September 10, 2018

Nonprofit Notebook — September 10, 2018

Hartford nonprofit Community Renewal Team said it has dissolved its 50-year federal contract to operate a child readiness program serving 300-plus individuals as a result of former employees' behavior that didn't uphold "high quality standards."

CRT's board of trustees recently "reluctantly" voted to end its contract with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to run Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hartford and Middlesex counties. The CRT-contracted program, funded by a Head Start grant of $9.9 million, served over 300 kids in Hartford, Bloomfield, Bristol, Clinton, Middletown and Portland, a CRT spokesman said.

"Due to the recent actions by a few now-former staff members who did not uphold the high quality standards in our classrooms that CRT has upheld for over 50 years, we find ourselves forced to make this difficult decision," said CRT Chairman Fernando Betancourt. A CRT spokesman could not elaborate on how many employees were disciplined or what they did to force the split.

Connecticut's Head Start program is now being operated by the Community Development Institute.

The Mandell Jewish Community Center received a grant from the Cigna Foundation, as well as additional support from Cigna, to support its Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. The program will teach individuals how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain awarded $5,000 grants from its Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund to two organizations in New Britain. The grant recipients include The Salvation Army's Emergency Services Program and Community Mental Health Affiliates' Our Community is Family Program.

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