LINKS/Habitat Connections

Purpose & History

The Interdistrict Cooperative Grant Program (ICGP), established under section 10-74d of Connecticut General Statutes, provides state funding to local / regional school districts and nonprofit organizations to support inter-district programs designed to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation and improve student academic achievement (particularly in the areas of science and mathematics). As part of this program, the State Department of Education requires a minimum of 30 face-to- face contact hours between participants. The 2017-2018 school year marks the 24th anniversary of the New Canaan Nature Center executing this innovative educational program. To date over 19,000 students in lower Fairfield County Connecticut have been served through LINKS. Approximately 650 fourth grade students from our partner school districts of Norwalk and New Canaan participate in the LINKS program each year.

LINKS/Habitat Connections Primary Goals: Primary goals are twofold

Increase academic performance of urban and suburban fourth grade students by supplementing existing district curriculum with hands-on, interactive, interdisciplinary studies and cooperative problem solving related to environmental issues. Reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation by involving a cohort of urban and suburban students in integrated partnerships for cooperative learning and teamwork.

How We Achieve These Goals

All participating classes are part of three field trips to the New Canaan Nature Center. Each trip allows students to immerse in the forest, fields and ponds to study the ecosystem and food chains within each habitat. Six program opportunities are offered to all participating schools for after-school discovery activities in a relaxed atmosphere to enhance the school day field trips. In November and May families have the opportunity to visit the New Canaan Nature Center on a Saturday to explore and experience what their children are a part of! Also, we offer a family winter study day in February!

For questions or more information please contact Chris Hendershot

Director of Education Programs & LINKS/Habitat
Connections Coordinator