WEST HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today joined state and local officials at the Family Resource Center at Charter Oak Academy in West Hartford to celebrate the success of the American Recovery Plan Act funding that has funded summer enrichment programs for Connecticut children.
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has helped set up 36 summer enrichment programs at Family Resources Centers throughout the state. The total amount dedicated to the program grantees has been $2,224,028.67. The program the governor visited today in West Hartford is operated by the Bridge Family Center and received $48,350.
The program at Family Resource Center at Charter Oak Academy is called 123 Read With Me. It provides a four-week program, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, serving 28 children (14 in the morning and 14 in the afternoon). The program features different themes each week, such as yoga, gardening, music, and literacy. The children attending reflect diverse backgrounds, speaking seven different languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Nepali.
“It’s a priority of our administration to ensure that these federal dollars we receive get into the hands of those who know how to use them most effectively, and that’s what we see here today,” Governor Lamont said. “This type of state-local collaboration is what makes Connecticut great, and what our administration is focused on. We know we all need to work together in order to bounce back from the pandemic, especially to overcome the time our children missed socializing, and being together in school. I am grateful to everyone though out the state, particularly in centers like this one at the local level who have made these opportunities a reality. I also applaud the ongoing work of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation to secure dollars that are helping fund programs like this.”
“Providing the highest quality summer learning experiences to our children is a cornerstone of our administration’s plan to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “In collaboration with Connecticut’s Family Resource Centers, we are providing a holistic summer experience for children which will be a platform for their future success in the classroom. I am grateful to Governor Lamont for putting our children first as Connecticut comes back from the pandemic through investments like the one we are celebrating today.”
“Kindergarten is the foundation of all future learning, and we will continue working with our early childhood partners to ensure every student gets off to a strong start,” Connecticut Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “We applaud the hard work being done by our Family Resource Centers to support and prepare families for this important milestone that sets the stage for children’s school and life experiences.”
“The Family Resource Centers have been great partners and stepped up to provide critical summer enrichment programming for young children to help them transition to kindergarten,” Connecticut Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye said. “Many of these children lost access to preschool due to the pandemic and these activities are helping to fill that gap.”
“We greatly appreciate Governor Lamont’s dedication of millions of dollars in federal funding, making it possible for Connecticut’s children to participate in high quality, accessible summer enrichment programs,” Margaret Hann, executive director of the Bridge Family Center, said. “Here in West Hartford, 30 pre-kindergarteners were able to attend the Family Resource Center’s four-week 123 Read with Me program, which offers math, literacy, yoga, music and gardening activities. In September, many of these kids will be heading to school for their first time ever or for their first time in over a year. Thanks to this funding they will hit the ground running.”