Parents can never be sure how their children will react to their first day of kindergarten. Some children hop on the bus without hesitation, and maybe slow down long enough to give a wave to their anxious parents before starting a new adventure with future friends. Others will cling, or cry, or worse, making the first day difficult for everyone involved. A five-day, ten-hour program being offered this month by Newtown Youth & Family Services (NYFS) hopes to make that big transition much smoother for parents and children alike. Safety Town will be offered at NYFS during the weeks of July 21–25 and July 28–August 1. It will meet Monday through Friday, 9 to 11 am each day. Safety Town was developed in 1964 as a national program to teach young children important lessons on traffic, fire, water, bus, and bicycle safety, awareness of medicine and poison, and awareness of strangers. But it has an added benefit.
Siblings Nikhil, 16, Jenny, 13, and Maya Wadhwa, 13, of Newtown were granted a Presidential Volunteer Award for their community service over the past year during a ceremony at the Mayor’s Office at Danbury Town Hall last month. The girls received letters from President Barack Obama, certificates, and gold pins for their accomplishment. Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton and United Way of Western Connecticut CEO Kim Morgan were present for the event.
Ken Fay, an elder at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newtown, found himself in an unexpected and thrilling situation on June 7: being applauded by former Star Trek star and well-known actor Leonard Nimoy. Both men were at the New England Emmy Awards presentation at the Copley Plaza in Boston, recipients of what was a first for both of them, an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mr Nimoy received an Emmy for his lifetime achievement in the acting community. Mr Fay, a senior video producer in Seymour for Comcast, is the writer, director and producer of a ten-minute mini-documentary called Wags ‘n’ Tales, a behind the scenes look at the Lutheran Christian Charities (LLC) Comfort Dog Program.
Is musical theater the vehicle for portraying society’s deeper, darker issues and transforming a message from taboo to topical? The Brookfield Theatre of the Arts (TBTA) production of "Next to Normal," a musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, proves that it is exactly the venue for such a conveyance. Exposing the experience of mental illness, this production takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster allowing them to experience the “mountains” that are lost in a fog of pharmaceuticals administered to those in anguish. Once again, under the bold direction of Michael Burnett, TBTA has produced a musical that informs, enlightens, and moves the audience by way of dramatic, powerful performances, lovely voices, and a stirring live rock band. Performances continue weekends through July 26.
What’s not to love about a warm breezy summer evening, a picnic in the park, and songs so familiar and divine you could sing along? There is everything to love about the Musicals at Richter’s production of "Anything Goes," with music and lyrics by the sublime Cole Porter, and book by Guy Bolton, Howard Lindsay, and Russel Crouse. This musical has stood the test of time and continues to entertain and delight. Performances wrapped this past weekend, with the final show offered Saturday, July 12.
The public is invited to join Newtown Parks & Recreation Department staff and supporters on Saturday, July 26, at 11 am, at Dickinson Park for a Dickinson Memorial Playground (FunSpace II) grand opening celebration. “We are very excited to be moving forward with our playground celebration,” Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold told Park and Recreation Commission members Tuesday night, July 8. The day will be a celebration of a “creative and fun” play area that has “come to its full fruition due to hundreds of donations” following 12/14, she said.
After enduring rain squalls and pesky mechanical problems while dodging overly enthusiastic photographers and bugs that hit his facemask like bullets, Newtown Resident Frank Buonanno finally settled back into his life as a semiretired classic car restoration expert. But for nine days in late June, he spent most of each day tightly gripping the wheel of his 1915 Hudson as it careened from Ogunquit, Maine, to The Villages, Fla., in the 2014 Great Race. This was Mr Buonanno’s fourth Great Race adventure behind the wheel of a vintage auto competing against the clock and dozens of other drivers — and his third piloting the Hudson, which has been meticulously restored at his Black Horse Garage in Bridgeport.