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Connecticut's summer enrichment program is awarded $11.5 million to continue

Students enter a Connecticut school on the first day of the 2021-22 academic year.
Tony Spinelli
Connecticut Public
Students enter a Connecticut school on the first day of the 2021-22 academic year.

The State Department of Education is allocating $11.5 million to expand its Summer Enrichment program.

The funding will come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act in an effort to help students whose education was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to utilize the funding to increase enrollment in the summer enrichment program by providing scholarships and transportation for students.

But the summer program shouldn't focus strictly on academics, said Ajit Gopalakrishnan, chief performance officer for the Connecticut State Department of Education.

“We want it to be about enrichment, and about building relationships with camp counselors and staff and having a mix of activities,” he said. “Through our evaluation, we learned that a mix of activities ... blending both structured and unstructured time learning inside and learning outside were all really important to the students.”

Since the summer enrichment program began in 2021, it has provided funding to more than 400 summer learning programs. According to Gopalakrishnan, the summer programs that applied for funding will hear back about who’s been awarded the money by early May.

“Investing in our children’s future is a priority for Connecticut,” said Gov. Ned Lamont.

“With this investment, we can extend this successful program for another two years and ensure that more of Connecticut’s children have access to summer enrichment and learning opportunities, regardless of their family’s income level. This program is helping provide a safe and enriching summer experience for our kids and will benefit our communities for years to come,” Lamont said.

Connecticut families who are interested in enrolling their children in the program can browse camps by visiting summerct.org.

A listing of all opportunities available in 2023 will be available in the coming weeks.

Lesley Cosme Torres is an Education Reporter at Connecticut Public. She reports on education inequities across the state and also focuses on Connecticut's Hispanic and Latino residents, with a particular focus on the Puerto Rican community. Her coverage spans from LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, book ban attempts across CT, student mental health concerns, and more. She reports out of Fairfield county and Hartford.

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