Photo: Contributed Photo
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Holmes School fourth-graders Jack Lubeley, Tommy Galligan and Jack Bryer play bingo in the school’s gymnasium on Jan. 19. Bingo Night was a fundraiser for the Parent-Teacher Organization.
Photo: Contributed Photo
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Ox Ridge School students visit the New Canaan Nature Center on Jan. 20.
Photo: Contributed Photo
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Bankwell donated $10,000 to the Darien Depot. From left: Christine Popson, Kathy Arrix, David Dineen, Bonni Gottlieb, Ellen Bay and Kathryn Doran.

Students from Darien’s Ox Ridge Elementary School joined their peers from Stamford’s Murphy Academy, which is part of the after school program at KT Murphy Elementary School on Jan. 20. The two groups went on an inter-district field trip together to study forest habitats at the New Canaan Nature Center.

Led in conjunction with Stamford-based nonprofit Domus and Stamford Public Schools, the program is designed to increase academic engagement related to environmental science and to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation by connecting a cohort of urban and suburban students in cooperative learning and teamwork.

Six Darien natives have been named to the dean’s list at the University of New Hampshire for the fall semester. Highest honors are awarded to students who earn a semester grade-point average of 3.85 or better out of a possible 4.0. Students with a 3.65 to 3.84 average are awarded high honors and students whose GPA is 3.5 through 3.64 are awarded honors.

Jessica Selensky was named to the list with honors.

Matthew Vossler, Nicholas Gould, Taylor McDonald, Alana McKay and Andrew Scolaro made high honors.

Madeline Dostal, a native of Darien, has been named to the University of Iowa’s dean’s list for the fall semester.

Miami University students who are ranked in the top 20 percent of undergraduate students within each division for first semester 2017-18 have been named to the dean’s list recognizing academic excellence, including Darien’s Lynette Lopez, Nicole Briganti, Morgan McLaren and James Teschner.

The University of Hartford announced Barrett Heyde, of Darien, has been named to its dean’s list for fall 2017.

David Santa, of Darien, was named to The University of Scranton’s dean’s list for the fall semester. The dean’s list recognizes students for academic excellence. A student must have a GPA of 3.5 or better with a minimum number of credit hours during the semester to make the dean’s list.

Santa is a freshman accounting major in the university’s Kania School of Management.

Russell Luther, of Darien, made the dean’s list at Wentworth Institute of Technology for the fall semester.

State Street Foundation, Inc. awarded a $20,000 grant for the Person-to-Person Scholarship Program.

One of the most successful initiatives at P2P, the Scholarship Program was established in 1968 to provide financial assistance to college students from low-income households, many of whom are among the first in their family to pursue higher education. For the 2017-18 academic year, P2P awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to 119 students.

Employees of State Street Global Advisors regularly volunteer at P2P, which was established in 1968 to provide low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services. With offices in Darien and Norwalk, the P2P service area includes Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

Bankwell has teamed up with the Darien Depot, donating $10,000 to the organization to support their upcoming Apres Ski Winter Fundraiser on Feb. 10 and to launch the first annual Bankwell in Darien/Darien Depot Scholarship that will highlight the accomplishments of a high school member of the Depot as part of the bank’s “Bankwell for Good” program.

Bankwell will be opening a branch in Darien, along with two other branches in Fairfield County, this spring.

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk is accepting nominations for the 2018 Women of Distinction awards.

They are seeking nominations for women who epitomize leadership and have used their skills to make our community a better place to live. Local residents and business owners are nominated by people that have recognized an impact from their unique contributions that have made a difference in the Darien and Norwalk communities.

The areas of excellence they are looking for are “Racial Justice and Civil Rights,” “Empowerment & Economic Advancement in Women and Girls” and “Health & Safety of Women and Girls.” Details about each practice area can be found atywcadn.org.

The YWCA Darien/Norwalk Women of Distinction Nominations Committee reviews the nominations and selects the honorees. The honorees will include five Women of Distinction and a Young Woman of Distinction that is 21 years old or younger. Candidates under 21 years of age may nominate themselves this year and the winner will receive a scholarship of $1,000.

The women chosen to receive the Women of Distinction awards will be honored at the YWCA’s Annual Women of Distinction Awards and Luncheon on May 10 at the Woodway Country Club in Darien.

Nomination forms are atywcadn.org and must be submitted by March 2.

Ever wanted to own an exotic pet but don’t have the space or time to care for it?

The Darien Nature Center is offering sponsorship opportunities for eight of its resident animals: Einstein the bunny, Shelley the turtle, Sydney the bearded dragon, Paz the white dove, Ethel the prairie dog, Hectora the iguana, Flinch the hedgehog and Luna the owl.

The sponsor is invited to come in for one-on-one time with their animal.

There are four sponsorship levels available.

You can complete a sponsorship atdariennaturecenter.org/donate. For further information, contact Administrative Affairs Manager Leah Salomoni at 203-655-7459.

The history of the American flag is as varied and fascinating as the republic it represents and an exhibit at the Darien Historical Society, “Long May She Wave: The Evolution of Our Flag,” which opened Jan. 18, tells the story of the flag in all its red, white and blue glory.

Among the flags on display is a 35-star flag that was official from 1863 to 1865. This hand-stitched flag has stars that tilt randomly, an example of how people used to come up with creative patterns before it was formally set by Congress in 1912

In addition to several antique flags, the exhibit will include a timeline that traces the evolution of the nation’s banner through both local and national events. Spanning from pre-colonial days to the year 1960, when the 50th star was officially added, the exhibit will feature photographs, a soundtrack with music and voices from the past, and a lecture series on subjects relating to the flag’s history.

An interactive portion will challenge viewers to design a 51-star flag and also to write in a journal about a time when the flag stirred a strong emotion.

The “Long May She Wave” exhibit will run through March 13 and can be viewed during the Society’s open hours and during lectures. The exhibit is free for members, Darien’s first responders, teachers and students. The cost for non-members will be $5.

Exhibit sponsors include M3 Messenger and Christie’s Quilting Boutique of Norwalk.

The exhibit will feature several lectures including:

“The Lincoln Flag — Rediscovered” will be held March 4 at 3 p.m. After 76 years in a cluttered storage area, the flag that decorated Lincoln’s box at Ford’s Theater was rediscovered. Hear the fascinating story with Ilene Frank, chief curator at the Connecticut Historical Society.

To register, visit darienhistorical.org or call 203-655-9233. The cost for the lectures will be $5 for members, $20 for non-members and $30 for non-members and a guest. Students attend free.

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