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Strong Start Neighborhood Initiatives

United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) wants to ensure that all children are ready for kindergarten and future school success. We have committed to an exciting new initiative called the STRONG START Neighborhood Initiative, which provides both a broad community perspective and a targeted focus on two specific at-risk neighborhoods: one in Stamford and one in Danbury.

UWWC is partnering with and funding service providers in the areas of early literacy, parenting skills, early developmental screening, school orientation events, and eventually financial stability and health of the families. We are measuring outcomes, and are committing significant funds long-term.  

Through Domus Kids and Saint Joseph’s Parenting Center, families from the KT Murphy Elementary School in Stamford are participating in parenting classes designed to teach and reinforce basic parenting skills, change unhealthy behavior patterns, and end the destructive cycle of child abuse.

At Park Avenue School in Danbury, parents with young children are attending playgroups sponsored by the Family Learning Center. All children are screened for developmental delays and connected with community resources.  In the spring, two parent workshops and a Transition Night conducted by Education Connection will help parents of incoming kindergarteners prepare their children for success in school. In the fall, we hold Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, a nationally recognized, evidence-based, 10-week program for Latino Parents that promotes school readiness and family well-being.

UWWC is committed to this effort and is seeking funding partners to join us in moving the STRONG START model forward. We welcome volunteers who wish to serve on the planning committees for either neighborhood. For more information, please contact Bridget Fox at or 203-348-7714.


Park Avenue Elementary -  DanburyDANBURY - Park Avenue Elementary
Fact sheet on Danbury program
List of programs for parents
Program contact:
Caroline LaFleur, or 203.297.6307


KT Murphy - StamfordSTAMFORD - KT Murphy Elementary
Stamford initiative overview and visits to program sites (Tuesdays in June)
Program contact:
Karen Brennan, or 203.883.6700