The Stamford Museum & Nature Center offers a special program for neurodiverse children

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center hosts “Animals for All,” a series of free programs designed exclusively for neurodiverse children and their families.

Two different program formats are offered: Heckscher Farm Open Nights, which allow families to visit the Heckscher Farm after hours at their own pace and on command, and Caring for Critters, which gives children the opportunity to work with farm animals in a small group environment.

“We are always striving to make our site and our programs more accessible to all visitors,” said Lisa Monachelli, director of education for SM&NC. “These programs allow for small groups, hands-on experiences, and a sensory atmosphere.”


Although staff are available to answer questions at open nights, there is no formal program.

“Instead, we encourage families to experience Heckscher Farm in an order of their own design, knowing that the farm and our washroom facilities are fully accessible throughout their visit,” Monachelli said.

“It is vitally important for us to share our therapeutic resources with the community in this special way,” said Melissa H. Mulrooney, CEO of SM&NC. “We are deeply grateful to our donors, The Dorr Foundation and Generation Impact, for allowing us to do these experiments for free for the families who benefit so greatly from the nurturing environment at Heckscher Farm.”

Spring 2022 sessions run from April to June. Pre-registration is required at www.stamfordmuseum.org/animals-for-all/.

The deadline for the micro-grants program is approaching

Those interested in applying for the 2022 Community Micro-Grants Program – formerly the Neighborhood Grants Program – have until April 29 to submit applications for community-enhancing projects.

The Mayor’s Office and the City’s Community Development Office will consider applications from non-profit and for-profit neighborhood associations, individuals, grassroots organizations and community groups interested in improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

According to information from the mayor’s office, the program has $75,000 in grants and plans to offer grants between $1,000 and $10,000.

Applicants will be required to match grant funds with their own funds or in-kind goods, services, or labor.

Winning projects will be selected based on several criteria, including that they address specific issues, create tangible improvements, have community support, and will have a long-term impact on the community.

Grant priorities include sustainable projects, including investments in physical spaces, tools, equipment, and the like that will help the community in the long term; ideas or initiatives that have a long-term or multi-year impact; and new projects that include start-ups and pilot programs.

Announcements of winners will be made on May 18; funds will be distributed June 3, the project completion date is June 30, and a final grant report is due July 29.

The application is available from the town hall or by connecting to the city’s website.

About Bobby F. Lopez

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