We are pleased to announce the appointment of Carmen Neale to the KidsPlay Children's Museum Board of Directors.
Carmen is a retired attorney who worked for Neighborhood Legal Services in Hartford, specializing in housing matters. She continued her working career as a Spanish teacher at Hunter Montessori School in New Hartford, at Farmington Valley Academy Montessori in Avon, and for sixteen years at Watkinson School in Hartford. She has been a “freelance” Spanish translator for the past 30 years doing mainly legal and educational translations for several organizations, among them, for the Torrington School System.
Carmen was born in Ibague, Colombia, of professional parents and relatives, many of whom were teachers and lawyers. She came to the United States at the age of 18. She studied Political Science at CUNY in New York and later received a scholarship to Albany Law School. She started her law career in the NYS Prison System representing Latino prisoners who did not speak English and, therefore, could not stand up for their legal rights with parole boards, etc. Thus began her passion and commitment to intentionally seek ways to help the Latinx population to this day.
Carmen has volunteered in many ways to the benefit of many people. She has helped prepare paperwork for Asylum Seekers and answered questions on a Legal Services Hotline giving advice on housing matters. During the last few years she has been recording newspaper and magazine articles in Spanish for CRIS Radio, a radio-reading service that serves people who are blind or print-challenged. She was named as one of 50 outstanding Latinos in CT by Identidad Latina, a Spanish newspaper publication in the Hartford area.
Carmen has been dramatizing stories and writing from an early age. She began on the radio in Colombia and developed her skill with voices which she used as an adult in teaching children Spanish; she is currently dramatizing and reading children’s storybooks for virtual or outdoor storytimes in Spanish for KidsPlay and translates important signage for the museum. She plays an important role in the museum’s quest for further meeting the needs of a culturally diverse community in the Northwest Corner.
Carmen lives with her husband, a retired Insurance Lawyer, in New Hartford. She has three grown daughters and one grandson. She has continued her love of writing and belongs to the Litchfield Writers’ Guild where she continues to write regularly and hopes to publish someday. She is also part of the CT Women Writers on Facebook. For several years she volunteered for the Bakerville Library in New Hartford, running a book club for children, in which they read and discussed the books nominated for the Nutmeg Book Award. She started a book club, sponsored by the Bakerville Library, some 23 years ago. They are currently meeting virtually during the COVID pandemic. In her “free time” she plays tennis!
We hope you enjoy these stories read by Carmen on our YouTube Channel: