West Hartford’s Camp KO is among the recipients for the Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program announced Tuesday by Gov. Ned Lamont
By Ronni Newton
Gov. Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker announced a round of grant funding Tuesday as part of the Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program, and among the 110 recipients statewide is West Hartford’s Camp KO.
A total of $13 million in grants will be provided for the summers of 2023 and 2024 through the program, and Camp KO will receive $48,735 in the summer of 2023 and $49,500 in the summer of 2024.
The intent of the program is to provide support for Connecticut students who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to participate in quality enrichment opportunities at little or no cost during the summer. In addition to summer camps, grants have been awarded to childcare centers and other similar programs, with communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic given priority support.
“These funds will play a huge role in supporting education and summer enrichment for children in communities across the state, and I’m excited to see significant funding is supporting our region,” said state Sen. Derek Slap (D-West Hartford). “I’m grateful to the governor and Department of Education for investing in our communities.”
In addition to Camp KO, Bloomfield’s Auerfarm, which is also in Slap’s 5th district, will receive $150,000 in the both the summers of 2023 and 2024.
Overall, more than 66,000 students across both summers are expected to be served through the grant program. More than 50% of the programs – 62 – are based in 20 of the state’s 36 Alliance school districts.
“Since we created this program a couple of years ago, these grants have expanded access to summertime learning opportunities for thousands of Connecticut students who otherwise may not have been able to enroll in this kind of high-quality programming,” Lamont said in a statement. “Summer camps are a valuable experience for children when they are out of school – not only for supporting their overall education, but also when it comes to strengthening their social skills and emotional well-being. Continuing this program has been an important priority for our administration, and I’m glad that we are able to provide funding for it for another two summers.”
“We are looking forward to partnering with a number of Connecticut’s summer enrichment programs over the next two years to provide quality summer programming to our students,” Russell-Tucker said in a statement. “These significant investments place a strong focus on social-emotional, physical, and mental health; academic acceleration, intellectual growth, and exploration; and student-peer relationships during the summer months, so that when students return to school in the fall after a restorative summer they are prepared to learn.”
According to an announcement from the governor’s office, an independent evaluation of the 2021 program provided evidence of success for more than 108,000, and when the 2022 report is released, similar results are expected.
A list of available opportunities for the summer of 2023 can be found online by visiting summerct.org. Camps begin as early as the first week of June and some run through the end of August.
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