More than 12,000 school-age youth in Greater Hartford are expected to participate in summer learning programs thanks to more than $790,000 in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grants have been awarded to 61 programs, operated by 46 agencies, to support 37 campership (reduced fees), 11 tutorial, nine counselor-in-training and four enrichment programs. Most of the programs run between four and eight weeks. The Hartford Foundation funding targets summer program funding to support the participation of youth from Hartford and East Hartford and youth with disabilities from throughout the Greater Hartford region.
While offering parents with a safe, affordable option for their children, the programs also have an educational aspect that support summer learning in a variety of ways. By promoting reading, writing and other learning activities, programs supported by the Foundation are designed to help prevent summer learning loss by helping students retain and build on skills gained during the school year as well as to grow developmentally.
A directory of the programs, produced by the Hartford Foundation and Hartford Public Schools, can be found at Hartford schools and at local libraries and community centers. The directory, which is produced in English and Spanish, is also available for download at hfpg.org/summer or hartfordschools.org/summer.
The Hartford Foundation is one of the major funders of summer programs in the region with grants dating back to the 1930s. More than $4 million has been awarded for these programs just in the last five years.
“The Hartford Foundation’s investment in summer programs relates directly to its education strategy to improve education success for the region's students by working to prevent summer learning loss, which is a primary factor in helping to reduce the education achievement gap,” said Judith McBride, a senior program officer.
“First, our funding increases access to these programs for many students from low-income families,” McBride said. “Second, many programs are linked to school-year or summer school programs, which provide continuity and extend summer program support into the afternoon. This year our funding also focused on enhancing literacy efforts by increasing access to age-appropriate books and integrating use of local libraries and educational field trips to reinforce the skills being developed in the programs.”
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrates 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families, and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $600 million since its founding in 1925. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.