Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley Collaborates with Stern Center for Language and Learning to Address Social Emotional and Literacy Needs

Feb 2, 2023

Shelton, CT, February 2, 2023 – Youngsters in grades K-5 will soon benefit from a new collaboration between The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley and the Stern Center for Language and Learning. Through an innovative design funded by a generous philanthropist, the Club will hire a social worker/literacy coach to serve the children attending in both Shelton and Ansonia. The program, the David Storrs Project, was created in honor of the late businessman and philanthropist, David Storrs. The effort aims to achieve each organization’s mission more powerfully through a purposeful approach to staff investment and development.

The new Director of Literacy & Social Emotional Learning will provide counseling and support to our members, coordinate with the Boys & Girls Club’s Unit Directors in Shelton and Ansonia to support regular social/emotional programming, work with leadership to enhance the Club environment for members’ healthy social and emotional development, collaborate with other community and government agencies to create partnerships for families in crisis, address staff training needs to improve staff skills, and provide crisis response.

The new position embodies the recognition that literacy and equity are inseparable, both essential for social mobility, meaningful lifelong learning, and self-efficacy. The literacy component will be addressed by infusing literacy into member activities: engaging Club children in effective literacy activities and learning games, immersing them in word-rich surroundings, developing their executive functioning abilities, and nurturing their pride of accomplishment through trusted relationships with literacy mentors. The Director will coordinate with the Boards of Education in Shelton and Ansonia to help identify members needing targeted assistance.

“All of us who are dedicated to a better future must innovate to ensure that every child’s right to read is fulfilled,” says Laurie Quinn, President of the Stern Center. “With only 35% of U.S. students reading proficiently by fourth grade, and even more alarming disparities by race and socioeconomic status, this gift is a force multiplier for our organizations to address this critical need with creativity and focus.”

“The toll of the pandemic on our youth is now truly being seen,” says Shaye Roscoe, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Club. “They are cracking under the strain of social anxiety created by the prolonged upheaval in both their own lives and the world at large. This gift—caring for our members’ social and emotional needs as well as lifting them up with additional literacy support—is an opportunity most of our members would never be able to access on their own, and the results could be truly life changing.”

The Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley is a Connecticut-based nonprofit with on-site programs focused on developing young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors, set personal goals, and live as self-sufficient adults. Programs focus on three core areas: academic success, which includes workforce development; good character and citizenship; and healthy habits. Each of these has the ability to change the course of a child’s life for the better.

The Stern Center for Language and Learning, a Vermont-based education nonprofit with on-site regional and virtual national programs, is known for its expertise in assessing learning differences; providing expert teaching that supports learners in reading, executive function, social communication, and math; and helping teachers and schools gain the evidence-based knowledge and practices that promote successful and equitable outcomes.

To become a member or for more information about the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, visit https://BGC-LNV.org.