Hundreds of area children and families in need will be able to visit the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, thanks to a $12,000 grant by Bankwell to the aquarium’s Children’s Opportunity Fund.

The restricted fund ensures the aquarium is available to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The aquarium works with social-service agencies in the area to identify underserved youth and families who could benefit from its educational and entertaining aspects, as well as the “safe-space” it provides.

Bankwell sponsors the IMAX movies, “National Parks Adventure,” now showing daily at the aquarium, and “Dream Big,” the first STEM-focused IMAX movie, opening daily Feb. 17.

Bankwell, headquartered in New Canaan, is a commercial bank with nine branches and a loan production office that serve the personal and business banking and lending needs of customers throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties.

AEDs donated to fire department

Norwalk Hospital recently donated two automated external defibrillators to the New Canaan Fire Department and one to St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan.

The gifts were made possible through the generosity of Thomas Ayoub, the hospital’s chief of medical staff, and his wife, Christine Dombrowski, a certified nurse midwife. Their son, Peter Ayoub, a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is a volunteer firefighter with the New Canaan Fire Department.

AEDs are portable electronic devices the treat life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias through defibrillation, the application of electrical therapy to stop arrhythmia and allow the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting nearly 400,000 people each year, according to Matt Soicher, director of EMS at Norwalk Hospital. Using AEDs and performing CPR immediately can greatly enhance a victim’s chance of survival.

At the library

The dangers of corruption: Sarah Chayes, a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Democracy and Rule of Law Program and author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security,” will be the guest speaker for the 10th annual Anita Houston Lecture on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the library’s Adrian Lamb Room.

For over 50 years, until her death in March 2007, Houston was so prominent an advocate for the United Nations and international cooperation among nations that she was designated by official town proclamation on her 90th birthday as New Canaan’s Ambassador for World Affairs. In tribute to Houston for her long service as chairwoman and member of the U.N. Committee of New Canaan and head of her U.N. Study Group, friends and family started a fund for an annual lecture series on topics related to international affairs and the United Nations.

Chayes, a former award-winning journalist for National Public Radio, as well as a military adviser, will speak about her experiences in the Middle East.

Her work explores how severe corruption can help prompt such crises as terrorism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths, and environmental degradation. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, courtesy of Elm Street Books.

Test prep help: Since high school juniors received their PSAT scores in early December, many are wondering how to plan next steps. The SAT and the ACT have undergone major overhauls in the past year, leaving the college admissions landscape even more complicated. The biggest question remains, how should students interpret their PSAT scores when designing their testing plan?

Test prep experts recommend planning ahead to help alleviate stress. As founder of local test prep company Carnegie Pollak, Lynn Carnegie has helped prepare Fairfield County students for standardized tests for more than 30 years.

Carnegie will give a presentation at the New Canaan Library on Thursday at 10 a.m. to help students and parents navigate the changing landscape of standardized testing.

To regster, go to The library is at 151 Main St.

Carnegie will answer questions about when to begin test preparation, how to choose between the SAT and ACT, and when to take SAT Subject Tests. There will also be time for questions at the end of the session.

“A Plastic Ocean” documentary: Join other environmentally concerned individuals as New Canaan Library hosts a screening of the documentary, “A Plastic Ocean.” This eye-opening and award-winning film addresses the devastating impact of trash in our ecosystems, and in particular, plastic in our oceans.

The film is being released globally on Thursday as part of an unofficial Plastic Oceans Day, a worldwide screening campaign. The showing will be at 6:30 p.m. in the library’s Adrian Lamb Room.

According to the global organization Plastic Oceans, every year humans produce more than 300 million tons of plastic, half of which is designed for single use, and each year around 8 million tons of it ends up in our oceans. Plastic Oceans is working to challenge the world’s collective perception that this indestructible substance can be treated as disposable.

Sporting license buyers beware

Anglers and hunters should be aware of at least two active non-Department of Energy and Environmental Protection websites where one can, purportedly, purchase a fishing license, hunting license or receive hunter education training: and

Hold off on donations to P2P

Person-to-Person is in the process of conducting a comprehensive inventory in the Darien Clothing Center. During that time — due to the generosity of so many in the community — the center will be unable to accept any new donations of clothing, household items, toys, etc.

P2P, a nonprofit that provides low-income individuals and families living in lower Fairfield County with basic emergency services, will begin accepting donations again starting Jan. 23.