HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont announced that applications are now being accepted for the recently created Connecticut College Corps, which aims to recruit college students interested in working at summer enrichment programs as part of the governor’s plan to provide K-12 students and families with engaging enrichment and learning experiences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the initiative, the state will partner with local colleges and universities to recruit 500 higher education students to participate in summer programs for children. Participants will receive training on social-emotional health, equity, diversity, and academic training to support the summer programs.
The state is partnering with local college and universities to identify students interested in participating. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education, Connecticut State Department of Education, Fairfield University, and other public and private higher education institutions across the state will work together to recruit college students and match them with summer programs. The effort is a collaboration of a statewide working group of higher education institutions seeking to support K-12 education summer enrichment efforts. It is funded with $1.5 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, in addition to $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds under a proposal the governor recently submitted to the state legislature.
“Thousands of students have had their school years significantly disrupted from the pandemic and it is critical that we help them have a stimulating summer and an engaging educational experience,” Governor Lamont said. “Our administration is launching the Connecticut College Corps as a way to provide K-12 students with much needed summer enrichment opportunities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time giving college students experiences that will improve their career opportunities.”
“Investment in the Connecticut College Corps will ensure summer program providers have the staff necessary to expand access to high-quality, high-impact learning and enrichment opportunities,” Connecticut Education Acting Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “College students will gain meaningful experience, and our children will benefit from the mentorship of older students, supporting our efforts to address children’s social-emotional well-being leading up to the fall. This is a win-win for everyone involved.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to assist with this initiative to provide support to Connecticut students and hope that it will make a significant difference for those who fell behind academically during the pandemic,” Connecticut Office of Higher Education Executive Director Tim Larson said. “If the results are as encouraging as we anticipate, we should consider spinning it off into an AmeriCorps program model.”
“Fairfield University is honored to be the home for the Connecticut College Corps,” Fairfield University President Mark Nemec said. “Connecticut’s higher education institutions have worked collaboratively and in strong partnership with the state since last March. We are eager to continue that partnership in the form of the Connecticut College Corps and we look forward to recruiting and providing the necessary training to these young adults so they are equipped make a difference in the lives of children throughout the state this summer.”
Applications are open until May 21, 2021. Applicants should be undergraduate college students who attend Connecticut colleges and universities, including class of 2021 graduating seniors or Connecticut residents who attend college out of state.