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Giving Students A Better Chance in New Canaan

A gala Saturday night will celebrate 38 years of success in New Canaan.

Just before dinner one night last week, the A Better Chance (ABC) house on Locust Ave. was bustling with activity. was in the kitchen cooking up a healthy meal for this year's five students, the resident directors and their two kids plus two tutors.

The ABC boys came in from football practice, squash, and cross-country. At 6 p.m. sharp, everyone was in the dining room, seated around the table. Hands were joined, a grace of thanks was said by one of the boys and then dinner began.

Throughout the half-hour mealtime, the lively conversation covered a wide range of topics from class elections to school politics, upcoming dances, and a running race challenge. There was a sense of camaraderie among the boys. They're all different, and they all appear to be very comfortable with that.

"They are smart kids, for sure, and they are all extroverts," tutor Gerrard Evans said.

After dinner all the boys help with the dishes and clean up. The boys have study hall from 7 to 10 p.m., with a 15-minute break. The workload is challenging, but it doesn't appear to be overwhelming. In fact, one freshman said he was surprised that it hasn't been more difficult.

"Wait until you're a junior! Then it hits hard!" Devaun Boxell told him.

The five boys came to this program looking for a challenge and a better chance to come away with an excellent high school education.

polly perkins johnson September 29, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Great story.....great photographer! Love the getting the "inside"story!
Jane Himmel September 30, 2011 at 12:36 PM
great story, great program, great dishwasher (two minutes cleaning??!!!).

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