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Bright Spot: Non-profit is helping kids improve their literacy from home (WFSB)

Click photo above to watch the video.

(WFSB) – A local non-profit is helping kids improve their literacy from home.

For 8 years now CRIS Radio (Connecticut Radio Information System) began to expand their services to students around the state.

“Teachers came to us and said ‘Hey we have special needs kids that are not able to access classroom material. Can you do custom recordings?' So, we started doing that,” explains Diane Weaver Dunne, Executive Director of CRIS Radio.  CONTINUE READING

CRIS Radio Announces New Members to its Board of Directors

Press Release (pdf)

CRIS Radio, a 42-year-old nonprofit and Connecticut’s only radio-reading service for people who are blind or print challenged, has added four new members to its board of directors. They are: Rosa Cassells, Carla Pariser, Benjamin Schimelman, and Gonmit Sehmbi.

“We are pleased to announce the election of four new members to CRIS Radio’s Board of Directors, said CRIS Board Chair Paul A. Young. “These new members enhance the diversity and expertise of our organization’s work to improve access to print information through our 24/7 broadcasts, podcasts, and online streaming of more than 70 newspapers and magazines, including Spanish language publications and children’s magazines, to the state’s vulnerable population who are blind or unable to read due to other print disabilities.”

Cassells, an East Hartford resident, is an underwriter for American Eagle Financial Credit Union. Prior to being elected to CRIS Radio’s Board of Directors, Cassells, who learned about CRIS Radio through Leadership Greater Hartford, initially served CRIS Radio as a Spanish-language volunteer reader.

“CRIS is unique, inspiring and simply put, benevolent,” she said. “It is especially meaningful to me that CRIS has made gains to provide access in Spanish with CRIS en Español, minimizing communication barriers.”

Another long-time CRIS Radio volunteer reader, Pariser, also expanded her service to the nonprofit through her election to its board. A resident of West Hartford and retired client executive in global sales and marketing at IBM Corp., she has been a volunteer reader for 15 years.

“CRIS provides such a valuable service and has such dedicated employees and volunteers that I wanted to be a part of the bigger picture,” Pariser said.  “I continue to be delighted and amazed at the myriad activities that CRIS coordinates and hope to be of service.”

CRIS board members, Schimelman and Sehmbi, also were introduced to CRIS through Leadership Greater Hartford, another local nonprofit. Schimelman, an attorney with Gfeller Laurie LLP, lives in Middletown, said he was impressed with the creative way CRIS uses technology to help people. “CRIS provides a critical means for people who are unable to read printed materials to stay connected with current events around Connecticut and the world, but it is so much more than that. CRIS has successfully broadened its reach beyond radio to be accessible anywhere over the internet; it is also available in healthcare facilities and to Spanish-speaking listeners,” he said.

Sehmbi, a resident of Newington, is a brand innovation associate for Melissa & Doug. “I look forward to helping the organization strategize its future goals with the needs of its listeners,” she said. “By growing the awareness of its mission and building more external partnerships in Connecticut and beyond, CRIS Radio is sure to become a national model for other radio-reading services.”

JI: Project to give voice to suffrage

Journal Inquirer, August 29, 2020
Link to story

Copy of story:  JPG PDF

CRIS Radio and archivists from the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Historical Society, and Watkinson Library & College Archives at Trinity College are working together to bring to life 100-year-old documents – featuring human-narrated recordings available as podcasts — about the divisive debate over the passage of the 19th Amendment that was passed in August 1920.  Read more.

CRISKids Improves Reading in Enfield

Journal Inquirer, April 10, 2020
Link to story

Study: Nonprofits help improve reading scores for Enfield Students

ENFIELD — A unique collaboration between two nonprofits — the local Educational Resources for Children Inc. and the Windsor-based Connecticut Radio Information System — that enabled students … Continue Reading ››

CRIS RADIO RECEIVES FUNDING from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

CRIS RADIO RECEIVES FUNDING FROM the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

On March 10, 2019, CRIS Radio received funding from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for $7,500.

This grant helps CRIS Radio continue its mission of providing audio access to print information for people who are blind or unable to read due … Continue Reading ››

CRIS RADIO RECEIVES FUNDING from the Fairfield Community Foundation

CRIS RADIO RECEIVES FUNDING FROM the Fairfield Community Foundation

On March 10, 2019, CRIS Radio received funding from the Fairfield Community Foundation for $6,957.

This grant helps CRIS Radio continue its mission of providing audio access to print information for people who are blind or unable to read due to a medical condition … Continue Reading ››

Local Celebrities Raise Money For CRIS Radio

Hartford Courant, May 5, 2018

Five local celebrities competed for CRIS Radio's Mirror Ball Trophy on Saturday (April 28) at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford to raise money for the nonprofit's radio-reading service for people unable to read due to blindness or other print disabilities.
In celebration … Continue Reading ››



Hartford Courant,  April 18, 2018

On March 30, 2018, CRIS Radio received a grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven of $4,000 to support Adult Programming.

These grant awards will help CRIS Radio continue … Continue Reading ››

New Country Helps Make CRIS Radio Golf Classic a Success

New Country Helps Make CRIS Radio Golf Classic a Success

Hartford Courant: October 11, 2017

Thanks to New Country Motor Cars of Hartford, title sponsor of CRIS Radio's 20th Annual Golf Classic, more than 100 golfers turned out to raise funds for the Windsor-based nonprofit radio service for the blind on Wednesday, Oct. 4.

"It was the best turnout for … Continue Reading ››

Stamford Advocate: Radio Service… Opens Norwalk Studio

Radio Service for visually impaired opens Norwalk Studio

Stamford Advocate: July 18, 2017

NORWALK — The city has welcomed a new nonprofit with the grand opening of Connecticut Radio Information System’s newest office at the Gate Lodge in Mathews Park.

Lou Morando, outreach coordinator for CRIS, said the new facility is … Continue Reading ››

CRIS Feeds @ St. Francis Hospital

Hartford Courant:  JPG  |  Text
Journal  Inquirer:  PDF  |  JPG

Hartford Business Journal:  JPG  |  Text

CRIS launched two of its internet streams at St. Francis Hospital, making the CRIS Radio and CRIS en Español available to every patient in the hospital over their bedside cable system.

CRIS Now in Bristol/Southington ALFs

There was a day (years, in fact) that we could not get CRIS Radio at CRIS Radio.  With the development of technologies, particularly the internet, CRIS is now able to reach tens of thousands of people that we could not before.

Thanks to a grant from the Bristol General Grant Fund at Main Street Community Foundation, … Continue Reading ››

Stratford man honored for service to the blind

CTPost, Dec 21, 2016

Stratford man honored for service to the blind

STRATFORD — Town resident Allen Fanslow was honored recently for 20 years of volunteer service to the Connecticut Radio Information System, a service for the blind.

Fanslow was honored at a reception in the Governor’s Mansion, where Trumbull resident Kathleen Miranti was acknowledged … Continue Reading ››

The Sound of a Successful Partnership – CRISKids

Comcast Corporate’s Inside CI: July 2016

Comcast and NBCUniversal employees are the driving force in creating the kind of world we want to live in – one where passion and creativity come together for the good of all.

We welcome new ideas, and encourage imagination and ingenuity. Here’s the story of how one employee used his talents … Continue Reading ››

CTNOW: CRIS Radio Dining & Dancing In The Dark Gala

April 17, 2016

CRIS Radio had its 6th Annual Dining & Dancing in the Dark Gala on Saturday night at the Bond Ball Room in downtown Hartford. Guests were treated to some fine dining and then entertained with a celebrity dance competition with members of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Guests  included Sen. Richard Blumenthal, WFSB's Scott … Continue Reading ››

CRIS Radio Names Local Celebrities in Annual Dance Contest

February 2015, Hartford Courant

In these parts this announcement is almost as exciting as each time ABC reveals a new celebrity cast for its popular TV reality show "Dancing With the Stars."

And with that said, CRIS Radio, the nonprofit radio service that broadcasts news and information to the blind and disabled, has announced the celebrity line-up … Continue Reading ››

CT’s CRIS Radio debuts hands-free media to ailing kids

March 7, 2013

Windsor nonprofit CRIS Radio has expanded its media "infotainment" services to patients at Hartford's Connecticut Children's Medical Center – the first of its kind in the nation, authorities say.
CRISKids, in partnership with Comcast, offers audio versions of articles published in nearly 20 award-winning children's magazines streamed through the hospital's in-house TV … Continue Reading ››

Audio recordings from children’s magazines now airing at CCMC

March 5, 2013 By Steven Crighton Journal Inquirer

Patients at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford can turn off the cartoons in favor of the hospital's new in-house radio service, which offers an educational way to pass the time while receiving treatments.
The first-of-its-kind service provides patients the ability to stream CRISKids, an alternative to print magazines … Continue Reading ››

CCMC, CRIS to improve kids’ treatment experience

March 4, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- CRIS radio and the Connecticut Children's Medical Center are beginning a first-of-its-kind service for children.

It will offer young patients a new way to pass the time while they receive medical treatments. Televisions in each room will be outfitted with audio recordings of books and children's magazines, such as … Continue Reading ››

Volunteers in Team ESPN

Volunteers in Team ESPN Radio Reading Room Produce Audio Versions of ESPN The MagESPN Deportes Mag

February 4, 2013   ESPN Front Row

The words in ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Deportes Magazine paint vivid pictures to complement rich photography and imaginative layouts. Still, not every sports fan can appreciate those publications in print.

Last year, ESPN’s Corporate … Continue Reading ››

CRIS Radio Volunteers Emerging As Stars Of ‘Dancing In The Dark’ Gala

April 13, 2012 By Maryellen Fillo, The Hartford Courant

Arthur Murray instructor Frank Del Aguila's touch is feather light as he and his dance partner, Diane Duhaime, practice their fox trot. His hand gently guides her arm to form a graceful arc as they move across the floor in unison. She is equally sensitive, her hands … Continue Reading ››