Author Archives: Adam De Young

ISO: Volunteer Communications Director

Close-up image of magnifying glass with a search icon on a white background

The Milford Education Foundation needs a communications director to support the communications activities of the Milford Education Foundation overall and all programs under its management.

Responsibilities

Develop the communications plan for the Milford Education Foundation “brand” – and oversee the executional elements

Develop the communications “template” for all MEF sponsored events/programs and oversee implementation

Establish positive/ongoing relationships with local media

Establish proactive media relations strategy

Prep Board members for public engagements/appearances

prepare talking points/presentations

Work with digital and social media manager to develop relevant content/stories for newsletter and related items

Skills/Experience/Aptitude

Ideally 3-5 years of relevant applicable experience in a company, PR agency, or media firm (a novice also OK with right attitude/potential – can work with board members with relevant experience)

strong interest in education, child development, social good…

passionate, dedicated, resilient

Time Allocation

5 -10 hours per week

If you fit the above description, then we would like to speak to you! If interested, please send your resume or brief synopsis or even your LinkedIn link to president@milfordedfoundation.org – If it looks like there is a match we’ll shoot out the job overview and schedule a discussion. This is a great opportunity that will put you in touch with key educators and community leaders in the wonderful city of Milford, CT — look forward to hearing from you!

From The Board President: My Accidental Discovery… The Milford Education Foundation

I have the great honor of serving as Board President of the Milford Education Foundation over the next 2 years. To me, the Milford Education Foundation is the perfect example of never knowing what kind of wonderful opportunity is waiting for you right around the corner — all you need to do is have your antennae out, be receptive, and seize it when it comes your way.

I was born and raised in Milford, went to Milford public schools, married a local Milford girl, and raised 3 children – all who also went to Milford public schools. With the exception of 4 years at Seton Hall University and about 2 years recently in Philadelphia due to a corporate assignment – I’ve always lived here.

But I was never really active here… why? Oh the usual… my job was very demanding, was overly career focused, had to travel a lot, any spare time was spent on our kids activities, and home was a place to decompress when you could. However, time is a funny thing… it is amazing how much of it you can find when you want to or when you are called. And quite literally I was called.

About 3 years ago, Board member Jen Ju cold called me and asked if I would help the Milford Education Foundation with a strategic planning session to help better focus its resources and assets. Since that is what I do for a living, and I needed to start doing some volunteer work, I said OK. In fact, I think I might have said OK just to get off the phone and get back to client work.

It ranks as one of the best “OKs” I’ve ever said, for here is what I discovered.

As I conducted that first strategy session I felt that I was discovering one of Milford’s best hidden secrets. As we mapped out all of the initiatives I was amazed at what had been accomplished by a small handful of people. People who were mostly parents of young children, with lots of demands from their careers as well as the most important job of parenting! And of course they were doing this as volunteers. I thought of all the times when I convinced myself that I didn’t have extra time and I felt humbled. More like embarrassed.

Since then I’ve had the good fortune to be directly involved with some of the initiatives. I’ve had the privilege of developing a presentation workshop for students and have witnessed how the kids come to the table with amazing curiosity and enthusiasm. And its our job to harness it so that curiosity and enthusiasm isn’t extinguished over time through boredom and loss of self esteem. Sometimes it’s as simple as remembering what it’s like to be a kid.

So where are we now? We’re in a good place… a very good place. We have a fabulous mini-grant program that engages teacher and kids with focused areas of learning. We help bring the Minds In Motion and Invention Convention programs to Milford every year. We partner with great organizations like the Milford Arts Council and The Milford Public Library. In fact, we helped introduce Milford’s first “MakerSpace” at the Milford Public Library called The Brain Station. And now we are determining ways to expand our reach and impact, in particular in the areas of music, art, and mindfulness. We also see great opportunities to increase our involvement with Milford’s business and community leaders.

Results? Well we’ve estimated that over the past 3 years we’ve impacted about 3,000 kids through about $30,000 in grants. That’s about $10 a kid or less! So when you make a donation to the Milford Education Foundation you know those dollars are stretched in a very good way.

As we look to our future we can always use more help. And that help doesn’t necessarily mean just money. We need people to help us with our events, and assisting in a variety of other areas as we once again refine our strategy and focus.

So if you have an interest in helping out, please feel free to drop us an email at milfordedfoundation@gmail.com or my work email: ed@vitalincs.com. And feel free to tell us of any special interests or talents you have. Your interests can help spark our imagination.

Looking back, I consider that call I received a few years ago a gift to me – and my goal is to return an even greater gift back to this amazing organization.

Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of our events!

About Ed Faruolo:
IMG_1458Besides his position with the Milford Education Foundation. Ed Faruolo is the founder and CEO of VitaLincs LLC, a marketing strategy, training, and consulting firm he founded in 2009. Ed’s highly rated workshops are used by Fortune 500 companies, as well as small/mid caps, start ups and is a sought out faculty member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Ed served as Chief Marketing Officer of Cigna, led marketing and brand development at 3 Fortune 500 companies, and was elected Chair of the Conference Board’s Brand Council for an unprecedented 3 terms. He lives in Milford with his wife Carol where they raised 3 great children together: Alison, Carl, and Dana.

Alumni Spotlight: Chris Rukan

img_0946-jpgA strong education provides a stable foundation for people to build and to create successful lives. I would like to focus on a man who is doing phenomenal things with his life, but has remained humble and credits much of his success to the Milford Public Schools system. Chris Rukan, is a journalist for the Washington Post, and works as an art director collaborating with illustrators, photographers, and graphic editors in order to create descriptive stories. I recently was afforded the privilege of interviewing Mr. Rukan and got an inside look into how he has built such an impressive career.

Mr. Rukan attended Jonathan Law High School and really emphasized how the teaching staff played a major role in motivating him to pursue his interests. Mr. Scire and Mrs. Minichiello are two teachers that immediately came to Mr. Rukan’s mind. Mr. Scire, his social studies teacher during his sophomore year, pushed Mr. Rukan to be confident in his potential and to take on new challenges. Mrs. Minichiello, his English teacher and the advisor for Law’s high school newspaper, The Advocate, typically allowed only upperclassmen to work on the newspaper, but she made an exception for Mr. Rukan.

While contributing to The Advocate, Mr. Rukan discovered his passion for writing. He believes this was life changing and he stressed that the teen years in a child’s life is one of the most crucial times for the birth and development of a passionate career path. He explained how it is extremely important to work hard in and out of the classroom, set high goals, and to get to know the people in your field of interest. A strong work ethic and connections will help open doors to numerous opportunities.

Mr. Rukan began as a sportswriter for the New Haven Register and enjoyed a number of interesting jobs such as, a sports designer at the Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel, the Journal News, and at the Connecticut Post. Mr. Rukan continues to emphasize how the Milford Public Schools system played an essential role in his exciting career as it provided him with the tools and resources to expand his interests. He also credits his teachers in being kind and in serving as catalysts in motivating him to push himself and to gain a sense of confidence that would stick with him forever.

Without his early experiences in the Milford Public Schools system, Mr. Rukan believes that it would have been much harder to find himself in such a fortunate position. Mr. Rukan is a prime example of an individual who has used his education as a building block to discover his passion and to follow it, ultimately creating a successful and fulfilling career.

Michael Sciuto is the author of this alumni spotlight.  He is a senior at Foran who hopes to study communications in college.

Michael Sciuto is the author of this alumni spotlight. He is a senior at Foran who hopes to study communications in college.

Why Kids Need Recess To Achieve

To some, recess may seem frivolous. There are those that look at playtime during school hours as taking away from the need to generate strong reading skills or help kids achieve success in mathematics. The truth is, kids need recess to achieve.

Strong reading skills are vital. Math skills are imperative. Losing site of the benefits of unstructured playtime can be catastrophic.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently had this to say about the value recess plays in developing well-educated kids.

Optimal cognitive processing in a child necessitates a period of interruption after a period of concentrated instruction. The benefits of these interruptions are best served by unstructured breaks rather than by merely shifting from cognitive task to another to diminish stresses and distractions that interfere with cognitive processing. Several studies demonstrated that recess, whether performed indoors or outdoors, made children more attentive and more productive in the classroom.

The role of unstructured breaks, i.e. recess, in the school day, particularly for elementary aged students, is one that can play a critical part in whether or not our kids can maintain focus and achieve results from their academic studies throughout each day.

It’s not just the American Academy of Pediatrics who are saying this either. An elementary school in Texas has tripled the amount of time students get for recess to include a full hour each school day dedicated to unstructured play. Recess is held in four, fifteen minute blocks.

Teachers have taken notice of the positive impact this has had on their students throughout the day. They say that students are less distracted in the classroom and there has been an improvement in behavior as well, whether it’s students making more eye contact or being generally more empathetic toward their peers.

Through academic research and real-world example, it is clear that recess is a critical component to the achievement of students in elementary grades. Then of course there is the additional benefit of kids getting healthier from all that running around.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on recess in school in the comments below.

Career Pathways: The Way Forward For High School Curriculum

Across the country more and more high schools are recognizing the importance of offering focused preparation for specific careers. This change is coming as an Education Trust report shows that only half of all U.S. high school students are taking the course sequence necessary to be considered college and career ready. In addition to preparing students for a career, a 2016 Fordham University study says that students who have greater access to career preparation and technical education are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and obtain higher paying jobs.

As the cries become louder to make certain that students are college and career ready, many school systems are responding by forming partnerships with local industries. In Papillion La Vista Community Schools in Nebraska a partnership with CHI Health Midlands Hospital allows students to do rotations through the hospital including shadowing EMT’s. That is just one of almost 180 community partnerships the school system has developed.

As the film industry has boomed in Atlanta, Georgia, the need for skilled videographers and other show business related jobs has also increased. Fulton County Georgia schools related by forming a partnership with film executives to create a film industry career pathway curriculum.

Closer to home, our Milford Public Schools have created a career pathway in computer science. Due to the success of this program, a committee of educators, community members, and local business people has been formed to help develop another career pathway.

For more information on what some other districts are doing across the country, check out this article:
https://www.districtadministration.com/article/high-schools-create-career-connections

Top 12 Spots For Catching A Glimpse of Our Chair-Ity Auction Chairs

Stroll around the city of Milford and you just might find yourself running into one of the Adirondack chairs that were built and designed for our Chair-ity Auction which will be taking place on Wednesday August 24th at Costa Azzurra.

You might stop in for a cup of coffee at Cafe Atlantique and find one.

Maybe you’re downtown for lunch at Rainbow Gardens and you’ll see some “Smiles”

The best way to find all of the chairs throughout the city is to follow our list below of where each chair is living for the next few weeks. Head out on a tour to the following locations:

  • Bridge House Restaurant
  • Cafe Atlantique
  • Colony Paint
  • The Crushed Grape
  • Duck Duck Goose
  • Los Cabos
  • Milford Public Library
  • Rainbow Gardens
  • Robert Treat Farms
  • Scoot & Paddle
  • Walnut Beach Creamery
  • Woodruff Family YMCA

If you get a chance to see a couple of these chairs at the above locations, snap a photo of you in each chair and post them to our Facebook page. Then spread the word to all your friends and family that these chairs are up for auction at the Chair-ity Auction on Wednesday August 24th at Costa Azzurra.

Purchase your Chair-ity Auction Tickets here.

There Was Already a Rainbow, Now It’s Full of Smiles

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The Adirondack chair designed and decorated by the children at Camp Happiness is quite aptly nicknamed “Smiles.” When it arrived at Rainbow Gardens, where it will be on display until the Chair-ity Auction on Wednesday, Aug. 24th, it brought a lot of smiles to the faces owners Heather and John Perfetto and their staff.

Rainbow Gardens, a downtown Milford staple since the early 1990s, was a logical place to host an Adirondack chair. People throughout the greater Milford area love the delicious food and the welcoming smiles that greet them for a quick lunch or a lingering evening dinner out on the patio.

We are so thrilled to have the team at Rainbow Gardens behind the Chair-ity Auction once again.

When you find yourself in downtown Milford, strolling along the green or racing to the bank, consider a pit stop at Rainbow Gardens to take a look at this amazing chair that the children at Camp Happiness created.

Take a seat in the chair, grab a bite to eat, then unlock your phone and purchase your tickets to the Chair-ity Auction. That’s the place to bid on this happy chair that’s put smiles on so many faces, from the kids who painted them to patrons and passers-by at Rainbow Gardens.