Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.



Teaching Kids That Connecticut History Goes Beyond White Guys

Angelina Morales holds her Connecticut history chapter book; Chapter 2 is about the African-American dancer, Dollie McLean. Photo by Tema Silk for NEPR

In Connecticut, third- and fourth-graders study the history of their state. In many schools, students choose to research one person or event from an approved list. The people on that list have been mostly men, and all white. But because of an unusual collaboration, it now includes Native American, Latino and African-American men and women.

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For Hurricane Evacuee And Mom, Persistence Leads To Graduation

Palmira Arroyo, left, flew in from Puerto Rico for her daughter Karina Lasalle Arroyo's graduation from Central Connecticut State University. Lasalle, right, packed her mom's rental car with luggage from her stay at CCSU after Hurricane Maria. Photo by Vanessa de la Torre for Connecticut Public Radio

When Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico last September, Lasalle was in her final year at the University of Puerto Rico and thinking ahead to law school. But the widespread damage altered the trajectory of these best-laid plans. The storm knocked out power, and Lasalle’s night classes — courses she needed to graduate — were rescheduled to the same hour on a Saturday.

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At This Hartford School, Welcoming Puerto Rican Evacuees Is Personal

Nilda Medina, a first-grade bilingual teacher at Sanchez Elementary School in Hartford, teaches students about the seasons. About half of the students in the class are evacuees from Puerto Rico. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

Since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico seven months ago, the ramifications have spilled onto mainland cities like Hartford that carry deep ties to the Caribbean. At least 1,800 displaced students enrolled in Connecticut’s public schools, including about 40 new schoolchildren at Sanchez Elementary.


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Displaced By The Storm, Puerto Rican Students Settle In At CCSU

Marivelisse Acosta is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She's now studying communications at CCSU in New Britain, Connecticut. Photo by Ryan Caron King for Connecticut Public Radio

It’s lunchtime at Central Connecticut State University and 10 students converge on their usual spot in the dining hall. They start talking about the food — and it becomes clear that they don’t love the rice. They explain that it’s not as seasoned as the homemade arroz in Puerto Rico.

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