State Department of Education Announces Recipients of 2021 Summer Enrichment Grants
Grants Awarded To Expand High-Quality Summer Enrichment Programs for Connecticut Children
(Hartford) - The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) today announced the recipients of the Department’s summer grant programs–Enrichment and Innovation Grants–which will deploy a portion of CSDE’s $11,000,000 ARP ESSER state set-aside to organizations delivering high-quality and accessible enrichment opportunities to children across Connecticut this summer. After launching the program last month, CSDE received over 300 applications and, after a rigorous review process, selected 235 grantees that will receive a total of $8,652,870 in funding, which will serve over 96,000 students statewide.
“These grants will go a long way toward achieving our administration’s goal of ensuring that all students in Connecticut have access to summer enrichment experiences that supplement their school activities, especially for those over the last year who have lost out on in-person classroom experience during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Ned Lamont said.
“We are making these investments to expand free and affordable access to summer enrichment and recreational opportunities with an emphasis on children and communities most impacted by the pandemic,” Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “Thank you to our grantees for their commitment to ensuring Connecticut children will benefit from access to high-quality, engaging, and hands-on experiences to continue learning every day, everywhere.”
Innovation Grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 were awarded to 25 eligible applicants to deliver bold and innovative summer enrichment programming to Connecticut children at scale this summer. Grantees represent a diverse set of organizations, serving students in both rural and urban areas with a wide variety of innovative enrichment activities: sports and recreation, hands-on academic experiences, theater and poetry, mentorship, and much more. Many of these organizations have partnered with other local organizations to create bold new programs that are designed to meet the needs of students who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These programs will be offered for free, or at very low cost, to over 56,000 students across the state.
Expansion Grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 were awarded to 210 eligible applicants that will expand existing enrichment opportunities and increase access for children who might otherwise not have access to summer camp or programming. These grants are geared towards local organizations to either serve more children, subsidize enrollment costs, or both. Additionally, priority was given to providers that can quickly scale programming to serve more students and/or make their programming more financially accessible to students from low-income communities. Expansion Grant recipients will serve over 40,000 students in regions across the state.
Grant application materials were created in collaboration with dozens of key stakeholders across the state – including leaders of summer programs – to enable CSDE to identify and support high-quality programs that are able to expand capacity for summer 2021. Families can search high quality, community-based, and financially accessible summer enrichment programs by visiting: https://summerct.org/.
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