Opinion: Norwalk ACTS director’s weekly shoutouts

(Norwalk ACTS)

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS. 

Anthony Allison

This week’s Shout Outs go to the 24 members of TEAM Summer for providing such a broad array of learning experiences for our city’s children this summer. Below are just some of the many successes shared at last week’s TEAM Summer meeting:

South Norwalk Community Center (SNCC) and Connecticut Yankee Council (CTYC) ran two STEM Camps this summer, one at the SNCC and a second at the Bethel AME Church where 110 children conducted more than 100 experiments. In order to meet demand, the Bethel Camp accommodated 6th graders and 7th graders. “Through the power of partnership” CTYC was able to address a variety of challenges, such as upgrading the curriculum for middle schoolers and adding additional staffing to meet the needs of our community’s children.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk ran ten weeks of camps this summer – two of which were for 5 year olds for the first time. They were also able to award $6,000 in scholarships to 12 campers.

The Carver Center served more than 700 students this summer through its Summer Camp Programs, High School Freshman Summer Success Academies and two Summer Middle School Transition Programs. For the first time, Carver used an online enrollment web-based program for their summer camp programs with great success.

Jennifer Wiesner, director of Studio Arte of Norwalk, a dance and music program designed for low-income, latino students, recently joined TEAM Summer and is eager to partner with other summer providers and engage more students.

As part of the Norwalk Summer Academy, Stepping Stones’ Early Language Literacy Initiative (ELLI) more than doubled its enrollment this year to 208 children. Camp ELLI offered a camp experience to children entering kindergarten this fall who had little or no preschool experience.

More than 150 youth in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program were subsequently offered jobs following a successful summer experience. Next year, program coordinators plan to increase collaboration with other TEAM Summer providers and increase funding to engage more students.

The Norwalk Housing Authority provided social and emotional professional development training for its counselors this year, which was a great experience and very beneficial to both the staff and children.

For more information, visit TEAM Summer.

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