Family & Children’s Agency in Norwalk has received a $15,000 competitive grant from Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) for the Agency’s Summer Enrichment Program.
“We are grateful to the Fairfield County Community Foundation for their continued support of our programs for middle school youth in the Norwalk community,” noted Robert Cashel, President and CEO of the Agency.
“Through their generosity we were able to expand our programs and offer students additional services that promote growth and development throughout the summer months. Our Summer Enrichment Program is of particular importance given the relative scarcity of summer programs for middle school youth. We are pleased to be able to support the youth in our community by offering myriad interesting opportunities that that will enrich their young lives,” stated Cashel.
According to Jennifer Barahona, Director of Youth Development at the Agency, the Summer Enrichment Program combines extended learning time and different kinds of captivating experiences for students in the Agency’s After School Program, which runs during the academic year.
She explained, “We use themed weeks to incorporate more learning and prevent the ‘summer learning slide’ that generally happens with school-aged children. We find that the themed approach engages the youth and makes the content more interesting, while, at the same time, captivates the students to learn and enjoy the process.”
This summer’s learning theme was time travel; each week covered a different period in history. The program began with the medieval era, where students learned about crests and shields, built catapults, visited the Cloisters Museum in New York, and participated in a medieval feast and tournament.
In week two, students entered the “Sixties,” where they learned about the civil rights movement, studied pop art, and visited Woodstock, New York. Next, the students studied the pre-historic age where they focused on making volcanoes, and digging dinosaur fossils at Dinosaur Sate Park.
The students then entered the gilded and progressive ages, as well as the roaring twenties, where they studied inventions, learned swing dancing, and capped off the week with a tour of Ellis Island, New York. The program was rounded out by space study, ancient Greece, and culminated with a focus on the present day.
As per Ms. Barahona, each week incorporated recreational activities, arts and crafts, food, and other elements related to the weekly theme. Students were given a “passport” and enjoyed having it stamped as they “traveled” through each time period. In addition, the students also swam each week, at the Norwalk YMCA, and received weekly nutrition and recreational programming, both generously provided by the Norwalk Health Department.
Family & Children’s Agency, with other community foundation grantees and nonprofits, has a history of collaborating with the Fairfield County Community Foundation in a summer learning workshop organized by the Foundation for local providers of summer programs.
As a result, several new ideas about program content and organization have been incorporated into the Agency’s Summer Enrichment Program. For more information on youth development programs at the Agency, please go to www.FamilyandChildrensAgency.org or call (203) 855-8765.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded $135 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, please visit www.fccfoundation.org.
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Family & Children’s Agency is a leading non-profit human service organization, providing strength-based, solution focused services that respond to the individual needs of children & families, youth, adults and seniors, serving the needs of more than 10,000 individuals – throughout Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, please go to www.FamilyandChildrensAgency.org.