The Betty R. Tipton Room was packed on Jan. 15 with more than 150 third-grade students from four schools in Hartford, East Hartford, Coventry and Windham to hear about local heroes and historical figures. Schools represented included the Betances Early Reading Lab in Hartford; Anna E. Norris School in East Hartford; G. H. Robertson School in Coventry; and North Windham Elementary School. Using an inter-district grant from the Connecticut State Department of Education, the Heroes and Heroines program has several goals, including bringing together students from diverse backgrounds and schools; increasing literacy in the area of nonfiction; and teaching children about historical and local heroes and heroines. In addition to reading about such American heroes as Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Nathan Hale, the students also heard from a number of local professionals, including Windham Superintendent of Schools Ana Ortiz; Carmen Cid, dean of Eastern's School of Arts and Sciences; and several other people with interesting careers. The panel told the assembled crowd of youngsters to find something they are good at, something they like, and something they will look forward to going to work to do every day. (Below from left to right: Ryan James from the FBI; Virginia Walton, recycling coordinator for the Town of Mansfield; Willimantic Fire Chief Mark Scrivener; Steve Ferraro, who works to combat slavery and human trafficking in other countries; and puppeteer John Mayer.