Community news: Town named City of Compassion; true justice, photography

Photography classes scheduled

The Photography: Camera Settings and Features — Beyond Auto Mode, available through Ridgefield Continuing Education, is for beginner and intermediate photographers using a DSLR camera (no point and shoot) and explores the key DSLR camera features and settings so you learn how and when to use them and take the camera off Auto. Learn about the shooting, focusing and metering modes, as well as depth of field, motion blur/freeze/pan, exposure compensation, histograms, and bracketing.

Skill-building exercises will get you up and off your chair to develop your skills with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Bonus material provided between sessions. Sharing images and discussions are part of every session. Instruction is live, interactive, and online using Zoom. Instructor Deborah Tual is a professional photographer with over 25 years of experience. She loves sharing her expertise about how images can be edited, enhanced, and used creatively to express an artistic vision. Class meets on Wednesdays, March 10, 17 and 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Advance registration required. Cost is $74. Ridgefield Seniors (age 62 and over) pay $59. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org/ or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 for more information or to register.

Dance, toning, stretch classes set

Participants will have fun and relieve stress in new sessions of Dance Toning and Stretch classes that provide cardio exercise, muscle training, and total body conditioning live, online on Zoom in Ridgefield Continuing Education. Each class starts with core muscle toning, followed by low impact dance exercises to music that includes dance rhythms like Salsa and Cha Cha as well as ‘60s to ‘80s hit songs. The choreographies are easy to follow and no dance experience needed. The class concludes with relaxing stretches (with no head-down positions). Wear comfortable clothing and shoes with good support. You’ll need a yoga mat, water bottle and towel handy and plan to sweat. Instructor Motoko Kuroda has an M.A. in Fitness Management and has been teaching Dance Toning and Stretch, Zumba®, Zumba Toning®, and other cardio courses. Classes start Monday, March 8 (meets March 8, 15, 22, 29 and Apr. 5; $62) and Wednesday, March 10 (meets March 10, 17, 24, 31 and April 7; $62) from 6 to 7 p.m. Follow up classes start in later in April.

Barre-Lates, Yoga, Tai Chi Chuan, Tai Chi Exercises, Fit and Tight, and Pilates Fusion are also available. Discount for Ridgefield Seniors, age 62-years-old, and over. Advanced registration is required. Details at https://ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

Students report that these Yoga classes make a big difference during these stressful times. Yoga classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education (via zoom) help participants develop a practice for core strength and flexibility; build bone density and strength; improve posture and sense of balance, and meet fitness goals. You’ll do a variety of postures (poses) each week with some variations and breath work and end with meditation and relaxation. All instructors are certified and experienced in teaching via Zoom.

Instructor guiding Gentle Yoga sessions

Gentle Yoga guided by Beverly Leighton, who gives mindful suggestions that will help sculpt and tone the body, starts Thursday, March 4 and meets from 5 to 6 p.m. (six sessions).

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Emma Tenley combines a gentle flow Vinyasa with slow and meditative yin yoga. New classes start Thursday, March 18 and Monday, April 5 — either night class meets from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. (seven sessions).

Yoga with Miriam Zernis, who studied in India to become an internationally certified Sivananda Yoga Master, starts Monday, March 22 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; eight sessions); Gentle Evening Yoga starts Tuesday, March 16 (5:45 to 6:45 p.m.; eight sessions) and Gentle Yoga for Body, Mind, and Spirit starts Wednesday, March. 17 (8:45 to 9:55 a.m.; eight sessions).

Participants will need a mat, blocks, blanket or towel, and a water bottle. Barre-Lates, Cardio and Core, Dance Toning, and a variety of Tai Chi classes are also available. Most classes meet six or eight sessions and cost $73 to $98. Ridgefield Senior (age 62 and older) or disabled discount available. Advanced registration required. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

Students report that these Yoga classes make a big difference during these stressful times. Yoga classes in Ridgefield Continuing Education (via zoom) help participants develop a practice for core strength and flexibility; build bone density and strength; improve posture and sense of balance, and meet fitness goals. You’ll do a variety of postures (poses) each week with some variations and breath work and end with meditation and relaxation. All instructors are certified and experienced in teaching via Zoom.

Gentle Yoga guided by Beverly Leighton, who gives mindful suggestions that will help sculpt and tone the body, starts Thursday, March 4 and meets from 5 to 6 p.m. (six sessions).

Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Emma Tenley combines a gentle flow Vinyasa with slow and meditative yin yoga. New classes start Thursday, March 18 and Monday, April 5 — either night class meets from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. (seven sessions).

Yoga with Miriam Zernis, who studied in India to become an internationally certified Sivananda Yoga Master, starts Monday, March 22 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; eight sessions); Gentle Evening Yoga starts Tuesday, March 16 (5:45 to 6:45 p.m.; eight sessions) and Gentle Yoga for Body, Mind, and Spirit starts Wednesday, March. 17 (8:45 to 9:55 a.m.; eight sessions).

You will need a mat, blocks, blanket or towel, and a water bottle. Barre-Lates, Cardio and Core, Dance Toning, and a variety of Tai Chi classes are also available. Most classes meet 6 or 8 sessions and cost $73 to $98. Ridgefield Senior (age 62 and older) or disabled discount available. Advanced registration required. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812 to register.

World War II and its Aftermath in Europe seminar happening

World War II and its Aftermath in Europe is a Ridgefield Continuing Education history seminar led by veteran history teacher, Nancy Maxwell, talks about the provocative terms of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to the political appeasement of the 1930s, financial crises, social upheavals, and rise of fascism and communism. This course will: examine the causes of World War II; provide an overview of the war itself; and review the decisions of the peacemakers after Germany surrendered in 1945. Participants will look at the stages, operations, and theaters of the war against the Axis powers, including the “phony war”, the occupation of France, the German advance to the east, the Allied assault on “Fortress Europe”, the war in the Pacific, and the dropping of the first atomic bomb. The coourse will look at decisions by peacemakers — from the division of Germany to the seizure of territories and the descent of the Iron Curtain that reverberate to this day. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org/writhist.html for a more detailed description. Class starts Tuesday, April 6 and continues on April 13, 20 and 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Zoom. Cost is $74. Ridgefield seniors age 62 and over pay $59. Advance registration required. Visit https://ridgefieldschools.org or phone Peggy Bruno at 203-431-2812.

RVNAhealth StayWELL Services wins ‘Employer of Choice’ Award

The home care agency RVNAhealth announces that its StayWELL service line has received a 2021 Best of Home Care® - Employer of Choice Award from the home care industry’s leading firm in satisfaction research and quality assurance, Home Care Pulse. The award recognizes the top performing non-medical home care agencies in the U.S., and is based upon unfiltered caregiver satisfaction feedback.

In addition to the Home Care Pulse Employer of Choice Award, RVNAhealth is also an eight-time winner of the Hearst Media Top Workplaces Award. To learn more about RVNAhealth and our StayWELL services. Visit rvnahealth.org/services/stay-well/ or call 203-438-5555. To meet some of its exceptional caregivers, Visit its Meet the Caregivers webpage to meet some of its caregiver.

Ridgefield to be designated City of Compassion

On March 1, Ridgefield earn the distinction of being designated as a City of Compassion andjoin the International Charter of Compassion. Three years ago, a group of residents founded the non-profit organization, Compassionate Ridgefield, to foster greater compassion, respect and civility within the town. Whether on the ball fields, on social media, or in the quaint shops that line Main Street, the organization aims to foster a culture where everyone, no matter their age, race, ethnicity, religion, political or sexual orientation, feels welcome, included and respected.

To draw attention to this effort and the town’s signing of the Charter of Compassion, the organization in collaboration with the Ridgefield Arts Council, has created 10 banners, each with a single word, that illustrate essential qualities of compassion. The banners will adorn the light posts along the Main Street in the town, and in the Copps Hill area of town for the month of March hopefully drawing attention to the importance of compassion in the stressful world today. Visit www.compassionateridgefield.org for more information.

Caleb Wright guest artist at St. Stephen’s Church concert

Caleb Wright, a bass baritone singer, will be a guest artist at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church’s concert in honor of Black History Month, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m. The church is located at 351 Main St. in Ridgefield. The event will highlight the contributions of Black musicians, and composers and will feature rarely heard classical works by African American composers. It will be livestreamed, with no in-person audience. A $20 donation is suggested, and more generous sponsorships are also welcome. Register for the event at https://st-stephens-blackhistoryconcert.eventbrite.com/ .

Library, league presenting online program

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Ridgefield Library, The League of Women Voters of Ridgefield, and Books on the Common present an online program called “Did She Just Say That? Women’s Voices, Impropriety, and The Power of Speaking Up,” on Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

Register to receive the Zoom link at ridgefieldlibrary.org, or by calling 203-438-2282.

True justice documentary screening, discussion

The Ridgefield Library will present an online screening and discussion of the documentary “True Justice” on Sunday, Feb. 28, starting at 1 p.m. To receive the Zoom link (and the link to watch the film if you would like to do that in advance of the program) register at ridgefieldlibrary.org, or by calling 203-438-2282.

Job Search work team for job seekers beginning

As part of the Ridgefield Library’s new Find a Job: Career and Job Search, a new Job Search Work Team will begin meeting weekly on Tuesday mornings beginning March 2. This team approach to job searching will give participants networking opportunities, peer support and tips, and includes accountability for weekly job search tasks.

Register for the JSWT at ridgefieldlibrary.org, or call for information to 203-438-2282, ext. 12004.

Library announces programming for March

Job Search Work Team, online, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., weekly beginning Tuesday, March 2, register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Non-fictioneers Book Discussion Group, online, Tuesday, March 2, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Discussion Group, online, Thursday, March 4, 10:30 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Did She Just Say That? Women’s Voices, Impropriety, and the Power of Speaking Up with Gina Barreca, online webinar, Thursday, March 4, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Mindfulness and Meditation, Friday, March 5, 12, 19, 26, 12 p.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Poetry in Search of the Sacred, online, Saturday, March 6, 10 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Books and Breakfast Book Discussion Group, online, Monday, March 8, 10:30 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

World Lit Now! Book Discussion Group, online, Wednesday, March 10, 10:30 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Ridgefield Pollinator Pathway Series: Welcoming Spring Flowers - Yikes! - Where Did All Those Invasive Plants Come From? online webinar, with Jackie Algon, Thursday, March 11, 4 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Poetry on the Path with Barb Jennes, Thursday, March 11 & 25, 10:30 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Founders Hall Book Discussion Group, online, Thursday March 11, 3 p.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Infinite Worlds Book Discussion Group, online, Thursday, March 11, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

ARTalk, Paintings of the Dutch Golden Age: A Virtual Tour with Dr. Michael Norris, online webinar, Sunday, March 14, 2 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Job Search Resources, online, Tuesday, March 16, 12 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Hiring Technologies Following COVID-19, online webinar with Dr. Marcia Lareau, Tuesday, March 16, 6 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Critics’ Circle Book Discussion Group, online, Tuesday, March 16, 7 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Lunchtime Language: French Conversation for Beginners, with Anette Roth, online, Wednesday, March 17, 11 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Meet Your Legislators via Zoom, Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

An Afternoon with Scott Weidensaul: A World on the Wing, Tuesday, March 23, 1 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

A.M. Book Group, March 24, 10 a.m., Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Lunchtime Language: French Conversation for Intermediate/Advanced, online with Anette Roth, Wednesday, March 24, 11 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438- 2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

Madame Marie Curie with Toni McKeen, Wednesday, March 24, 4 p.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.org

CT Poetry Society Workshop, Saturday, March 27, 10 a.m., register, Ridgefield Library, 203-438-2282, ridgefieldlibrary.o

A Better Chance first virtual event fundraiser happening

Ridgefield A Better Chance, (RABC), invites the community to its first virtual event fundraiser, a “Celebration of Education” March 4, from 6 to 7 p.m. Register for the event, and view donation opportunities, and raffle items,for it at www.ridgefieldabc.org. Once registered, registrants will receive an email with the video link prior to March 4. People who are interested in the program can also buy tickets, or donate to it before the program to be eligible to win a pair of Apple AirPods Pro, a set of 4 HomePod Minis, or an Apple iPad.

Proceeds will benefit the program.

The event will be livestreamed from London by Safiya Samms, an alumna of the program. Samms, a tech manager at the social media company, Facebook’s London office, has been a major supporter of RABC since her graduation from Ridgefield High School in 2007.

Ira Joe Fisher will introduce Jeanne Manato, the event’s guest of honor. Manato will be recognized at the event for her work as a former academic advisor, board member, and most recently past president of the program, along with Fisher’s continued volunteer efforts on behalf of the program

Other highlights of the evening will be: an opportunity to meet some of the program’s other alumna, and its current scholars, be given a peek at life inside the “RABC” house, with a video presentation, and win raffle prizes. Also visit www.ridgefieldabc.org to learn more about the program.

Scholarships applications open to honor two exceptional students

Graduating seniors from Ridgefield High School are invited to apply for scholarships that honor two Ridgefielders who died young.

Students are required to complete an application to be considered for the Christopher M. Manno Memorial Scholarship for Athletic and Academic Excellence, and a different specific application to be considered for the Michael Meltzer Memorial Scholarship. Students should go to the counseling office in the high school to receive further direction. Each applicant is expected to submit a transcript, and a mid year grades report. Completed applications are due by April 15.

The Manno award is for $5,000, and is seeking applicants of the highest integrity who exemplify excellence in academics and athletics. The Meltzer award is seeking applicants who are interested in the arts or music with an award of $2,000.

These scholarships honor two young Ridgefielders who died very young. Meltzer died after high school graduation in an automobile accident in 1990. Coming from a family strongly rooted in music, Meltzer had a keen sense of appreciation of music, and the arts. Manno died suddenly near the start of Manno’s eighth grade year of an aggressive form of cancer.

Meltzer’s, and Manno’s respective families have chosen to honor them by establishing the scholarships for the benefit of qualifying students at the high school.

Student awarded grant

Ruby Weiner, a student at Scotts Ridge Middle School in Ridgefield, Conn. has been awarded the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant to fight childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day 2021.

Iris Fund participating in Giving Day

The Iris Fund is particicpating in the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Giving Day for the second year in a row, The fund won “Rookie of the Year,” in 2019. The non-profit organization is looking to win the “Women and Girl’s Power Hour, which has a $750 cash prize, and other raffle prizes to help support the organization support its critical research about what triggers full-term labor to eventually prevent preterm birth.

The celebration will take place Feb. 25, from 2 to 3 p.m.

Donate between the timeframe at www.theirisfund.org.

The winner will be the organization that is able to secure the greatest number of donations. The winner is determined by the organization with the greatest number of individuals who donate $10, or more between the timefram. Participants who donate will be automatically entered into the fund’s raffle.

Prizes this year, 2021, are: A BOB Gear Rambler™ Jogging Stroller in Black, a custom tie dye ‘after the storm’ sweatshirt provided by the organization’s friends at the tie dye shop: Rags to Rainbows, dinner for two with everything included from Southwest Café restaurant located at 109 Danbury Road #4109, in Ridgefield, Conn., and 10 hours of tutoring services from the Tutoring Club, tutoring service, located at 105 Danbury Road in the town..

Here are additional ways to participate in the day:

Follow the organization on social media, and share its social media posts at: https://www.facebook.com/theirisfund.org/, @theirisfund on Instagram and @TheIrisFund on Twitter.

Learn more about what the organization supports, listen to its NPR story, and see the research that it funds covered on the streaming service Netflix, https://www.theirisfund.org/news

Keeler seeking apron restoration project

The Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center, located at 152 Main Street in Ridgefield will use donations that are raised through the Fairfield Community Foundation’s Giving Day, Feb. 25, for the conservation, and stablization of a Masonic apron that is believed to have been owned by Abijah Resseguie, a resident of the town. Resseguie apprenticed with James Watrous, a local carriage maker. Resseguie was mechanically minded, and developed improvements about various carriage making tool. The minimum donation for the day is $10.

The staff at the Museum and History Center are hoping to raise $4,000 on this year’s day to cover the cost of the project, which includes both the work on the apron, and a display case.

The Textile Conservation Workshop in South Salem, N.Y., will handle the project, which will include a thorough cleaning to remove rust, and age related stains, removing creases from improper storage, and patching splits in the silk on the apron to prevent further deterioration. Additionally, the paint on the symbols will be stabilized to prevent further flaking. The preserved apron will be mounted for display in an acrylic case.

The apron is the first gift that a new Mason receives, and it is also one of the first symbols an initiate learns about. It also commemorates the aprons worn by stonemasons to protect themselves while working. It is regarded as a symbol of the dignity. and worth of labor and has come to represent service as well. The apron is worn at Masonic meetings, and also at public ceremonies.

Miss Confident boutique hosting fashion conversation

Miss Confident, is hosting Sally Miller, for a a fashion conversation titled: “Sally Miller: Working in the Fashion Industry + Sally’s Favorite Styling Tip” Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. via Zoom.

Miller is a fashion chief executive officer, and a top fashion designer, Miller will answer questions from the community, and share fashion styling tips for tweens, and teens. Miller will also provide them with insights about the fashion industry.

The first 15 people to sign up for the virtual event will be entered into a raffle for a $25 gift card to the organziation. There will also be a raffle for prizes for attendees. Miller is also an entrepreneur and a mom to two daughters. The free event is for the tweens, and teens. Adults are also welcome.

Register, and submit questions in advance at: https://missconfidentboutique.com/events/.

The boutique is located at 17 Danbury Road, Ridgefield. Visit: missconfidentboutique.com, @missconfidentboutique on social media or email: missconfident@missconfidentboutique.com for more information.

UCONN Geoscience offering course at Ridgefield High School

UCONN Geoscience is a brand-new lab course at Ridgefield High School. Building on the long tradition of earth science instruction at Ridgefield High School, the high school has partnered with the university to provide the high school’s students with a unique early college experience.

This full-year science course explores the interdisciplinary nature of geology, meteorology, oceanography and astronomy. With hands-on investigations, environmental case studies and local field trips, students will gain an appreciation and understanding of how specific environmental conditions like soil types and drainage patterns have led to historical settlement and development behaviors by human communities all around the world.

Also considered in the course, is the role that environments have had in shaping biological evolution across geological time. Students will explore the events of earth history and will investigate the fossil remains which tell the story of how earth and its living creatures have changed overs eons of time. Students will learn the history of continental drift theory and discover Ridgefield’s central location in the ancient supercontinent know as Pangea.

The exploration and development of mineral resources will be considered including the impacts these resources have on environmental sustainability and the resulting effects on human health. Students will better understand the long-term impacts that the production of plastics and other modern consumer products have on the environment and the creatures who inhabit it.

Geoscience is considered one of the fastest growing career sectors in the U.S, and across the world. Each day hydrologists, agronomists, petrologists and conservation scientists incorporate the tools of geoscience like remote sensing and geographic information systems to better understand the planet and manage the natural resources that 8 billion humans will need to thrive in the future.

Students who like learning about history or are curious about the interconnectivity of earth systems, along with students who appreciate the outdoors may enjoy this fun and interesting course. Students who complete the course will have the option of earning STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), science credits from the University of Connecticut through their Early College Experience Program. One benefit of this program over traditional AP courses is that the students will be granted an actual UCONN transcript with college credits which can be applied towards graduation at most colleges and universities.

Interested students should discuss this course with their guidance counselor while planning their studies, next year, 2021-2022.