YWCA Receives AccelerateCT Summer Program Expansion Grants

YWCA New Britain has received two AccelerateCT Summer Program Expansion Grants to support additional students and provide financial assistance for our Summer Sizzlers program for school age children and a second site for our STRIVE youth development program.

These grants from the State Department of Education are part of the department’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund money that is being deployed to organizations across the state who are delivering high-quality and accessible enrichment opportunities to children this summer.

Expansion Grants were awarded to 210 eligible applicants in the state that will expand existing enrichment opportunities and increase access for children who might otherwise not have access to summer camp or programming. These grants are geared towards local organizations to either serve more children, subsidize enrollment costs, or both.

YWCA Summer Sizzlers is a program that provides an array of safe, supervised recreational activities such as crafts, drama and dance, gym and outdoor games, special events and field trips. Youth who participate in quality summer programs like Summer Sizzlers are less likely to experience summer learning loss, and they are better prepared to return to school.

This year’s program has fun weekly themes such as “Deep Sea Adventure” and “Believe in Magic,” and runs Monday through Friday. 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., from June 21 to August 20.

The program typically enrolls 80-90 children. With AccelerateCT Expansion funding, the program can now serve up to 120 children and offer financial assistance to those who need it.

The fee for Summer Sizzlers is $140/week for full-day programming and parents can apply for financial aid. Students must attend the New Britain school district to qualify. YWCA also provides breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack at no cost to families.

In addition, YWCA New Britain also received funding for the STRIVE program which serves middle schoolers identifying as female and gender non-binary youth. The program provides academic support, pregnancy prevention, and leadership development opportunities.

This summer’s program will focus on increasing both personal and community protective factors, such as teaching problem solving and emotional coping skills, encouraging positive relationships with peers and role models, and providing activities that encourage physical activity and wellness, with the hope of addressing some of the challenges and trauma youth have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is no cost to attend Summer STRIVE, and breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack are provided. STRIVE normally enrolls 20 middle school youth at Slade Middle School. With AccelerateCT Expansion funding, STRIVE will duplicate and expand programming to a second location at Pulaski Middle School, enrolling an additional 20 youth.

The program will operate in these two locations Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., from July 6 to August 20. Students must attend the New Britain school district to qualify.

Please click the links to these programs to learn more or to register.