United Way Launches Summer of Action

Jul.06, 2022

Hartford, Conn. (July 6, 2021) — United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut launched Summer of Action this morning providing books and reading with children at Camp Courant, a United Way-supported summer program. The initiative includes a reading challenge combined with efforts to provide families with resources during the summer and engagement opportunities for those who are looking to give back.

“We understand that summer is often a difficult time for hardworking families in our region as many children in ALICE* communities fall three grade levels behind over the summer. Our goal is to increase opportunities for families to enroll their children in affordable, enriching summer programs that help keep them on track developmentally when school is out.” said Eric Harrison, President and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

During the kick-off event, children at Camp Courant received an age-appropriate book to help build their home libraries and pledged to read 20 minutes a day during the summer to stay on track with respect to literacy.

“The mission of Camp Courant is to provide Hartford children recreational and educational experiences that balance fun with enrichment while expanding horizons, instilling confidence, promoting healthy lifestyle choices, and inspiring big dreams for the future. Reading is a fundamental tool that allows children to grow in so many ways. We are proud to be a United Way partner and it is always a yes when they invite us to join their reading initiatives for children”, added Corrianne Chipello, Executive Director and CEO, Camp Courant.

United Way has also partnered with Hartford Public Schools and Hartford Public Library on Hartford Summer Space Mission, an initiative that aligns with United WE READ challenge, asking children to read for at least 20 minutes every day for five days a week.

“Encouraging our children to love reading is essential for us at Hartford Public Schools. Summer is certainly about taking a break and having fun, but reading can and should be part of that. We are grateful for the literacy-based programs and opportunities afforded to our students this summer throughout the city”,” said Dr. Madeline Negrón, Chief Academic Officer, Hartford Public Schools.

Bridget E. Quinn, President & CEO, Hartford Public Library said, “As of today, we have 565 students registered in the Library’s Hartford Summer Space Mission program with a total promise to read more than 640,000 minutes. We kicked off our Summer Learn program June 20, and the response was strong and continues to grow. Hartford Public Library is committed to providing key services to children and youths throughout the summer months and all year long, building strong community partnerships with Hartford Public Schools, United Way, City of Hartford, and many other local organizations like Camp Courant to ensure students have all the resources they need to succeed in school.”

Kids also enjoyed a morning of music provided by Adam Rivers, midday personality on KC101 and afternoon personality on Kiss 95.7, and guests read the book I Am Enough by Grace Byers Grades to the youngest kids.

For more information or if you are interested in participating in any of these initiatives visit: https://unitedwayinc.org/summer-of-action/.  

*ALICE is a United Way-coined acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE families work hard – often multiple jobs – yet, still struggle to afford the basics. Learn more at alice.ctunitedway.org.  

About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut 
United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and find long-term solutions to challenging problems. United Way does this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives, and mobilizing resources and volunteers to ensure that children succeed in school, people get jobs and are financially secure, people are healthy, and basic needs are met during tough times. For more information, visit www.unitedwayinc.org.

About Hartford Public Library
With roots dating to 1774, Hartford Public Library remains at the forefront of redefining the urban library experience in the 21st century. With seven locations throughout the city, the library provides education, intellectual enrichment and cultural development for thousands of children, youth and adults every year. Hartford Public Library has also gained local and national recognition for its wide range of new initiatives and partnerships designed to meet the needs of a diverse and dynamic city and region, including immigration services, employment assistance and youth leadership training. www.hplct.org.

Media Contact: Anyeline Céspedes López | United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut | acespedes@unitedwayinc.org | 787.502.0436