Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker today announced that the Connecticut State Department of Education is releasing $11.5 million from its share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to continue its highly successful Summer Enrichment Program in summer 2023 and summer 2024.
The governor proposed the creation of the program in 2021 in an effort to connect students whose education may have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to high-quality enrichment opportunities when they are out of school during the summer months, including at summer camps, childcare centers, and other similar programs, with a priority for those in communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The state continued the program in 2022. With the release of this additional funding for 2023 and 2024, Connecticut will have dedicated $32 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding over four years for students’ summer enrichment programming. Since its creation, the program has provided funding to more than 400 organizations in Connecticut that offer summer learning opportunities.
Governor Lamont said, “Investing in our children’s future is a priority for Connecticut. 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.”
Applications from organizations that want to participate in the program in 2023 and 2024 are now being accepted by the State Department of Education. To apply, visit portal.ct.gov/SDE/COVID19/AccelerateCT/Summer-Enrichment. Applications must be submitted no later than April 3, 2023.
Similar to the prior two years, the program will award funding to the most competitive summer programs. For 2023 and 2024, applicants can apply for either two expansion grants (up to $50,000 each, for a maximum of $100,000) or two innovation grants (up to $150,000 each, for a maximum of $300,000) per program site. Camps must use the funds to expand the number of students served, subsidize enrollment costs by providing scholarships, or provide transportation for program participants.
The Connecticut State Department of Education will host a virtual information session for interested grant applicants on March 16, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. Registration is required. A video recording of the session will be published on the Summer Enrichment website shortly after its conclusion.
An independent evaluation of the 2021 program concluded that the initiative successfully connected more than 108,000 Connecticut students with summertime enrichment opportunities. A similar evaluation of the 2022 program is expected to be released soon.
Connecticut families seeking to enroll their children in summer programs this year will soon be able to browse available opportunities online by visiting summerct.org. A listing of opportunities for 2023 will be published on that website in the coming weeks as the summer season approaches.