ELIAS HOWE SCHOOL 287 Clinton Ave. Bridgeport, CT. 06605 (203) 576-8044 Elias Howe Annex 86 Whittier St. Bridgeport, CT. 06605 203-339-8834 The history of Elias Howe School is very extensive and successful. We are very proud to have initiated many of the innovative programs which have been recognized and duplicated throughout the city. We pride ourselves in being the "first" in many areas of education since our doors opened in 1889. In 1971, Elias Howe School initiated the the first Bilingual Kindergarten which has developed into a unique and successful model. Then, in 1974, Howe School introduced the first "Hot Lunch Program" in the Bridgeport School System. In 1984, a "Cluster Program" was initiated after much assessing and planning. This program has served as a foundation for creating an integrated environment at our school, academically, socially and culturally. In 1988, the Southern Connecticut Gas Company adopted Elias Howe School. This partnership has developed into a wonderful relationship between the company employees and our students and staff. Our friends at the SCG both time and money to help motivate our students. Employees from the SCG volunteer their time for READ-A-LOUD, chaperone school trips, that are incentives for honor students and students with perfect attendance. They serve as judges at school contests and fairs, tutor or mentor selected students and provide opportunities for our students to grow academically and socially. Our adopted company helps promote success in our sixth graders by helping to sponsor their promotional exercises in June, where they present saving bonds for students participating in an essay contest and for students showing improvement. These are only a few of the astonishing things these wonderful friends do for our school. We are very lucky to have the support of our "ADOPTED" company, the Southern Connecticut Gas Company. One of our most successful programs came in 1989, when Howe initiated the district's first Bilingual Talented and Gifted Program (TAG). Although Bridgeport had a district TAG program, our program is unique. First of all, it is an in-house program, admitting students that are gifted from within our own population. Secondly, our program is bilingual, with instruction in both English and Spanish, according to the language classification of the students. We are currently servicing students in grades 4 - 8. Our students develop a sense of pride and accomplishment through their work in the T.A.G. Program. Students are given an opportunity to develop higher-order thinking skills, research and writing skills, proficiency in oral presentations, social and personal responsibility as well as developing leadership skills. They develop projects to help improve their community, such as raising money to sponsor Christmas gifts for our troops overseas, collecting food for local shelters, and even designing and creating gardens for the Annex. In addition, the Math Resource Center was created in 1989 to help enhance our math curriculum. This has helped our students do develop skills to improve test scores in both the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT). Our Numeracy Coach has developed a "Family Math Night" which has been very successful, bringing families together for a night of fun and learning. Equally important has been the development of the Family Resource Center (FRC) which opened its doors in 1994. The center is located across the street at Bassick High school as result of the lack of space. However, this does not stop them from being an integral part of our school. They provide our parents and our community opportunities for growth. Parents are encouraged to attend clases in parenting, second language acquisition, GED classes, citizenship classes and much more. Working closely with our parents and the community, our Home School Coordinator has been instrumental in involving parents in our school to take on a more active role in their child's education. The coordinator plans meetings, presentations by speakers and is a liason between the school and the home. Being bilingual, has helped to create a bond between the coordinator and the parents in a very unique way. Finally, during the 2002-2003 school year we had the pleasure of developing a very innovative new program called "Unidos - United: A Dual Language Program". Students in Grades K-5, not only learn English and Spanish, they also have the opportunity of learning about the two cultures. This year the program has continued with the fifth graders and we will add on a grade yearly, so that by the time we graduate our first group, we will have developed a group of bilingual-bi-cultural students. Elias Howe School has a spectacular legacy of being a caring, safe and integral part of the West End community. We are very proud to be part of such a wonderful community which embraces the idea of school and community working together. As the end of Elias Howe School nears we hope to continue this wonderful legacy in our new building, Cesar A. Batalla School, named after an ordinary man that was responsible for extraordinary things happening in our community. We are very proud to have our new building named after a community leader that dedicated his life to helping others. Alma Maya, former executive director for ASPIRA, has said that Mr. Batalla was the glue that kept everybody together. May this spirit of unity reign within the walls of the new Cesar A. Batalla School.