Is it true there were two ABC houses in Wilton?
In 2003, it became apparent that the successful program was outgrowing its Godfrey Place location. Board member Lynne Vanderslice chaired a capital campaign that raised more than $700,000 and facilitated the purchase and renovation of a larger home on Cannon Road, with more suitable accommodations for the Resident Directors and Academic Coordinator.
The boys moved to Cannon Road in 2007. The question then became what to do with the suddenly vacant Godfrey Place property. After much discussion and considerable research, the Board voted in 2008 to put the Godfrey Place home to use as a residence for girl scholars. Wilton is one of just five programs in the country that operates both a residence for boys and one for girls. The others are in Williamstown, MA, Wayne, PA, Swarthmore, PA, and Edina, MN.
In 2019, after 23 years of helping minority students gain access to a challenging high school academic setting, ABC Wilton announced that it would be phasing out the boys’ residential program and would consolidate its efforts to support its girls’ program. This decision was difficult and complex, driven in part by financial reasons and also by demand. Closing the girls’ house would have left many more girls without an opportunity, while that same opportunity still existed elsewhere for boys across the state. To ensure the program’s long-term sustainability, the choice over which house to keep, boys or girls, was emotionally difficult. The transition to a girls-only program was completed in 2020.