By JEN CARDINES
The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain distributed $232,300 in grant awards benefitting non-profit organizations in Plainville, New Britain, Southington, and Berlin. The Foundation announces grants of this nature three times per year.
The Plainville Public Library and the Plainville Choral Society both received grants to enhance their programs.
The library obtained $3,000 from the grant money to purchase materials for a puppet theater and family take-home kits, which will add to the dramatic play area. Ericka Bajrami, Head of Children’s Services, said that local kindergarteners and second graders visit the library annually to see a puppet show put on by the staff. When the kindergarteners come, they make simple puppets based on the characters in the show they saw.
“Acting out stories helps to strengthen a child’s developing narrative skills, which is a key element in early literacy,” Bajrami said. “Our observations at the school puppet shows revealed an opportunity for our department.” Bajrami submitted the grant to the CFGNB, making the new puppet area possible.
“Overall it’s a happy, helpful, and educative project – just what libraries are designed to do,” said library director Douglas Lord. The new dramatic play area can now be offered to the entire community and not just visiting classes, which adds an educational component.
“Through its resources, CFGNB strengthens our ability to achieve our mission, which is ‘…to provide children, caregivers, and educators the resources they need to build literacy, curiosity, and creativity’,” said Bajrami.
The PCS received an award of $750 dollars to sponsor their May 2017 production. They originally proposed the grant for a production of “The Boy Friend” musical, but Vice President Peter Chase said that they have switched to a Motown review. The ticket costs alone never cover the expenses of PCS shows, so they always look for other ways of funding. This is the second year that the CFGNB has awarded PCS with money for their production.
“We’ve never done anything like this before so we’re looking forward to it,” Chase said about the Motown review. The show’s title has not yet been determined, but it will cover various songs from the era. Chase said that the music really brings him back to the days when the songs were first released, and that the members are excited to prepare the show.
PCS is hopeful that the unique show will reign in new audiences, while still keeping their old. “Part of the magic of seeing a live show done by the Plainville Choral Society is seeing your friends and neighbors performing in it. It makes us a community, and that’s something that the CFGNB wants to foster,” Chase said. “We’re really happy we got this grant.”
Rehearsals for the show will begin Jan. 9 and run every Monday night at 7 p.m. in the Gloria Dei Church on Camp Street. All are invited to join the production.