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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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 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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CARS FOR KIDS AUTOMOBILE SHOW
Sunday, October 8, 2017
The Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR), in collaboration with The Valley Collector Car Club (VCCC) and the Litchfield Hills Historical Automobile Club (LHHAC), is pleased to announce the 5th Annual Cars for Kids automobile show on Sunday, October 8th (rain date October 15).


This growing event welcomed nearly 350 exhibitors and 850 spectators in 2016, and is anticipated to draw even more automobiles to CJR's Litchfield campus this year.

Gates open at 8 AM for exhibitors and registration is $10 per car. The first 200 show car registrants receive exhibitor bags. The first 100 exhibitors will also receive dashboard plaques. Spectator gates open at 10 AM and admission is $5 per car (unlimited occupancy). Click here for a sponsorship form or to pledge a donation for this year's exhibitor bags (deadline September 29, 2017).

Students will be serving lunch in the D'Assern Dining Room. Options include pulled pork or breaded chicken breast sandwiches, served with pasta salad, iced tea and cookies. Hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches and hot and cold beverages will be available at the Food Court. Spectacular baked goods will be offered at The Litchfield Aid's bake sale tent and CJR's Roadside Market will be open, offering seasonal produce, flowers and pumpkins, grown on the Junior Republic's farm, as well as products made in vocational classes.

There will be fun for the whole family, including farm tours, hayrides, face and pumpkin painting, and a scavenger hunt!

Proceeds from this event will support the care, treatment and education services that the Junior Republic provides to help at-risk, special needs and troubled boys, girls and families in 11 locations throughout Connecticut. Union Savings Bank is the 2017 Concours Sponsor and FM 97.3 WZBG is the Media Sponsor.

CJR's Litchfield Campus is located at: 550 Goshen Road, Litchfield. For more information about the Cars for Kids Automobile Show click here or please contact the CJR development office: (860) 567-9423, ext. 278.

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Junior Republic Names Jennifer Grant
as Director of Behavioral Health Services
Daniel W. Rezende, MSW, LCSW, Executive Director of the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR), has announced the promotion of Jennifer Grant, LCSW, to the position of Director of Behavioral Health Services for the agency.  Ms. Grant previously served as the Clinic Director for the Junior Republic's Wellness Center Program since 2013, and has been employed by the organization since 2002, excelling in increasingly responsible positions since that time.
Jennifer Grant, LCSW

In her new position, Ms. Grant will oversee CJR's growing Wellness Center Program, which she has played a key role in developing since its initial licensing in the autumn of 2013, as well as all behavioral and mental health services for the organization.  Ms. Grant's recent accomplishments include the establishment of CJR's Wellness Center Program, based in the Michael P. Mortara Family Center on CJR's Litchfield Campus, and the expansion of outpatient psychiatric services in seven other locations across Connecticut, including Danbury, Manchester, Meriden, New Britain, New Haven, Torrington and Waterbury; the development and implementation of a third-party reimbursement system; oversight of a multi-disciplinary team, which includes three psychiatrists and 20 licensed and license-eligible clinicians; obtaining grants to support and implement clinician training in evidence-based treatment models, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC); the development of an intern program for the organization; and the implementation of an Electronic Medical Record system for the Wellness Center Program.  Under Ms. Grant's oversight, the number of youth and families served by CJR's Wellness Center has nearly tripled over the past three years.

In conjunction with her position at CJR, Ms. Grant serves as adjunct faculty and teaches in the Masters of Social Work Programs at Fordham University, the University of Connecticut, St. Joseph University and Simmons College, and in the undergraduate program at Post University.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Salve Regina University and a Master's of Social Work from Fordham University.  A Licensed, Clinical Social Worker, Ms. Grant resides in Torrington with her husband and two daughters.  
"Jennifer Grant is respected for her ability to bring professionals within the organization and in the community together to provide the best quality of care for children, youth and families," observed Mr. Rezende. "Her dedication, passion and commitment to the mission of the Connecticut Junior Republic are always present," he continued.  "She is committed to achieving excellence, and her creativity and dedication to providing services that truly meet the needs of those we serve distinguish her at the Junior Republic and in her field," he stated.

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 service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's community 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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GRANTS HELP JUNIOR REPUBLIC PROVIDE
WORK-BASED LEARNING SUMMER PROGRAM IN WATERBURY
The Connecticut Junior Republic's Waterbury Program is providing a six-week Work-Based Learning Summer Program for 40 at-risk and disadvantaged boys and girls through generous grants of $26,700 from the American Savings Foundation and $8,000 from the Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

The 2017 program includes vocational training in culinary arts, video and media production, horticulture and landscaping, and entrepreneurial skills development.  Participating boys and girls will "work" Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, in one of the four study areas, starting July 3.

The students' educational experience began with a standardized application and interview process for various positions the week of June 26th.  Boys and girls will participate in resume development, as well as interviewing and employment-readiness training.  Each of the four study areas in the "work" components of the program will utilize an entrepreneurship model to develop specific "products" associated with culinary arts, media production, and horticulture and landscaping.  A fourth entrepreneurial skills development class will work with the other program components to market their products and develop promotional materials.  Assigned student teams will work together on projects and develop specific skill sets relevant to the four job areas, and all students will be paid stipends for their participation in the program.  

Boys and girls in the culinary class will cater lunches on a daily basis for CJR programs and other non-profit organizations in the Waterbury area.  The horticulture and landscaping class will create an herb and vegetable garden on the grounds of the Junior Republic's Waterbury facility at 80 Prospect Street.  Produce will be harvested through September and used by the culinary arts class.  The horticulture and landscaping class will also work on community beautification, including weeding and clean up along Prospect, Linden and Grove Streets.  

In addition to completing its own projects, the video and media production class will document the efforts of the other classes.  Photography will also be taught and past student photographs have been used in CJR publications, including the Junior Citizen newsletter and annual report.  The Marzahl Memorial Fund grant is specifically funding the video and media production component of the Work-Based Learning Summer Program.  The Work-Based Learning Summer Program will conclude with a special awards luncheon for the 40 participants and their families.

CJR Executive Director Daniel W. Rezende expressed gratitude to the American Savings Foundation and the Frederick Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, for their generous support of the 2017 Work-Based Learning Summer Program in Waterbury.   

"These grants enable at-risk adolescents who are associated with CJR's Success Always Follows Education (SAFE) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to have a productive and educational work experience, and to maintain the gains they have made during the school year through enrollment in a highly-structured, strength-based summer program," he said.  "This experience provides continuity over the summer and helps students develop practical skills that will facilitate their growth as responsible and contributing participants in the classroom, in their homes, and eventually, in the workplace," he noted.  CJR also conducts teen pregnancy prevention programs for boys and girls in East Hartford, Meriden and Torrington.

"It can be difficult for teenagers to imagine a future career," said Maria Falvo, President & CEO of the American Savings Foundation.  "CJR gives young people a chance to succeed, to build self-confidence, and to see the potential for a rewarding and productive future," she continued.  "We invest in CJR because this is a great program that helps young people stay focused and engaged over the summer, while giving them the experience of holding a job and earning a stipend," she noted.

The American Savings Foundation is an independent charitable foundation dedicated to strengthening the community by supporting education, human services, and the arts, with special emphasis on the needs of children, youth and families, through grants to community organizations and college scholarships.  Since its inception in 1995, the Foundation has contributed $50 million in total grants to local nonprofit organizations and in scholarships to hard-working students in need of financial support.  
The Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund was established in 1974 to support and promote quality education, human services and health care programming for underserved populations in the Woodbury area and is administered by the Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.   

NOTE:  This program provides many wonderful photo opportunities.  To request a photograph or arrange a photo opportunity, please contact Hedy Barton (hbarton@cjryouth.org).

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 service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR's community locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.  Behavioral and mental health services are provided atmost 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.