Monthly Archives: February 2012

New Computer Class Helps Parents at Betances


Audra Duffy

In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine life without computers. Everything from job applications to current events is on the internet. Children are taught the basics in school and often just pick up on it intuitively. However, for parents who are unable to afford a home computer or internet, this technology is anything but second nature.

A new free class for parents of students attending the Betances Early Reading Lab School addresses this need. The class, which began this morning, is a collaborative effort between Hands On Hartford Social Work Intern Audra Duffy and Iris Ramos, Supervisor of the Family Resource Center at Betances.

Over the course of eight sessions, Audra and Iris hope to teach parents the basics of keyboarding skills, Microsoft Word, how to perform web searches, and how to apply for jobs online, amongst other things. So far the class is small, six parents attended, but the impact on the lives of families invloved could be huge.Not only does this class help parents looking to boost their resume, but  also gives them the skills needed to help their kids with computer related homework assignments or projects.

Classes are taught in English and Spanish and run from 8am-9am on Wednesdays at the Betances Early Reading Lab School. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, contact Audra at or call 860-728-3201.

For adults who do not have children attending Betances, there are several introductory computer classes offered at the Hartford Public Library.

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MLK Day 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was celebrated for the 26th time nationwide on Monday, January 16, and Hands On Hartford was proud to participate.  We honored the legacy of Dr. King through collaboration, service, and uniting the community around peace.

Hands On Hartford partnered with Our Piece of the Pie and The Connecticut Center for Nonviolence to host the Martin Luther King Days of Service event throughout the state of Connecticut.  Volunteers served in Waterbury, New Haven, and throughout the city of Hartford by:

  • Painting the interior of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Shelter
  • Preparing and serving meals out our MANNA Community Meals soup kitchen and the Covenant soup kitchen in Willimantic
  • Attending the “Nonviolence is Power” training hosted by the Center for Nonviolence
  • Painting a resident’s room at Peter’s Retreat
  • Holding social and arts activities at The Retreat, an assisted living facility for seniors, and Hands On Hartford’s Senior Community Café
  • Painting the halls of Simpson-Waverly Elementary School
  • Painting the hallway of Ebony Horsewomen Inc.

The event culminated with the Beloved Community Peace Vigil held at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.  The Vigil featured several local musicians, keynote speaker Warren Hardy from the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence and the Peacebuilders, and a community reading of selected Dr. King speeches. 

Coutesy of David Newman

The reading was presented in six different languages including English, Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, Karen, and American Sign Language by members of the community and representatives from organizations like the Chinese Language School of Greater Hartford, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, American School for the Deaf, and True Colors.  The Beloved Community Peace Vigil concluded with a candle lit procession to the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Courtesy of David Newman

Overall, 1628 volunteers participated in the Martin Luther King Days of Service event at 57 service sites across the state of Connecticut.  These volunteers personified the philosophies of Dr. King and showed that peace truly is possible in our communities.

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