Letter to the Community

Dear Partners,

The ongoing accomplishments of Stamford Cradle to Career are living examples of what can be achieved when the entire community comes together and amplifies the voices of our parents, partners, and students. I am profoundly grateful to the staff of SC2C (Stamford Cradle to Career) for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the families of Stamford. With the combined efforts of over 100 volunteers, representing over 60 Stamford organizations we are actualizing our mission to collectively align community resources to ensure equity and excellence in education, for every child, from cradle to career. I remain affirmed in our work by the continued support of donors and community thought partners. Stamford Cradle to Career continues to thrive through the generosity of visionaries who champion our collective impact approach. Through alignment of strategies and resources we continue to believe that ALL Stamford youth can succeed in education, career, and life. In addition, I am tremendously grateful for the Executive Team and Advisory Board of our organization. Their support, guidance and critical problem-solving approach has helped us grow tremendously this year. 

We continue to serve the families of Stamford through the work of our Community Action Networks (CANs). In 2022 the work of CANs resulted in over 50 community events for students, families, and community providers. With this level of dedication to systems change, Stamford Cradle to Career helped develop over 3,000 members of our learning community.  

In response to information gathered from our students and families we learned there is a need to enhance enrichment and intervention strategies within our Middle Schools. With this task, Stamford Cradle to Career applied to and won a Federal Grant to provide wrap around support in this space. This award of $2.3 million over five-years The Full-Service Community Schools Grant is designed to support Middle School Transition in Stamford Public Schools. SC2C is one of just 42 organizations to receive a 2022 Full-Service Community Schools Grant. Funding will be used to increase social, emotional, mental health, and academic support for students, educators, and families at Stamford Public Schools.   

Lastly, Stamford Cradle to Career is seeking greater involvement from organizations and individuals interested in serving Stamford families. We welcome your ideas and suggestions as well as hearing about your existing challenges. Through this transparent discourse we are fighting for our overarching goal which is to collectively align community resources to ensure that all youth succeed, because successful children lead to a vibrant and thriving community. 

Bringing Community Partners Together

All Stamford youth succeed in education, career and life.

To collectively align community resources to ensure equity and excellence in education, for every child, from cradle to career.

To promote racial equity in all aspects of life in the City of Stamford by promoting understanding and raising awareness.

Network Overview By The Numbers



Currently active can and network members










Early Childhood

All children enter Kindergarten ready to learn

Currently, our 0-5 Early Childhood Community Action Network (CAN) is focused on three main areas: Screenings and Assessments, Professional Development, and Family Engagement. We have three working groups within our CAN that meet and plan the work for each area. Our intended result is that all children enter Kindergarten ready to learn.

Children enrolled in Sparkler able to receive developmental screenings.

Childhood Development

Incoming kindergartners with a pre-k experience.

Access to

People participating in workshops. Over 7 hours of training provided.

Professional Development

2022 Initiatives

Family Engagement

We continue to deepen our focus on family engagement in 2022. We worked closely with our two Parent Ambassadors to help lead our family engagement work. This included: continued outreach and awareness about Sparkler, a mobile app for parents with children ages 0-5, working closely with the statewide OEC Parent Cabinet, and taking a leadership role in our new 10-member Parent Advisory. We also relaunched the Stamford Early Childhood Fair, bringing fun and resources for families with young children, reaching 500 attendees at this free event in Mill River Park. In addition, we conducted a social media campaign to support enrollment in home visiting and parenting programs and developed a New Parent Resources page on our website, printing and distributing postcards in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Ukranian.

Professional Development

The goal of our professional development work is to make connections and build skills among staff who work in early childhood. We conducted virtual sessions on topics including: Health & Safety, Emotional Connection, Supports for Students with Diverse Needs, Social Emotional Development, the Importance of Play, and Positive Strategies for Students. The Stamford Early Childhood Fair, which we ran for the first time since the pandemic, brought together 50 early childhood education providers and community support organizations. Finally, to support our Pre-K to K Transition work, we brought together both Kindergarten and Pre-School staff for Kindergarten Insight Day.  

Transition to Kindergarten

The transition from early childhood to Kindergarten is an important milestone for children and families. To support this transition, we facilitate sharing information from early childhood staff and parents with Kindergarten teachers about entering K students through the Pre-Kindergarten Transition Summary (PKTS) and SparklerK. The PKTS is filled out by preschool and family childcare providers. Sparkler is included in the Kindergarten registration process and parents can fill out an Ages and Stages Questionnaire. Additionally, we work with Stamford Public Schools to conduct Kindergarten 101, an information session for preschool and family childcare providers about the Kindergarten Registration process, PKTS, and SparklerK so they can best support families through this important process.  

Early Grade Reading

All children read at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade

Our Early Grade Reading work partners with Stamford Public Schools, the Ferguson Library, and out of school providers to connect reading instruction from school to after school programs, summer camps, and at home. The goal is that all Stamford children will be reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade. children will be reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade.

K-3 students receiving literacy support during the summer.

Literacy Skills

K-3 students receiving literacy support that did not regress during the summer.

Summer Slide

Hours of professional development provided out-of-school time staff.


2022 Initiatives

Stamford Summer Literacy Initiative

Summer 2022 was the third year of our Stamford Summer Literacy Initiative (SSLI). In partnership with the Ferguson Library, we ran a public awareness campaign on the importance of summer reading through bus shelter adds, flyers, and social media, and we hired four literacy coaches and a literacy coordinator to work in three summer camps to reduce summer reading loss. We worked with 116 students in grades K-3 at the Boys and Girls Club, ROSCCO, and INTEMPO, and all of the almost 400 students at the camps benefited from the dedicated literacy block built into the daily camp schedule, the family meet and greets, and the book giveaways coordinated through the Ferguson Library and Stamford Public Education Foundation. The full 2022 report can be found here. 

Family Engagement

A key priority in 2022 was engaging with families around the importance of reading. In addition to the public awareness campaign, in the summer of 2022, we conducted six family engagement meet and greet events at camp drop off and pick up, sharing information about the library’s summer reading program, accessing library programs and resources, what literacy support is available at the camps, and free book giveaways. We also conducted two parent workshops, a virtual one on Supporting Social Emotional Wellness for Students, and in person workshop on how to Help your Child Learn to Read. Both included Spanish language interpretation. 

Professional Development

The goal of our professional development work is to share tools, resources, and strategies used in Stamford Public Schools with our out of school time providers. In 2022 we conducted two Library Services for Educators workshops, one workshop on Supporting Social Emotional Wellness for Students, and four trainings for our Summer Literacy Initiative camp providers sharing strategies for practicing literacy in fun ways with children at camp with 92 camp staff. We also launched our 2022-2023 professional development series in November 2022 reviewing assessments and an overview of the early literacy curriculum used in Stamford Public Schools. 

College & Career Readiness

All youth graduate high school ready for college and career

Our Transition to Postsecondary, College and Career work engages youth development organizations, Stamford Public Schools, youth, and community members to ensure students have the skills, opportunities, and support to graduate high school prepared for the future and with a plan for their next step. Our goal is that students begin a career path that allows them to support themselves.

Families received information in 3 languages on how to apply for Financial Aid.


Graduating seniors received messaging about finalizing college plans during the summer.


Increase in enrollment at NCC for students receiving 1:1 support vs. those not receiving 1:1 support.


2022 Initiatives

Bridge to College

Bridge to College is a free program that provides as-needed resources, support, and guidance to students between high school graduation and the first day of college classes. Bridge to College is open to all Stamford graduating seniors, no matter what college they plan to attend, to combat “summer melt.” In 2022, the program reached 978 seniors with regular messaging and reminders through Signal Vine about completing the college enrollment process. Of these seniors, 69 students received additional, one-on-one support, from one of four school counselors working with the B2C program. Students also participated in seven Keys to Success workshops focused on providing students with information that would help prepare them for their first year in school. See our 2022 report for more information. 

Skill Building For Success

As youth prepare to enter the workforce, it is important for them to strengthen their non-academic essential skills to be prepared for employment, competitive in their career, and confident in their abilities. Skill Building for Success creates a common language, framework, and tools for the community to help prepare students for a successful transition into higher education and careers. In 2022, we continued our partnership to embed Skill Building for Success into the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program and the Early College Studies program at Stamford High School by conducting introductory workshops for students and tracking pre and post surveys. We also use the skills tracker directly with the student interns working with us.  

Youth Leadership

In 2022 we launched our paid Youth Leadership Internship program by hiring five high school students to work with us. Meet our interns here. The goal of the internship program is twofold: first, to center youth voices, perspectives and lived experience in our college and career readiness work; and second, to help youth build their skills and take action. This year our youth planned a youth information session on the Police Accountability Bill, facilitated a student feedback session for the Alliance for Black Achievement, started a club at Westhill High School called Speak Your Truth, and helped plan our first ever Teen Fair to take place in early 2023. 


Every child deserves equal access to educational excellence

Our commitment The well-being and success of children should NOT be shaped by where they live or how they are racialized. With intentionality and commitment to equity, our goal is to promote anti-racist policies, practices, and behaviors by dismantling systems of oppression. We strive for transformational versus transactional change in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion and access.

Looking at equity as a result of our practices, communication, inclusion, and advocacy, we are excited to present updates on measures we use to evaluate our progress and move our work forward.

Race Equity Measures Report

Race Equity Measures Report (SPANISH)

1 of only 2 city-wide candidate forums.

Stamford Board of Education Candidate Forum

An effort focused on securing no-cost school meals for all Stamford Public School kids.

Food For Thought Training Attendees

Stimulates local conversation regarding successes, opportunities and responsibilities in racial equity.

Community Racial Justice Forums

2022 Initiatives

Food for Thought

No-cost school meals for all students is critically important to the health and wellbeing of our entire community. According to the United Way’s ALICE in Focus report on children, as recently as fall 2021 41% of CT ALICE households living paycheck to paycheck experienced food insecurity. Childhood food insecurity has negative effects on physical and mental health, cognitive function, and academic performance. During the pandemic, the demand for free school meals increased by 50%, demonstrating that many students who had not previously been eligible for free meals were now in need of them. No-cost school meals reduces absenteeism and stigma, shaming and bullying and offers time and cost savings to families and the school district. SC2C and UWWC have partnered with the City of Stamford, Stamford Public Schools, End Hunger CT!, and the Stamford Food Collaborative to provide trainings to our community partners on how we can combat childhood hunger and continue to provide no-cost school meals to all Stamford Public School students.

Empathy Project

The Empathy project is an afterschool program designed to spark conversation about the role that empathy plays in our lives: at school, at home, in the community and world. Empathy is the ability to notice, understand, and share the emotions of others. Empathy helps us to take someone else’s perspective, understand each others’ emotions, connect with one another, show compassion, make good social choices, and ultimately develop lasting relationships. We believe in the power of empathy to transform the student’s experiences. Developing empathy in middle childhood promotes healthy helping behaviors in adulthood.

Community Racial Justice Series

A collaboration between Stamford Stands Against Racism, Stamford Cradle to Career, DOMUS, and Community Health Center, Inc. That provided trainings for community members and commuity partners who wanted to gain skills and strategies to address racial injustice and systemic racism to advance racial equity. This year’s focus was on demystifying the CT Police Accountability Law how philanthropic organizations prioritize racial equity and made commitments to funding racial equity. 

Empathy Project & After-School Enrichment










Community Members are Saying…

Our Team

Edith Presley, President

Lauren Scopaz-Daunais, Vice President For Strategy & Operations

Yolande Ford, Director Of Equity Initiatives

Katie Murphy, Data Manager


Akosua Agyei, College & Career Readiness Manager

Tashiiyana Shuler-Drakes, Community Engagement Manager

Angelica Gorrio, Communications Manager

Danielle Walker, Community Coordinator

Our 2023 Team, we'd like to introduce


Rosario Velazquez, College & Career Readiness Manager

Career Planning Coordinator Gabby

Gabriella Tozzi, Administrative Coordinator

Thanks to our Executive Team for their Leadership

Nadene Mckenzie Reid, Natwest Markets

Alice Knapp, Ferguson Library

Isabel Almeida, United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut

Robert M. Arnold, Family Centers

Anka Badurina, PhD, Building One Community

  Barbara Carr, Women’s and Children’s Services at Stamford Health

Olympia Della Flora, Stamford Public Schools

  Linda Franciscovich, Norwalk ACTS

Janeene Freeman, City of Stamford

Jackie Heftman, Stamford Board of Education

Laura Indellicate, Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky

Marc Jaffe, Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County

Kimberly A. Kispert, Family Centers Inc.

Patricia Billie Miller, Connecticut State Senator, 27th District

Rowena Track, Boys & Girls Club of Stamford

Vincent J. Tufo, Charter Oak Communities

Candy Yeager, United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut

Thank you to our Investors

Our Supporters and Stakeholders are Fundamental in Helping SC2C Accomplish our Goals.


Middle School Full Service Community Schools

  • SC2C is the grateful recipient of a competitive 5-year Federal Grant for $2.3 million. This Full-Service Community School Project includes programming for Rippowam and Dolan Middle School students and their families. Stamford Cradle to Career will develop both school and community-based options for students to be supported during out-of-school time, and will coordinate with partners to provide afterschool enrichment, academic support, parent institutes, mentoring, financial literacy, as well as mental health and physical health supports.