Community News: Project Warmth receives generous donations

Henna Ali, left, the town's director of community and social services, receives a check from the Washington 19 Fellowcraft Club to benefit Project Warmth. From left is First Selectman Ken Kellogg, Roy Nealon, secretary of the club, and club president, Anthony Agosto. Contributed

MONROE, Conn. — Project Warmth, a town nonprofit assisting families in need to pay bills to heat their homes and other utilities, received two generous donations.

The Washington 19 Fellowcraft Club gave $750 as part of its annual donation to the charity.

The Project Warmth Committee also raised $1,935 via donations made at a house party hosted by a committee member on Saturday, Feb. 29.

Jennifer Aguilar, who serves on the committee and is also a Town Council member in town, said a jar was out to collect donations from guests.

The Health Benefits of Tea

Betty Johnson, a representative from Bigelow Tea Company, will speak on the Health Benefits of Tea at a Monroe CTriad for Senior Safety event on Wednesday, April 29, at the Monroe Senior Center.

The event begins at 2 p.m. and registration is required. To register, sign up at the senior center, 235 Cutlers Farm Road.

Tea is the second most popularly consumed beverage worldwide behind water. Johnson will discuss what makes tea so exceptional, how it is produced, where it grows and what health studies are being done around it.

Learn to be a camp counselor

The Monroe Parks and Recreation Department is offering a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for incoming 10th and 11th graders for fall 2020 to learn what it takes to be a camp counselor.

Applicants must be 15 years of age by June 1, 2020. The goal of the CIT Program is to find participants with a true desire to work with children, who may want to be considered for a counselor position in the future.

To apply for the CIT position, visit, click on Programs, then click on the CIT Program under the Summer Fun Days category.

Check with your parents to see if your family already has an established account. The $35 per week cost of the program will be applied. You must pay upon registration. If you’re not selected after the interview, you will receive a full refund.

The deadline is April 30.

Summer jobs
The Monroe Parks and Recreation Department is accepting applications for summer jobs and will do so until Tuesday, March 31, for the following positions: maintenance, admissions monitors, lifeguards and swimming instructors.

Applicants must be 16 years of age by June 1, 2020 to be eligible for employment. Job descriptions are available in the Parks and Recreation Department office in the Town Hall.

Job applications can be obtained at the office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or be downloaded from the website,

Parent and Child Aquatics

Monroe Parks and Recreation is offering a Parent and Child Aquatics program for ages one-and-a-half to three. This program builds basic water safety for both parents and children, helping young children become comfortable in the water so they are willing and ready to learn to swim.

These basic skills include adjusting to the water environment, showing comfort while maintaining a front or back position in the water and demonstrating breath control, including blowing bubbles or voluntarily submerging underwater.

Adult participation for each child is required.

Classes will be held at 6 to 6:30 p.m., 6:30 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 7:30 p.m. Session 1 is Mondays, May 4 through June 8 (no class on May 25). Registration available for residents March 31 through April 27.

Session 2 is Wednesdays, May 13 to June 10. Registration is available for residents from April 7 to May 4. Fees are $60 for residents and $70 for nonresidents.

All classes will be held at the Masuk High School pool, 1014 Monroe Turnpike.

Youth Diving Lessons

Learn the basics of springboard diving. Monroe Parks and Recreation is offering a class for aspiring divers to develop all the dives needed to compete on area middle and high school teams.

The program consists of six lessons for grades four through 12. Lessons are on Mondays evenings, 6:30-7:30 pm.

Session 3 is March 23 through May 4 (no classes on April 6 and 13). Fees are $75 for residents and $85 for nonresidents.

Classes will be held at the Masuk High School pool, 1014 Monroe Turnpike.

Find spring and summer programs online

Spring and summer programs offered by the Monroe Parks and Recreation Department are now online and include Summer Fun Days Camp, ArtSmart classes, swim lessons, IncrediFlix, Mad Science, Play-Well Teknologies, Studio on the Move Art, Panther Camps, tennis lessons, Bollywood dance, yoga, Future Stars camp, golf camp, Skyhawk camps, summer basketball and aquacise

For information and online program registration, visit

Sredzinski authors two public safety bills

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-28th, with, from left, Maureen Will of Newtown and State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, R-Monroe.

HARTFORD — State Rep. JP Sredzinski, R-112th, authored bills exempting volunteer fire and emergency medical services from the fee for criminal background checks and “obliging” 911 service providers to deliver continuous and uninterrupted services.

Both were made available for public comment during a Connecticut General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee hearing on 24 bills at the Legislative Office Building last Thursday.

“As our state changes and evolves in terms of technology, so do our public safety needs,” Sredzinski said in a news release. “Providing no-cost State of Connecticut background checks for volunteer fire and EMS agencies is significant to help recruit personnel and cut costs to our local emergency agencies. Further, the ability for state residents to have consistent, 100-percent reliable 911 service is critical to public safety.”

The bill waiving the fee for criminal background checks is House Bill No. 5319 and the proposal to improve 911 services is House Bill No. 5322.

Maureen Will, of Newtown, testified in favor of HB 5321, which would establish a task force on the consolidation of public safety answering point consolidation. Will is the director of the Newtown Emergency Communications Center and the chair of the Managers of Emergency Communications Centers Association.

Kelly advocates for bill to reduce health care costs

Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, left, with, from left, Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-21st, and Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown at the Legislative Office Building on March 5.

HARTFORD — Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-21st,  expressed support for Senate Bill No. 328, which reduces health insurance premiums and prescription drug prices, while controling health care cost increases through benchmarking.

Kelly, who is ranking member of the Insurance Committee stood in bipartisan support of the bill to make health care in Connecticut more affordable and accessible with Insurance Committee co-chairs, Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, and Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, and fellow ranking member Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, R-Bristol.

Senate Bill 328 would implement a three-step approach to increase affordability and access to health care:

  1. Reduce the cost of insurance premiums through a reinsurance program with no assessment on premiums. 
  2. Reduce prescription drug costs by establishing a drug importation program.
  3. Control the growth of health care costs through a benchmarking program. 

“The three elements of this bipartisan bill outline a comprehensive approach to reduce consumer premiums and control skyrocketing medical costs in future years,” Kelly said. “Connecticut residents need relief when it comes to unaffordable health care. This bill shows a clear path forward to address the issue from multiple fronts.”

“I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, including the Democrat co-chairs of the Insurance Committee, the Office of Health Strategy, the governor’s office and many advocates who have worked together to develop and raise this bipartisan bill and urge continued support for these efforts,” Kelly added.

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