Hartford Foundation Awards Nearly $775,000 to Greater Hartford Summer Programs

More than 6,200 children and youth and individuals with disabilities will participate.

Schoolkids often long for the arrival of summer vacation. But for many working parents and caregivers, summer presents a logistical and financial challenge to secure reliable care for their children. For low-income families, finding affordable childcare that also provides summer enrichment opportunities can feel unattainable.

This summer, more than 6,200 school-age children and youth in the City of Hartford and individuals with disabilities across Greater Hartford will participate in free and reduced-cost summer learning programs, thanks to $772,567 in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grants will support 32 programs, including enrichment, tutorial, and counselor-in-training programs. Many of these opportunities run four to eight weeks, with shorter sessions available.

The Foundation grants support summer programs serving approximately 5,800 Hartford youth and more than 400 individuals of all ages with disabilities throughout Greater Hartford. These programs provide young people with an opportunity to explore new environments, learn new skills, and make new friends while offering overall positive, out-of-school time structured activities that research suggests can mitigate summer learning loss and improve academic engagement.

"For many years, the Hartford Foundation has recognized the value in investing in summer learning programs,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Impact Officer Kate Piotrowski. “They provide thousands of families with the opportunity to ensure that their children have a safe and enriching experience while allowing parents and caregivers to continue working. Summer programs also offer older youth with paid employment and skill-building opportunities to enhance their academic, social, and emotional well-being."

Foundation support for summer programs advances the Foundation’s interest in increasing employment opportunities for Black and Latine residents in two ways: by offering employment skills and career exposure to older youth and by removing a barrier to employment for families through access to reliable childcare. Foundation grants also support 116 summer counselor-in-training (CIT) positions that provide exposure to employment skills and leadership experiences that adolescents often lack, proving paid and supervised career and leadership development opportunities.

Summer programming for people with disabilities serves individuals of all ages. Foundation funding offers people with disabilities from low-income families an enriching experience that they could not otherwise afford and provides respite to family caregivers who often juggle employment and full-time care for their loved ones.

To assist families in applying for summer program opportunities, the Foundation supports the Connecticut Afterschool Network’s 2024 Summer Program Directory, which can be found at ctyouthdirectory.org.

The Hartford Foundation has a long history of supporting summer programs, with grants dating back to the 1930s. Nearly $6 million has been awarded for these programs in just the last seven years.

Organization Name Program Description 2024 Award
2-4-1 CARE, Inc.The 2-4-1 Active City Sports Camp follows the principles of both the American Development Model (ADM) and Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model to offer a free sports-based summer program at a Hartford public school site for children and youth ages 6 - 18, offering two one-week sessions. Sports of focus will include basketball, soccer, volleyball, golf, Double-Dutch, and fencing.20,000
4-H Education Center at AuerfarmAuerfarm's Growing Opportunities is a career and educational development campership and CIT program for high school students with special needs. The camp provides workforce development skills in agriculture and small group tutorial science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) focused activities, offered through six one-week sessions free of charge. 45,000
American School for the DeafAmerican School for the Deaf campership and tutorial programs aim to decrease summer learning loss and provide recreational and educational opportunities to enhance teamwork and communication skills among the deaf and hard of hearing community. The program plans to serve 260 participants, including 31 from Hartford, and 76 of whom report having a disability.20,000
Arts for Learning ConnecticutArts for Learning Connecticut, in partnership with the Hartford Public Library, is an enrichment program that will provide eight week-long residencies at each of HPL's summer programming sites. Teaching artists will build curricula for students ages 6 - 18 to learn varied artform expressions, which will incorporate social emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching, and National Core Arts Standards.10,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford, Inc.The Summer Fun Club's seven-week campership and CIT program provides a comprehensive summer experience for children ages 6 - 13, and CITs ages 15 - 18. The program will enable and empower youth to discover and develop their individual intellectual, social, and physical potential, as well as expose them to communal responsibilities. Youth will engage in daily literacy and recreational activities, cultural programming, and arts and life skills development.45,000
Camp Courant, Inc.Camp Courant's campership provides free, (6) one-week sessions for Hartford youth ages 5 - 12 to participate in a safe, educational, and recreational environment at its Farmington site. Campers will have access to traditional outdoor camp adventures, specialized music and performing arts programs, STEM and manufacturing, and an Early Learning Center for the youngest campers.50,000
Community First School, Inc.The Build a Better Community Summer Enrichment program will offer a free, five-week summer session for children ages of 3 - 11 years at the Swift Factory campus in Hartford. In collaboration with Build a Better You, LLC, a Black-owned mental health agency, Community First School will offer morning academic programs, use of nearby outdoor parks, and afternoon recreational and arts activities. Summer camp will close with a family engagement event to showcase summer accomplishments and performances.25,000
Connecticut Science Center, Inc.The Connecticut Science Center's Teen Innovation program is a six-week, paid program designed to engage high school students in intense science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education experiences combined with workforce development, skill building, and peer-to-peer mentoring. Serving high school students, Teen Innovation gives ambassadors the opportunity to develop problem solving skills and confidence, along with their STEM identity as they explore career pathways. 5,000
ConnectiKids, Inc.The ConnectiKids Vintage Summer Program is a free, five-week summer campership and CIT program which includes book clubs, afternoon enrichment, and field trips related to themed curriculum for children and youth ages 6 - 18. Classes will combine activities to nurture students' reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.30,000
Futures, Inc.The Career Exploration and Employment Enrichment program aims to support older youth and young adults with disabilities in exploring a variety of career opportunities and postsecondary pathways, such as skilled trades, creative arts, culinary, through hands-on learning and workshops in a seven-week, half day program.30,000
Goodwin UniversityManufacturing in Motion (MIM) is an enrichment program that offers a mobile advanced manufacturing lab, introducing children and youth ages 6 - 18 who are enrolled at various Hartford-based summer camp programs to manufacturing careers through hands-on learning and visual presentations.10,000
HARC, Inc.HARC, Inc.'s Capable Kids program is a free, six-week summer camp for children and youth ages 3 - 18 with intellectual and related disabilities. The 2024 summer theme is "Limitless Adventures," and activities will center around literacy and themed-vocabulary, STEAM programming, sports and fitness, and arts and cultural programming.25,128
Hartford City MissionHartford City Mission's Camp Noah and CIT program is a free, six-week camp that offers STEM enrichment, arts and crafts, storytelling, digital & performing arts, leadership training, and optional faith curricula for Hartford youth ages 3 - 18.30,000
Hartford Friendship Kids Camp, Inc.Raising the Bar's six-week campership and enrichment program serves children and youth ages 3 to 14. Its programming aims to strengthen participants' academic, artistic, and social emotional skills. Academic programming will prioritize literacy and mathematics, and recreational activities will include dance, music, drama, and art.25,000
Hartford Neighborhood CentersCamp Hi Hoti Enrichment Summer campership program provides free, two-week outdoor programming at a Hebron camp site that focuses on nature preservation for Hartford youth ages 6 - 14 from the Frog Hollow neighborhood.13,000
Hartford Public Library Hartford Public Library Summer Literacy 2024 is a program that runs from June to August for youth and children ages 3-18 and adults with special needs as an enrichment program to Hartford-based campership programs. HPL's summer programming will offer book distribution, learning kits distribution, and in-person activities, including storytellers and musicians.20,000
Hartford StageHartford Stage Summer Studio's multi-week campership program engages young artists ages 3 - 18 in a variety of themed age-appropriate, theatre-based activities. Campers will engage in activities ranging from storytelling and puppetry to musical production and performance.25,000
Horizons at The Ethel Walker SchoolHorizons at The Ethel Walker School aims to improve long-term educational outcomes for girls in Hartford and prepare them for their high school education. The summer program plans to serve 143 Hartford girls.25,000
Horizons at Westminster SchoolHorizons at Westminster is a free, six-week academic program for Hartford youth ages 3 - 14 to improve their educational outcomes and close learning gaps through academic and athletic instruction, cultural enrichment opportunities, mentoring, and education guidance. Its curriculum focuses on literacy and STEAM education as well as social emotional learning.25,000
Horizons, Inc.Horizons offers an eight-week traditional summer camp program for youth ages 11 - 18 and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Campers will participate in an active schedule of swimming, arts, camp crafts, music, performing arts, physical education, health and fitness, science, pioneering and language arts. 35,000
Integrated Refugee & Immigrant ServicesThe Summer Learning Program is a free, six-week, half-day summer campership for refugee and immigrant children. It provides both academic instruction and enrichment opportunities, encouraging artistic expression, healthy lifestyles, and personal well-being. The program intends to serve as an on-ramp to American education, giving children the tools and skills they need to make the most out of school.20,000
Lawson Chapel/Urban Hope Refuge ChurchHeroes of Hope Future Leaders Summer Camp (HHFL) is a free, four-week program for children ages 4 - 10 as well as teens during early evening hours. Day camp activities for children and younger youth will include arts and crafts, sports, entertainment, field trips, and creative theater that incorporate children's reading themes as part of the program's literacy component. Early evening hours for older teens will incorporate activities centered around character development25,000
McEIVR, Inc.Makerspace's Summer STEAM and CIT programming is a free, multi-week summer session for youth ages 11 - 18 to explore valuable skills and trades for career exploration, including 3D design, 3D printing, virtual reality, art mediums including woodworking, paint, and metal, and coding.25,000
Organized Parents Make A Difference, Inc.OPMAD aims to mitigate children's summer learning loss and promote life skills through an array of enrichment and academic topics. The program plans to serve 240 Hartford children, including 30 with a reported disability, and will employ ten CITs.50,000
Real Art Ways, Inc.Park Art plans to engage students in art activities that connect them to their community and others, build critical thinking skills, provide a creative outlet, and offer an opportunity to enhance employable skills. The program plans to serve 70 Hartford children and youth, including 14 participants with a reported disability.12,000
Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium (SKCAC)Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium's summer program is a free, six-week program for children and youth ages 3- 18, designed to use various Black art forms, including traditional drumming, various dance styles and techniques, visual arts, and storytelling alongside culinary and agricultural programming to connect young people with concepts of food, nutrition, art, and emancipation. Sankofa Kuumba will offer campership at four different Hartford youth-serving organizations' sites.15,000
The Salvation ArmyThe Salvation Army's summer programming includes six, one-week academic enrichment programs as well as a one-week overnight camp for youth ages 6 - 14. The academic program prioritizes literacy and offers additional enrichment activities. The youth overnight camp introduces youth to a rural setting, and offers traditional camp activities including arts and crafts, aquatics, and organized sports.30,000
Trinity CollegeDream Camp at Trinity College provides a five-week CIT program for 15 - 17-year-olds to participate as counselors in its summer camp for children. CITs are offered learning opportunities designed to promote, nurture, and encourage their personal growth, develop leadership, and provide valuable first-time work opportunities and mentorship. 16,389
Urise Ventures, Inc.Future Founders is a free, five-week summer program that offers Hartford youth ages 11 - 18 with project-based skill-building opportunities. Campers will gain entrepreneurial skills to identify and propose solutions to community and social challenges while engaging in STEAM-based career exploration in the process.15,000
Watkinson SchoolThe SPHERE summer program is a free, five-week enrichment program for Hartford children and youth ages 6 - 14. Each student will take age-appropriate classes in math, literacy and technology, and they will spend the afternoons engaging in recreational activities.11,500
West Indian Foundation, Inc.The West Indian Foundation's summer program is a free, multi-week program offering literacy instruction as well as extracurricular engagement with the arts, music, dance, and the outdoors for youth ages 11 - 14 enrolled in summer school. The summer's theme will focus on West Indian culture, cultural pride, and an appreciation for other cultural experiences and practices.14,550
YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc.The YMCA offers various multi-week summer camp and CIT programs for youth ages 3 - 14. Programs will offer age-appropriate activities based on literacy, history, physical activity, and social-emotional growth that are tied to a theme of the week, in alignment with Common Core Standards. Participants at camp sites will encounter a traditional camping experience through activities such as arts, nutrition, physical education, and aquatics. 25,000

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding towns. Through partnerships, the Foundation seeks to strengthen communities in Greater Hartford by putting philanthropy in action to dismantle structural racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility. Made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families and organizations, the Foundation has awarded grants of more than $998 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.