SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – One million dollars is coming to dozens of local programs this summer to keep kids active while they are out of school.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and representatives from Springfield Public Schools announced grants to 15 local summer programs totaling more than $1 million. The grants to the 15 organizations will support summer enrichment and social-emotional learning for an estimated 750 Springfield children.
Matt Brunell, the co-executive director of Springfield Empowerment Zone told 22News, “We did it last year. We had a lot of success. We were able to see some great results with students who participated in the camp who were going to school far more often as well as students who didn’t have the summer learning loss that you would typically see.”
It’s been shown that connecting children with summer activities increases student engagement, reverses conventional learning loss trends and builds core life skills.
Funded organizations include:
● Academic Leadership Association
● College of Our Lady of the Elms
● Higher Expectations
● Hood Girl Collective
● Hope For Youth and Families Foundation
● Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services
● Mass Audubon
● New North Citizens’ Council
● SIGNING Basics
● South End Community Center
● Springfield Ballers
● Strong Young Minds
● The Center After School Program
● Travis Best Foundation
● Western MA Council, Boy Scouts of America
“We know the importance of our children and families having access to robust and engaging enrichment programming during the summer. And in Springfield we are deeply fortunate to have so many unique organizations in our communities, united in their commitment to supporting our young people,” stated Sarno. “I am proud of SEZP and our community partners for once again teaming up to meet this demand.”
“Now, more than ever, we need more and better options for our students during the summer months,” stated Warwick. “SEZP plays an important role in this work, connecting high-quality providers with families eager for a rich summer experience for their children, and securing vital funding in order to serve more of Springfield’s students.”
“One of SEZP’s founding principles is that students need equitable access to enrichment opportunities both in and outside of school to deepen their love of learning and the summer months present an extraordinary opportunity to do so,” stated Matt Brunell and Colleen Curran, co-Executive Directors of SEZP. “We are grateful to the state for recognizing the importance of this work through their continued allocation of funding and are humbled by their trust in our organization to be stewards of these critical resources for Springfield.”