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REACH Shows Interest In Relocating To Fairfield Hills



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"Our board is really excited" about the prospect of locating REACH Newtown headquarters to Fairfield Hills, potentially in a duplex similar to the building recently refurbished for Parent Connection, said Director Adam Carley on Monday, November 28. "We're always bringing our kids up here; we're familiar with the campus."

REACH (Resiliency, Empathy, Acceptance, Confidence, Hope) is a Newtown-based nonprofit with programming and support aimed at empowering children. The organization provides one-on-one mentoring, individualized support, weekly expeditions including outdoor recreation, summer programming, camps, and more.

"We thought of the potential with the fields, a community center," he said. The parklike Fairfield Hills grounds include playing fields and hiking trails that already host some REACH activities, and will soon include a community center/aquatic center, which is in the preconstruction planning stages.

The prospect of relocating its current headquarters at 17 Church Hill Road to a revamped duplex building is a "great opportunity," Mr Carley said.

Addressing the Fairfield Hills Authority at its November meeting that evening, he explained that his organization provided weekly programming for at-risk children, offering opportunities for higher risk participants. The REACH director "wants the opportunity to explore the duplex," he said. "We're very interested" in exploring grants and funding potential to refurbish a building. Town Grants Coordinator Christal Preszler said she had spoken with Mr Carley, and he and his board are aware that renovations to the duplex housing Parent Connection had cost roughly $750,000. Town and grant money contributed to that funding.

REACH potentially has private donor support and would like to further discuss grants and matching grant opportunities, Mr Carley said. He said his organization is in the preliminary stages of learning if a duplex is feasible.

"As the new year approaches, we will explore options," he said. "It's exciting for the kids we have to enjoy the space up here," he said of the sprawling campus.

"I'm excited at the potential of it," Ms Preszler said.

Authority Chairman Ross Carley said, "We're all in favor." He noted also that several duplexes remain at Fairfield Hills and could be available. Regarding REACH, he said, "We appreciate their desire to come here. It's a very positive thing."

The chairman said, "We want to support this," and offered his support "for anything we can help with."

According to reachnewtown.org, "REACH Newtown exists to: promote compassion, empathy, integrity, and social accountability among our children, and prevent any child from feeling alone, forgotten, undervalued, bullied, or hopeless." The organization offers mentorships, and "matches kids in 3rd to 8th grade with a high school mentor for one-to-one support, encouragement, and friendship. Mentors and Mentees take part in organized electives that cover health & wellness, academic enrichment, fine arts, community service, and athletics."

The site states: "Our Ascension program serves at-risk children by removing obstacles and putting them on a trajectory for success. REACH Ascension is about helping children discover and believe in their inner greatness. We aim to recognize individual needs and cultivate an individualized plan to aid in the development of the whole child." The site also offers details about its expeditions, summer camps, tutoring, and more.

REACH began nearly seven years ago.

"The origins of REACH stretch back to the fall of 2010 when Adam Carley and a small group of educators set out to support at-risk children at an individual level with a network that connects home, school, and community," the site states. "That vision became a reality with the creation of the PEAK (Promoting Excellence in All Kids) organization. Since that time, PEAK has evolved into a sustainable and effective model for at-risk kids from 3rd grade through high school."

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