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Blumenthal Visits Ben Bronz Academy


Article by Jim Welch

Photography by Jim Welch

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) visited Ben Bronz Academy, in West Hartford, on Thursday, Jan. 4. Blumenthal emphasized the importance of funding education – particularly special education – while speaking with Ben Bronz students, teachers, administrators and members of the board of directors

“What’s more important than education, ” Blumenthal asked the group of about 25 students gathered in the school library. The senator told students Connecticut has one of the best education systems in the country but proper funding remains a focus for him in the U.S. Senate. 

Blumenthal assured Ben Bronz Executive Director Dr. Gail Lanza Ed. that he supported additional funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a federal law, originally passed in 1975, that makes Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) available to children with disabilities and ensures that eligible children receive special education and related services. “We have to do better funding IDEA,” Blumenthal told Lanza after meeting with students.

Blumenthal spent about a half hour fielding questions from students ranging from what a typical day for a U.S. senator is like and how he manages stress to what his thoughts on climate change and nicotine use are.

The group of about 25 Ben Bronz students, including the newly-elected student government, learned about the importance of talking with people and reading to research issues. Blumenthal said it is important in whatever job you choose to be well informed. He said he is always learning. “I always want to feel like I know enough about a particular issue.”

Blumenthal met with Lanza, teachers, administrators and a board member after his visit with students to learn more about Ben Bronz.

Ben Bronz Academy is a state-approved private special education school servicing students grades 2-12 from around Connecticut who struggle to learn. The students have been identified with various learning disabilities, including: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Executive Function Difficulties, ADHD, CAPD, and ASD (mild/Asperger’s).

Ben Bronz was founded in 1985 with the belief that every student deserves to succeed. Since then, BBA has prepared hundreds of students for academic success. Our individualized learning program enables students to master learning skills, achieve academic success and enhance self-confidence. It is also the goal of BBA to return students to their district at or above grade level. The majority of students attend Ben Bronz for two to three academic years.

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