The Connecticut State Department of Education is awarding grants to more than 200 summer programs statewide.
The $8.6 million in funding, from the American Rescue Plan, will be distributed to 235 organizations in Connecticut. The goal is to expand high-quality summer enrichment programs for all students.
According to the CSDE, the funding will serve over 96,000 students.
“The hope is that they have an unbelievable summer. The most fun summer they have ever had," said Chris Soto with the CSDE.
The Norwich Recreation Department received $25,000 in grant funding. They will use the money to open more slots, expand hours and offer additional scholarships.
“It’s something the community wants and needs and they have already been calling about," said Cheryl Hancin-Preston, who works as the Norwich recreation director.
Norwich still has slots available. More information can be found here.
The Drop-In Learning Center in New London also received grant funding. They will be able to serve twice as many students as they did last summer. The money will also help them provide new programs, offer more scholarships and expand access.
“It is almost like our kids were hidden away behind a screen. We are going to be able to do activities outside, in the open, where they can see others. They can learn and discover who they are and just enjoy life," said Reona Dyess, who leads the center. "Some of our students have not had the chance to be with other kids. That is important. Learning how to socialize again."
More information on the Drop-In Learning Center can be found here.
The state created a website for parents to explore all 235 programs that have received grant funding. Contact information for each organization is included on the website.