Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker today announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education is dedicating $8 million of federal American Rescue Plan funding to continue the state’s highly successful Summer Enrichment Program in 2022.
Launched last year in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the grant program was created to help connect students during the summer months to high-quality enrichment opportunities, including at summer camps, childcare centers, and other similar programs, with a priority for those in towns and communities that were most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. It is funded using a portion of the state’s share of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
“The pandemic has created a challenging situation for many students, and it is a priority of mine to ensure that Connecticut has opportunities during the summer months to keep students engaged between academic years,” Governor Lamont said. “I don’t want any student to fall behind because they did not have access to high-quality summer enrichment opportunities, and I am glad that we can continue this successful program into another year thanks to the sustained federal funding championed by Connecticut’s Congressional delegation.”
Similar to 2021, a competitive grant application will be launched to award enrichment grants to eligible organizations to provide students and families with engaging summer enrichment and learning experiences. Applicants can apply for either one expansion grant (up to $75,000) or one innovation grant (between $75,000 and $250,000) per program site. Camps can use the funds to expand the number of students served, add additional supper services and activities, and subsidize enrollment costs by providing scholarships to families from low-income backgrounds.
Earlier this year, an independent evaluation of the 2021 program was released, which concluded that the initiative successfully connected more than 108,000 students with summertime enrichment opportunities.
Application materials and other information can be found online by visiting portal.ct.gov/SDE/COVID19/AccelerateCT/Summer-Enrichment.
A virtual information session will be held on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. for interested grant applicants. (To register, click here.) An on-demand video recording of the session will be published on the Summer Enrichment website shortly after its conclusion.