Hartford Partnerships

Building a Bridge to Hartford

The Hartford Partnership programs below are the outgrowth of the school’s mission and have a direct impact on the young people of Hartford and the students of Westminster School.

Horizons at Westminster

Founded in 2018, Horizons at Westminster is part of a national network of academic enrichment programs, which aim to advance educational equity by building long-term partnerships with students, families, communities, and schools to create experiences that inspire the joy of learning.
 
Rooted in Westminster's long-standing commitment to our neighbors in Hartford, Horizons at Westminster makes an eight-year commitment to our students, supporting them with year-round programming in Grades K through 8. Each summer, students attend our six-week summer program, which focuses on reading, math, science, problem-solving, and real-world application of knowledge. They also build confidence and character while learning how to swim, dance, play golf and participate in many other extracurricular enrichments.

Horizons at Westminster would not be possible without the support of our school community. Westminster students make a huge impact on our Horizons students during our summer program and many volunteer to tutor our students during our weekly trips to Moylan, our partner school in Hartford. We also receive tremendous support from Westminster’s faculty and staff, as well as parents and alumni who donate their time and/or resources to support our program.

For more information about Horizons at Westminster, please visit our program’s website or contact Patrick Owens at powens@excellsys.com.

Loaves and Fishes

Each month, members of the Westminster community travel to Hartford to help prepare and serve lunch at Loaves and Fishes, a soup kitchen dedicated to addressing food insecurity in the Asylum Hill neighborhood. These trips, open to students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni, have a direct impact on both the volunteers and the Hartford residents who access the soup kitchen.

For more information about Loaves and Fishes, contact Mary Eckerson at meckerson@excellsys.com.

Spring Break in Hartford

During a week in the month of March, our Spring Break in Hartford program seeks to extend its outreach by lending a hand to various organizations and schools in Hartford. Past projects have included organizing the food pantry at Loaves and Fishes, cleaning and cataloging the library at Moylan School, and painting barns at Ebony Horsewomen.

For more information about the Spring Break in Hartford program, contact Mary Eckerson at meckerson@excellsys.com.

Classroom Curriculum

The Civic Engagement curriculum represents the educational wing of the Hartford Partnerships initiatives.

List of 2 items.

  • Civic Engagement I

    Civic Engagement One (I) (Designed for the Fourth Form)
     
    The Civic Engagement One (I) curriculum consists of two courses: 
    1) Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse which meets during the fall trimester and
    2) Speech Writing and Public Speaking which meets during the winter and part of the spring trimesters.
     
    The Civic Engagement One (I) course is pass/fail.
     
    1. The course Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse exists for three reasons.
     
    First, through a carefully selected series of lessons, Civic Engagement seeks to help Westminster students better understand who they are and for what they stand.
     
    Second, Westminster School feels strongly it has an obligation to teach its students, explicitly and intentionally, that they have an obligation to engage in their community.
     
    Third, civil discourse is a gateway through which one engages in one’s community—one must learn to listen, one must learn to consider opposing views, one must learn to honor the conventions of courtesy and respect.

    As an example, last year’s Civic Engagement curriculum (2022-23) included the following topics:
    1. Introduction to Civic Engagement One (I)
    2. The Divided Brain
    3. Wonder vs. Awe
    4. No Rights without Responsibilities: The Statue of Liberty vs. The Statue of Responsibility
    5. Plato’s Cave
    6. The Two Halves of Life
    7. Liberty vs. Equality
    8. Leadership vs. "Follower-ship"
    9. The Challenge

    2. The Speech Writing and Public Speaking course exists for three reasons.

    First, being trained in public speaking is an important means by which one can contribute to one’s community.

    Second, through a carefully selected series of lessons, the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course at Westminster aims to familiarize students with the fundamentals of composing and presenting a speech.
     
    Third, the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course seeks to provide Westminster students with the actual experience of preparing and delivering a speech by asking each student to participate in a public speaking contest. This contest both revives an old Westminster tradition and thus affirms the idea that public speaking is a fundamental tenet of the educational process.

    As an example, last year’s (2022-2023) Speech Writing and Public Speaking Curriculum followed the general pattern below:
    1. Introduction to the Speech Writing and Public Speaking course:
      a. Course Description — Overview
      b. Westminster School Fourth Form Speaking Contest — Overview
    2. General Terms and Techniques
      a. Introduction to General Terms
      b. Introduction to Key Rhetorical Techniques
      c. Written Expression vs. Verbal Expression 
    3. Identify the key rhetorical techniques in two short speeches
      a. TBD     
      b. TBD 
    4. Speech # 1: The “Sistare” Speech: In Your Own Words
      a. In Your Own Words . . . Write your own short version of Speech 3a or 3b.
      b. Diagram your own short version of Speech 3a or 3b.
      c. Practice delivering your speech.
      d. Submit your diagrammed version of either speech 3a or 3b.
      e. Deliver to the class your own version of either speech 3a or 3b.
    5. Speech # 2: Prepare Your Own Original, Short Speech
      a. In Your Own Words . . . Write an original, short speech.
      b. Diagram your original, short speech.
      c. Practice delivering your original, short speech.
      d. Submit the diagrammed version of your original, short speech.
      e. Deliver to the class your original, short speech.
    6. Fourth Form Public Speaking Contest = Finalists (chosen from Speech # 2).
      Tentative Date and Time: TBD. Format TBD.
  • Civic Engagement II

    Civic Engagement Two (II) (2) (Designed for First-Year Fifth Formers, One-Year Sixth Formers, and Post-Graduates.)

    Civic Engagement Two (II), like Civic Engagement One (I), is a Pass/Fail course that meets one day per week for the fall trimester, the winter trimester, and part of the spring trimester. 
     
    The Civic Engagement Two (II) version of the Civic Engagement curriculum, offered to new Upper Formers, focuses on examining the foundations of both Western and Eastern civilization as a method to achieve the goals described above in the Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse class offered to the Fourth Form. Again, those goals are to aid Westminster students better understand who they are and for what they stand, to teach Westminster students that they have an obligation to engage in their own community as well as the community-at-large, and to help Westminster students learn the basics of civil discourse (i.e., to learn to listen, to consider opposing views, and to honor the conventions of courtesy and respect).
     
    In addition, Civic Engagement Two (II) seeks both to welcome new students to Westminster and to assist them in thinking about the role they can play within the Westminster community as well as the world around them.

    As an example, last year’s (2022-2023) Civic Engagement Two (II) curriculum included the following topics:
    Introduction to Civic Engagement Two (II)
    The Divided Brain
    Wonder and Awe
    Athens vs. Jerusalem (Reason vs. Faith) 
    Homer, Achilles, and the Heroic Code 
    Socrates and Plato and Aristotle
    Jerusalem and The Wisdom of God
    The Challenge 
    Stoicism
    St. Augustine
    Dante
    Montaigne
    Cervantes
    Shakespeare
    Pascal
    Nietzsche
    Introduction to Eastern Civilization: Hinduism and Buddhism
    Confucianism and Taoism 

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Patrick Owens

    Patrick Owens 

    Executive Director, Horizons at Westminster & Hartford Partnerships
    (860) 408-3006
  • Photo of Kelly Wosleger

    Kelly Wosleger 

    Fifth Form Dean, Program Director, Horizons at Westminster & Hartford Partnerships
    (860) 408-3731
  • Photo of Todd Eckerson

    Todd Eckerson 

    Lead Teacher Civic Engagement
    (860) 408-3048
  • Photo of Mary Eckerson

    Mary Eckerson 

    Liaison, Loaves and Fishes

Contact Us

995 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, Connecticut 06070

P. (860) 408-3000
F. (860) 408 3001
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