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WHAT’S NEW 2016

Building on our 2008-2011 work on immigrant financial access (2009 Immigrant Survey Finding Summary), Connecticut Appleseed collaborated in 2015 with sister Centers in Nebraska, Texas, Kansas and Washington State to survey immigrant remittance use. Survey findings from Connecticut Appleseed’s in-state community partners in Stamford, Wallingford and New Haven will be reflected in a published 2016 report Sending Money Home on implementation of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s 2013 remittance rule. Our report Expanding Access to Financial Services – 2015 CT Remittances Survey” also contains broader analysis of immigrant finances based on focus groups from each state.

We’re following up on our 2011 release of “Keep_Kids_in_School-Improving_School_Discipline” report  which showcased policies and practices that successfully solve disciplinary challenges without removing students from school. Every school board chairman and member in the state, every high school and middle school principal, and every state legislator and education official, received a copy.

With pro bono help from Cigna’s Legal Department, we’re presently updating that report with information from 13 additional school districts that are successfully coping with the challenges of school discipline. We’ll distribute that in-depth, updated report in 2016.

In March 2012, we released our report entitled “Bullying_in_CTs_Public_Schools-Final_Report” to highlight particularly effective anti-bullying policies and strategies. The findings and “best practices” that our report uncovered in eleven participating Connecticut districts now assist schools and districts statewide in accepting the increased responsibility for protecting children that was prescribed by the 2008 statute.

Our 2010 research in the Hamden, CT school district was included in a 5-state collaborative Appleseed report entitled “The Same Starting Line: How School Boards Can Erase the Opportunity Gap Between Poor and Middle-Class Children” that was released in 2011.

During 2010 Connecticut Appleseed spearheaded a collaboration of financial institutions, community partners, and state and federal banking regulators to connect unbanked and underbanked state residents with mainstream financial services – including affordable checking, savings, and credit opportunities. The goal of this “Bank on Connecticut” project was to provide better banking products and services and wider financial education for state residents currently using fringe financial services. Pilot tests in 2011-12 teamed CTE and Citi in Stamford, NEON and Citi in Norwalk, Family Services Woodfield and both Citi and Chase Bank in Bridgeport, Start Bank and Junta for Progressive Action in New Haven and Webster Bank and Team, Inc. in Derby.

Our “Hartford H.E.L.P.” program provided free legal assistance to homeless individuals at two Hartford shelters from late 2009 through mid-2014. Over nearly 5 years, free clinics alternating between Mercy Shelter and the House of Bread on Tuesday mornings assisted more than 650 individuals. Connecticut Appleseed recruited local attorneys and law students, prompted and oversaw development of a training manual for volunteer lawyers and administered the program.