President.  She is retired Division Vice President, Verizon and currently a business consultant.  Laura Lasker of Goshen is Vice President.  Ms. Lasker recently retired as an art teacher with the Woodbury Regional School District.  She is also a dog portrait artist and owner of bowwowportraits.com.   Kathleen Van Ormer of Litchfield is Treasurer.  She is Vice President and Operations Manager, Wealth Management, Union Savings Bank.   Roberta Witty of Litchfield is Assistant Treasurer.  She is Research Vice President at Gartner, Inc.  Patricia Hearn of Litchfield is Recording Secretary.  Ms. Hearn is retired from the insurance industry.

A voluntary organization comprised of approximately 100 members, the Litchfield Aid was established in 1911, just seven years after the founding of the Connecticut Junior Republic, for the sole purpose of supporting CJR programs and facilities.  Since that time, the Aid has raised more than $2.5 million to ultimately benefit the children, youth and families served by the Junior Republic.  "It is a privilege and an honor to be leading such a talented, enthusiastic and dedicated group of individuals," stated Ms. McCann.  "We all believe in CJR's mission of service to help at-risk and troubled children and families, and our accomplishments are inspired by CJR's work," she said.

According to Ms. McCann, the Litchfield Aid is planning its next major event for spring of 2017.  "Our spring benefit is a Kentucky Derby-themed event, "Horses and Hats in the Hills," and will be held on the first Saturday in May, at Tavern Off the Green" she stated.  Ms. McCann indicated that more information about the event will be announced shortly.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they can become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization's combined programs serve approximately 1,800 boys and girls annually in 11 locations throughout Connecticut.

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CJR Announces New Residential Program in Litchfield
Daniel W. Rezende, Executive Director of the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR), has announced the official opening of a new residential program on the organization's Litchfield campus.  

The new Connecticut Junior Republic Residential Program (CJRRP) is funded by DCF and is a four month program for up to eight young men, ages 14 to 18, who have been committed to DCF for substance abuse treatment needs and may also have co-occurring behavioral health disorders.  The CJRRP incorporates Multi-dimensional Family Therapy (MDFT), a family-based treatment developed for adolescents with drug and behavior problems and for substance abuse prevention with adolescents.

CJR's new residential program was licensed by DCF on July 1.  Based in the Junior Republic's newly-renovated Hartford Cottage, the CJRRP is designed to decrease recidivism and criminal activity; decrease substance use dependence; improve educational functioning and mental health; and increase stability and overall family functioning.  Intensive integrated behavioral health and therapeutic substance abuse services are provided for all enrolled youth.  Program participants attend the Junior Republic's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center and also benefit from all of the educational, recreational and therapeutic resources located on the organization's 150-acre rural Litchfield campus.

Intensive and comprehensive aftercare services are coordinated for enrolled youth as a part of the program.  Utilizing evidence and research-based programming and pro-social activities, CJRRP staff work extensively with boys and their families to ensure re-engagement and connection to family, community and other support networks.  Multi-dimensional Family Therapy is integrated into all components of the program to achieve these goals and post-residential services are provided through community-based services.  During the first year of operation, it is anticipated that 24 to 32 boys will be served.

"While the Department has moved away from congregate care - we have reduced its use by two-thirds - this is the kind of residential program that fits with the new direction we have set under the Administration of Governor Dannel Malloy," Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said. "It is family focused, and its strong emphasis on transitioning youth back to home and community will support more children living with families and receiving needed services."

"This new program is an example of a public/private collaboration which will ensure that a population of young people with service needs can be helped in the most positive and least restrictive manner, and in a way that supports and strengthens the entire family," stated Mr. Rezende.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they can become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization's combined programs serve approximately 1,800 boys and girls annually in 11 locations across Connecticut.

The Junior Republic serves more than 100 young men annually through three residential programs on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is also located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are provided through CJR's education programs as well.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group home in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls at its CARE Community Residential Program in Waterbury.  

A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive home-based services, and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.  Behavioral and mental health services are provided in Litchfield and at most of the above community locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on    Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and
by Connecticut's public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email: hbarton@cjryouth.org.

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CJR OFFERS OUTREACH PROGRAM
FOR TORRINGTON TEENS
The Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) has a limited number of openings in its Teen Outreach Program (TOP) for Torrington boys and girls entering grades 7 through 12 during the 2016-17 School Year.  This evidence-based, best practice, after-school program enrolls up 50 students and applications are currently being accepted.  CJR's Teen Outreach Program is funded by the Department of Social Services and with supplemental support provided by the Litchfield Aid of CJR.  There is no charge to young people and their families.  Students must be between the ages of 12 to 17 to participate.

This nationally recognized program consists of four age/stage appropriate levels, and is designed to help students learn about and achieve healthy development in the following areas: values; relationships; communication and assertiveness; influence; goal-setting; decision-making; human development and sexuality; and community service.  

Students participate in three interrelated program components, including supervised community service; group discussions; and activities related to key social and developmental tasks of adolescence.  In each program component, youth work in small groups with a facilitator.  Values, human growth and development, relationships, and dealing with family stress and issues relating to the social and emotional transition from adolescence to adulthood are discussed.  In these sessions, participating boys and girls strengthen and enhance their communication and decision-making skills.  Students develop service learning projects which are then implemented within their home environments.  These projects combine education and community service goals and empower young people to be successful while rewarding healthy behaviors, improved life skills and coping abilities and a sense of purpose.  Program services are provided at CJR's offices on 168 South Main Street in Torrington on an after-school basis.

According to CJR Executive Director Daniel W. Rezende, CJR's Teen Outreach Program educates teens about the consequence of risky behaviors, including violence and sexual activity, and is one of an increasing number of evidence-based programs that the Junior Republic provides for at-risk boys and girls.  Proven outcomes of this program model include a 52 percent lower risk of school suspensions; 60 percent lower risk of academic failure; 53 percent lower risk of pregnancy; and 60 percent lower risk of dropping out of school.

"We are pleased to be able to offer this program for Torrington boys and girls and to provide an important educational resource for the community," he stated.  Students will attend the TOP weekdays during the school year, from 2:30 to 5:00 PM.   Fridays are generally used for scheduled community service learning activities.  It is anticipated that a work-based learning summer program will be offered in 2017.  This summer experience includes a vocational agriculture component on the CJR Farm and a Culinary Arts class in CJR's commercial kitchen.  Based on available funding, a Culinary Arts program will also be offered twice a week after school during the school year.

Parents who wish to enroll their children in the Teen Outreach Program should contact Kristen Apruzzeze, Program Facilitator, by phone: 860-482-7600, or by email: kapruzzeze@cjryouth.org, as soon as possible as spaces are limited.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they can become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization's combined programs serve approximately 1,800 boys and girls annually in 11 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic serves more than 100 young men annually through three residential programs on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR's Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group home in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls at its CARE Community Residential Program in Waterbury.  A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive home-based services, and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.  Behavioral and mental health services are provided in Litchfield and most of the above community locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on    Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut's public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email: hbarton@cjryouth.org.

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High Stakes in the Hills a Roaring '20s celebration
Litchfield.bz (05-01-16)
Carrying out the planning of High Stakes in the Hills Saturday night at the Torrington Country Club were, from left, Ruth Ann Olsson, Laura Lasker, Pamela McCann, Julith Sink and Dyanne Castelli. ~ BZ photos

The creative folks of the Litchfield Aid of the Connecticut Junior Republic did it again on Saturday night with their High Stakes in the Hills Roaring '20s fundraiser at the Torrington Country Club in Goshen,

The star-studded gala drew 205 supporters of the Aid and was expected to raise up to $70,000 for the organization. It came on the heels of the Aid's highly-successful fashion show in October 2014.

Aid member Julith Sink conceived the idea for High Stakes in the Hills and executed it with the help of Aid President Pamela McCann and Aid board members Ruth Ann Olsson, Laura Lasker and Dyanne Castelli, Other members of the event planning committee pitched in as well.

Bob D'Andrea and his ladies, wife, Kim, and daughter, Tiffany,
who played a cigarette and candy girl.

Norman and Trudie Hamilton display their dance skills.

Mike Castelli mans the blackjack table.

Connecticut Junior Republic Executive Director Dan Rezende tries his hand at craps.

Virginia Budney, left, and Courtney Gibson.

Father Tucker graces the dance floor with JoAnna Kostner.

Julith and Gary Sink

Hugh and Ronni Schoelzel

Nutmeg Conservatory dancers entertained the crowd.

Cigarette and candy girls, from left, Tiffany D'Andrea,
Jacqueline Zdanis, Alyssa Smith and Ali Morosani.

Peter Tavino deals the cards in blackjack.

From left, Steve Reiss, Mary Mattingly and Mark Jaffe.

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Farm to Table Experience Benefits CJR Students
When a teenaged boy at the Connecticut Junior Republic is visibly disappointed over the prospect of being denied a third helping of Brussels sprouts - it’s clear that the D'Assern Dining Hall is a far cry from your typical school cafeteria. At the Junior Republic, students routinely show endless gratitude for the meals they are served and often have a healthier diet than some of the CJR staff - myself included. Our students are enthusiastic and open minded about farm fresh vegetables, “from-scratch" cooking, and about broadening their culinary horizons.

How does CJR accomplish this seemingly monumental task here on our Litchfield campus? Our most potent resource for shattering the current stigma of school lunches is the Connecticut Junior Republic farm and its agricultural science program. Using socially and economically responsible and sustainable growing methods, our staff work side by side with students in planning, planting, cultivating and harvesting a wide array of crops, right here on CJR's 150-acre campus.

All of this activity takes place a short distance from our kitchen, and CJR's grateful chefs eagerly await the arrival of the most incredible produce on a constant basis during the growing season. In many cases, we are able to work with produce from the farm mere minutes after it was carefully picked and hand delivered - by the same students who were involved in the growing process. During the growing season, our vocational agriculture program provides the freshest and most stunning asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, kale, potatoes, summer squashes, autumn squashes, raspberries, tomatoes, and peppers I have ever had the privilege of working with as a chef - and these are just a few of the items harvested!

Part of the beauty of this system is the connection our students have to the food they are so involved in cultivating. This connection allows the students involved to approach these amazing fruits and vegetables with an open mind and an enthusiasm that would almost certainly be lacking otherwise. It also creates a healthy "buzz" on our Litchfield campus about sustainable and healthy food. This reverberates into our dining hall, throughout the CJR Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center and our residential cottages - and beyond.

The CJR Farm also has a variety of animals that our students enjoy caring for as a part of their vocational agriculture experience. While none of the pigs, cows, sheep, goats, and chickens we raise on the farm are processed or used for food on campus, we do serve dishes that feature meat and dairy, as the animal science is an important part of the agriculture program. Last year, thanks to a generous foundation grant, the students started a fish farm and are raising tilapia!

In celebration of these unique resources we will be sharing some of our favorite recipes on CJR’s Facebook page and via the CJR website. Many of these recipes are inspired by the farm to table experience we provide at the Junior Republic and by the stunning produce grown by our students. We hope you will watch for these recipes and related postings in the future.

Best regards,
Chef Mike Cantu

P.S.  Our first recipe is the Apple Barbecue Pulled Pork featured in the Hot Rod Special sandwich plate - a huge hit at CJR’s Annual Cars for Kids Automobile Show. It is also a highly anticipated menu item in the D’Assern Dining Room - and would be a perfect addition to a winter menu or Super Bowl party.  As we progress into the growing season, future recipes will include more and more of the seasonal fruits and vegetables grown on the CJR farm.  We hope you will visit our Facebook page and website for monthly recipes and related postings throughout the year.  Click here to subscribe to CJR's monthly recipe.