- Community name: Norwalk
- Website: www.norwalkct.org
- Population: 85,793
- Graduation rate: 79.2%
- Youth poverty rate: 9.6%
Norwalk has been honored as a 100 Best community for the third time for developing a variety of collaborative efforts that serve the needs of young people. The Youth Service Bureau coordinates efforts of community leaders to provide funding and develop local policies that create more opportunities for Norwalk youth. Under the Mayor’s Summer Jobs program, young people are matched with employers in their fields of interest so they can learn to navigate in a business environment, contribute to the community and earn money.
To improve health outcomes for local young people, each year, the Norwalk-based GE Fairfield hub of the Hispanic Forum and the GE Capital Americas-Bank Loan Group host Balance Exercise and Eating Well (BEE) Healthy, a summer camp health education program. BEE Healthy raises awareness and educates the public about childhood obesity, specifically regarding minority youth. Norwalk ensures that youth education is also a priority within the community. The Early Learning and Literacy Initiative addresses early childhood education needs including pre-K classes, teacher training, and after-school and parent programs.
- The Early Learning and Literacy Initiative collaboration addresses early childhood education needs, including pre-K learning labs, teacher training and after-school and parent programs.
- BEE Healthy raises awareness about childhood obesity through public engagement and community outreach.
- The Mayor’s Summer Jobs program provides employment for young people by matching them with employers in their field of interest, allowing them to explore a specific profession, learn to navigate in a business environment, contribute to the community and earn money.
- The Youth Service Bureau addresses the concerns of youth and their families by coordinating efforts of community leaders to provide funding and develop local policies that create more opportunities for Norwalk youth.
- The Housing Authority Learning Centers provide families with school-age children quality afterschool programs designed to create a culture of academic achievement. Daily homework assistance, tutoring in math, reading, technology and writing is offered to all students.
“ The support offered by so many in Norwalk helps to bridge the achievement gap for Norwalk youth.”
“Volunteering to help others who are less fortunate gives me an opportunity to see how others live and to appreciate how much we do have.”—Andre