CSDE Awards $8.7 Million in ARP ESSER Funding to After-school Programs Through Expansion and Enhancement Grants
(Hartford, CT) - The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is pleased to announce more than $8.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds will be awarded to 45 after-school programs across Connecticut.
Expansion grants will open new after-school program locations with free or affordable after-school programs. Enhancement grants will allow existing programs to better meet the increased needs of students and to improve program quality.
“These programs aren’t just about another extra-curricular activity - they’re about reconnecting our kids with having fun, learning and their peers,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “We were a national leader when it came to getting kids back in the classroom, but we also worked to give our children experiences outside of the school day and during the summer to provide necessary socialization. We’re going to keep supporting these kinds of programs to support both parents and children as we continue to find ways to educate our kids in the classroom and socially for them to become independent adults.”
“Access to enriching after-school programming fosters students’ social, emotional, and academic growth,” said Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker. “By expanding and enhancing their offerings, as well as providing low-cost and free options for families in need, our providers can improve outcomes for even more students and families.”
“These important Expansion and Enhancement After-school Grants will empower awardees to provide bold, high-impact programming that addresses COVID-19’s disruptions to student learning, interpersonal interactions, and social-emotional well-being.” said John Frassinelli, Division Director School Health, Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education. “Additionally, this funding will provide direct supports and services during the out-of-school-time hours, with a targeted focus on student populations most affected by COVID-19.”
In the near future, an additional $2.2 million of state set-aside ARP ESSER funds will support a third after-school grant, Innovation Grants, for underserved communities to address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of students, especially for those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Innovation grants will enable smaller towns, districts, and non-profit organizations to apply and create innovative after school programs.
For Immediate Release: June 22, 2022
Connecticut State Department of Education
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