[Editor's Note: This announcement was originally posted on March 20.]
Annual awards recognize individuals or companies that advocate for young children, winners will be honored at the museum’s Kaleidoscope Ball on March 31
NORWALK, Conn. – Stepping Stones Museum for Children is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2012 Stepping Up for Children Awards: Dr. Myron Genel, professor emeritus and senior research scientist in pediatrics at Yale University School for Medicine; Norwalk Community College President David L. Levinson, Ph.D.; Norwalk Community College; and GE Capital, a Norwalk-based financial services company.
The Stepping Up for Children Awards recognize individuals, nonprofit organizations or companies that demonstrate a steadfast commitment to improving and enriching the lives of children and families. The recipients will be honored at the museum’s Kaleidoscope Ball on Saturday, March 31. The Kaleidoscope Ball benefits the museum’s Open Arms accessibility initiative, which makes it possible for every child to enjoy the Stepping Stones experience regardless of financial, language or special needs barriers.
“Every child has the potential to be successful, but it’s up to our community to make sure they have the right tools,” said Rhonda Kiest, executive director of Stepping Stones. “The Stepping Up for Children Award recipients are leaders in the community making an important difference in the lives of all children. Dr. Genel, President Levinson, Norwalk Community College and GE Capital have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to supporting quality educational experiences that are key to unlocking a child’s potential and helping them succeed throughout their lives,” she said.
About Dr. Myron Genel
Genel is professor emeritus and senior research scientist in pediatrics at Yale University School for Medicine, where he was an associate dean for 19 years. Genel serves on the Stepping Stones Community Partnership Council and has provided creative content direction for several major museum initiatives, including the national award-winning, Healthy Children, Healthy Communities®. Through statewide exhibits, programs and events, Healthy Children, Healthy Communities promotes healthy living for children, families and communities.
For more than 30 years, Genel has served at the interface of academic medicine, the health professions and the community at a local, state, national and international level. He is immediate past president of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and has been a member of Connecticut’s Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee since the program was established in 2005 by the General Assembly. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Joseph W. St. Geme Jr. Leadership Award, one of the highest in academic pediatrics, and the President’s Certificate for Outstanding Service from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
About David L. Levinson, Ph.D., and Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Community College is a nationally recognized Achieving the Dream college that provides innovative and affordable learning opportunities to diverse populations. Through President Levinson’s leadership, the college has formed strong community partnerships to create pathways of student success beginning in early childhood and continuing through higher education. Norwalk Community College, in collaboration with Stepping Stones and Literacy How, is working to close Connecticut’s literacy achievement gap and better prepare young children for school with a new Early Learning and Literacy Initiative. This unique public-private collaboration will address the community’s early childhood education needs with pre-k learning labs, teacher training and after school and parent programs.
Recently selected as interim vice president for the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, Levinson is also helping to transform the state’s college and university system and build a highly skilled, engaged and contributing workforce for the future.
About GE Capital
GE Capital, one of the world’s largest providers of credit, is committed to developing impactful programs to serve the needs of communities where its employees live and work. The company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts focus on education, supporting disadvantaged youth, and community building. Last year, 110,000 GE volunteers donated 1.3 million hours on 6,200 projects worldwide.
With its global headquarters in Norwalk, southern Connecticut holds special relevance for GE Capital’s community initiatives. In 2011, GE Capital employees volunteered over 3,000 hours in the Norwalk community. The company works alongside key local partners, including Stepping Stones, Norwalk Community College, Norwalk ACTS, Carver Foundation, Human Services Council, Norwalk Education Foundation, Norwalk Housing Authority and Norwalk Open Door Shelter, to meet community objectives.
GE Capital believes that improving access to and quality of education is critical in order to prepare young Americans – especially those in underserved urban districts – for careers in a global economy. For over eight years, GE Capital has worked with the Norwalk Public Schools and key strategic partners to make quality educational opportunities available for all children and families in the local community. GE Capital recently expanded its partnership with Norwalk Public Schools to help support the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in education. Alec Burger, president of GE Capital Real Estate, North America division, will accept the award on behalf of GE Capital.
About the Kaleidoscope Ball
The museum’s annual gala on Saturday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m., is an elegant affair for adults featuring a seated dinner, cocktails, dancing and an opportunity to bid on unique auction items. The Kaleidoscope Ball will bring together hundreds of museum friends, community leaders and corporate partners from throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties in support of an incredible cause. Event proceeds benefit the museum’s Open Arms initiative, which makes it possible for every child, family and school to enjoy the museum experience regardless of financial, language or special needs barrier.
The Kaleidoscope Ball is sponsored by the Foster Family Fund, GE Capital and Pitney Bowes at the visionary level and A. Pappajohn Company, The Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation, Inc., Anne and Herb Gullquist, Purdue Pharma L.P. and the Xerox Foundation at the innovator level. Media support was provided by Moffly Media and WSHU Public Radio.