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More than 6,200 children and youth and individuals with disabilities will participate.

Schoolkids often long for the arrival of summer vacation. But for many working parents and caregivers, summer presents a logistical and financial challenge to secure reliable care for their children. For low-income families, finding affordable childcare that also provides summer enrichment opportunities can feel unattainable.

This summer, more than 6,200 school-age children and youth in the City of Hartford and individuals with disabilities across Greater Hartford will participate in free and reduced-cost summer learning programs, thanks to $772,567 in grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The grants will support 32 programs, including enrichment, tutorial, and counselor-in-training programs. Many of these opportunities run four to eight weeks, with shorter sessions available.

The Foundation grants support summer programs serving approximately 5,800 Hartford youth and more than 400 individuals of all ages with disabilities throughout Greater Hartford. These programs provide young people with an opportunity to explore new environments, learn new skills, and make new friends while offering overall positive, out-of-school time structured activities that research suggests can mitigate summer learning loss and improve academic engagement.

“For many years, the Hartford Foundation has recognized the value in investing in summer learning programs,” said Hartford Foundation Senior Community Impact Officer Kate Piotrowski. “They provide thousands of families with the opportunity to ensure that their children have a safe and enriching experience while allowing parents and caregivers to continue working. Summer programs also offer older 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 Latine residents in two ways: by offering employment skills and career exposure to older youth and by removing a barrier to employment for families through access to reliable childcare. Foundation grants also support 116 summer counselor-in-training (CIT) positions that provide exposure to employment skills and leadership experiences that adolescents often lack, proving paid and supervised career and leadership development opportunities.

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 they could not otherwise afford and provides respite to family caregivers who often juggle employment and full-time care for their loved ones.

To assist families in applying for summer program opportunities, the Foundation supports the Connecticut Afterschool Network’s 2024 Summer Program Directory, which can be found at

The Hartford Foundation has a long history of supporting summer programs, with grants dating back to the 1930s. Nearly $6 million has been awarded for these programs in just the last seven years.

View the full breakdown of grants here.