Sen. Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield) and Sen. Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) on Nov. 19 toured Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD) Inc. to meet with employees and observe the anti-poverty non-profit agency’s Bridge Together educational program, ABCD’s effort to build bridges between communities, families, and public schools toward educational success.
ABCD Executive Director Charles Tisdale met with Senators Hwang and Gomes to discuss the state budgetary deficit and Governor Malloy’s proposal to eliminate funding for this critical educational development program for nearly 300 students ranging from babies and toddlers up to 3 years old.
ABCD’s Bridge Together staff then escorted the legislators on an interactive educational tour of a total learning imitative incorporating music, visual and other sensory skills at Bridgeport’s Barnum School.
”We at ABCD are profoundly grateful to the efforts of Senators Tony Hwang, Ed Gomes and Marilyn Moore for their aggressive attention and concern for our Early Childhood program and its positive impact on young inner city children,” Tisdale said. “The future academic and scholastic success of these children is strongly enhanced by this program and we are extremely grateful for the leadership of our state senators in gaining the recognition and financial support for this vital ABCD initiative.”
“What happens in early childhood can matter for a lifetime,” Sen. Hwang said. “ABCD’s early learning and preschool initiatives are vital to children’s development and to eliminating the literacy gap. By interacting with students, parents and educators firsthand, we saw the joyous and positive reaction of toddlers and parents toward learning, it was priceless. We will now be able to share our observations with our colleagues at the State Capitol. We plan to work on a bipartisan basis to craft legislation to strengthen and financially support Connecticut’s early learning policies, improve public education, and help communities across Connecticut realize the benefits of the ABCD experience.”
“Quality early childhood education provides children with the resources needed to master developmental milestones, said Sen. Gomes. It is vital that we continue to support organizations like ABCD, that seek to service the needs of our state’s most vulnerable residents,” Sen. Gomes said.
Serving over 35,000 individuals annually through its range of services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull, ABCD works toward the eradication of the “paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in this nation.”
Based at 1070 Park Avenue, ABCD concentrates its efforts on identifying and eliminating the causes of poverty rather than only dealing with its effects. ABCD’s efforts are directed towards promoting appropriate institutional change and enabling the poor to become self-sufficient.