Who We Are
Built for and With the Community
Created by the Trumbull Public Schools and run by students
In the summer of 2021, when the Trumbull Public Schools needed a new hub for the district's ELITE program, which provides life skill and employment preparation training for students with developmental disabilities, those involved looked to create a student-run business which would make a meaningful contribution to the community. With the TPS core values of inclusivity and the development of a lifelong love of literacy in mind, a bookstore cafe and "meet up" spot seemed like just the right fit.
A State grant for special education students impacted by the pandemic, generous corporate and family scholarship funds, and community contributions of items from an Amazon Wishlist beautifully outfitted the store space in Trumbull Center, with zero impact on the district's school budget. While Trumbull's ELITE students continue to work at over 20 other sites in Trumbull and surrounding communities, such as Fairfield University and the Beardsley Zoo, as they look to improve their employability skills, NCB now serves as a hub for students to further grow and practice these skills, to the great benefit of the Trumbull community.
An Employability Training Platform for the District's ELITE Program
Key to the success of NCB, is that the site serve as an employability platform for students, working for and alongside members of the community. Providing a more rigorous approach to this important area of students' education, while also creating a ways and means of highlighting students' strengths were also important to this initiative.
Those involved looked around our State for other models of employability platforms for individuals with disabilities, and connected with the individuals who created the highly successful ReRead Books in Cheshire, The Westport Bookshop, and the Abilis-created venture, Coffee for Good, in Greenwich. Through these collaborations, the team in Trumbull learned how to create a self-funded program in the form of a pre-owned bookstore and cafe - and the idea for Next Chapter Books was born.