More than 7,200 school-age children and youth will participate
While many children eagerly await the arrival of summer, parents and other caregivers often struggle to secure reliable care for their children. For low-income families, the challenge of finding an affordable childcare can feel insurmountable.
Fortunately, more than 7,200 school-age children and youth across Greater Hartford will participate in free and reduced-cost summer learning programs, thanks to $848,909 in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grants will support 33 programs, including enrichment, tutorial, and counselor-in-training programs. Many of these opportunities run from four to eight weeks, with shorter sessions available.
The Hartford Foundation grants support summer programs serving Hartford youth and those with disabilities from throughout the Greater Hartford region. These programs provide young people with an opportunity to explore new environments, learn new skills, and make new friends.
“Summer learning programs provide thousands of Hartford families with the opportunity to ensure that their children have a safe and enriching experience while allowing parents and caregivers to continue working,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Impact Officer Kate Piotrowski. “Summer programs also offer 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 Latinx residents in two ways: by offering employment skills and career exposure to older youth and by removing a barrier to employment for families through the provision of reliable childcare. 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 could not otherwise afford and provides respite to family caregivers who often juggle employment and full-time care for their loved ones.
In addition, older youth benefit from access to quality programming to mitigate summer learning loss and improve academic engagement, and they experience positive out-of-school/summertime structured recreational, cultural, arts, and social activities. Partnerships with Arts for Learning CT, Connecticut Science Center, Hartford Public Library and Goodwin University have made additional enrichment options accessible to the participants.
To assist families in applying for summer program opportunities, the Foundation supports the Connecticut Afterschool Network’s 2023 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. More than $5 million has been awarded for these programs in just the last six years.
2023 Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Summer Program Grant Recipients
|Beyond The Limits Outreach, Inc.
|KampUnlimited is a minimum six-week campership and CIT program for children and youth ages 3 – 18, offering summer “fun” enrichment programming such as physical education arts and crafts, dance, gardening, treasure hunts, obstacle courses, and science. KampUnlimited creates a healthy emotional and social space where youth can temporarily detach from the adversities and barriers experienced in daily life and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.||$20,000|
|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 that 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.||$50,000|
|Camp Courant, Inc.||Camp Courant’s campership provides free, six one-week sessions for Hartford youth ages 5 – 12 to participate in a safe, educational, and recreational environment at its Farmington campsite. 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.||$45,000|
|Community First School, Inc.||The Build a Better Community Summer Enrichment program will offer a free, five-week summer session for children ages of 5 – 11 years at the Swift Factory Campus. 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 highlight summer accomplishments and performances.||$25,000|
|Connecticut Science Center, Inc.||Science of Summer 2023 enrichment program offers the Science in Motion outreach program and field trip program to external Hartford campers ages 6 – 18 to increase their excitement and curiosity for science. Immersive experiences will cover topics such as electricity, magnetism, motion, the human body, and more.||$13,580|
|Futures, Inc.||The Career Exploration and Employment Enrichment is a free six-week tutorial program for individuals ages 15 – 18 with disabilities. The program includes vocational assessment and team building, exploring skilled trades such as carpentry and painting, electrical and plumbing, computer technology, landscaping, and gardening, and participating in field visits to work sites or post-secondary campuses.||$35,000|
|Goodwin University||Manufacturing in Motion (MIM) is an enrichment program that offers a mobile advanced manufacturing lab, introducing middle and high school students who are enrolled at various Hartford camp sites to manufacturing careers.||$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 2023 summer theme is “Together We Triumph,” and activities will center around literacy and themed-vocabulary, STEAM programming, sports and fitness, and arts and cultural programming||$24,902|
|Hartford City Mission
|Hartford City Mission’s Camp Noah and CIT program is a free, six-week camp that offers STEM enrichment, arts and crafts, storytelling, digital arts, performing arts, leadership training, and optional faith curricula for Hartford youth ages 3 – 18.||$35,000|
|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 Centers||Camp 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’s Summer Literacy and STEM Enrichment Camp program will offer a NASA-themed literacy program for children and youth ages 3 – 18 visiting from external summer camps. The library will host a NASA-official exhibit and offer literacy resources including books, poetry, storytelling, songs, and hands-on STEAM and arts components.||$25,000|
|Hartford Stage||Hartford Stage Summer Studio multi-week campership program engages young artists ages 3 – 18 in age-appropriate, theatre-based activities. Campers will engage in activities ranging from storytelling and puppetry to musical production and performance.||$30,150|
|Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation||Summer 2023 at the Collegiate Academy campership is a free five-week program for scholars ages 11 – 14 to build a solid foundation in math, literature, writing, history and civics, science, and Spanish, enhance their social emotional skills, and explore career pathways.||$15,300|
|Horizons, Inc.||Horizons offers a two-week traditional summer camp program for children and adults ages 6 and up 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|
|Horizons at The Ethel Walker School||The Literacy Leaders program is a free, six-week literacy campership program for Hartford girls ages 3 – 14 to improve their educational outcomes and close learning gaps through academic and athletic instruction, cultural enrichment opportunities, mentoring, and educational guidance. Campers will additionally engage in STEAM-oriented activities, digital literacy programs, and aquatics.||$25,000|
|Horizons at Westminster School||Horizons at Westminster is a free, six-week academic program for Hartford youth ages 6 – 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.||$20,000|
|McEIVR, Inc. (Makerspace CT)||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.||$30,000|
|Organized Parents Make A Difference, Inc.||OPMAD Summer Fun 2023 campership and CIT program will provide enrichment and academic remediation for children and youth from kindergarten through eighth grade, ages 6 – 14, at five Hartford Public school sites. The program will offer literacy, math, science, art, sports, life skills, and cultural enrichment activities as core components.
|Real Art Ways, Inc.||Park Art campership is a free, multi-week summer program for children and youth ages 3 – 18 to engage in comprehensive art workshops that align with Core Art Standards. Art activities will include visual arts such as painting, drawing, printmaking, and pottery, environmental-based arts, movement and dance, literary arts, and live music. Park Art primarily serves the neighborhoods of Frog Hollow and Parkville.
|Spectrum in Motion Dance Theater Ensemble, Inc.||Instruments of Culture and Dance & Anthropology campership and CIT program is a seven-week summer program for children and youth ages 3 – 18. The program offers a curriculum based in dance technique, integrated literary arts, anthropology of dance, stage design and production, and performances. The 2023 summer theme surrounds the mysticism and power of The Dragon.
|Talcott Mountain Science Center
|TMSC’s Summer of Science Adventures is a free, one or two-week summer program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade in a classroom-based educational setting at Talcott Mountain. Courses are offered in STEAM and other related fields.
|The Salvation Army||The Salvation Army’s summer programming includes a one-week academic program as well as a one-week overnight youth 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.
|Trinity College||Dream 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.||Urban Techpreneurs is a free, five-week summer program that offers youth ages 15 – 18 an opportunity to participate in a ‘business camp’ focused on entrepreneurship and hands-on experiences in business planning. Activities will include field trips to local businesses owned by people of color as well as collaborative team projects.
|Watkinson School||The SPHERE summer program is a free five-week enrichment program for Hartford students between first and fifth grade. Each student will take age-appropriate classes in math, literacy, and technology, and they will spend the afternoons engaging in recreational activities.
|West Indian Foundation, Inc.
|The West Indian Foundation’s summer program is a free, multi-week program offering literacy and math instruction as well as extracurricular engagement with the arts, music, dance, and the outdoors for youth ages 6 – 14. The summer’s theme will focus on West Indian culture, cultural pride, and an appreciation for other cultural experiences and practices.||$15,100|
|YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc.||The Y offers multi-week summer camp and CIT programs for youth ages 3 – 14. Programs offer age-appropriate activities based on literacy, history, physical activity, and social-emotional growth that are tied to a theme of the week. Participants at camp sites will encounter a traditional camping experience through activities such as arts, nutrition, physical education, and aquatics.
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 $948 million since its founding in 1925. For more information, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.