"We are grateful to the Fairfield County Community Foundation for their continued support of our programs for middle school youth in the Norwalk community," said Robert Cashel, president and CEO of the FCA. "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."
According to Jennifer Barahona, director of youth development, the Summer Enrichment Program combines extended learning time and different kinds of captivating experiences for students in the After School Program, which runs during the academic year. "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," learning about the civil rights movement, studied pop art, and visited Woodstock, N.Y. Next, the students studied the pre-historic age in which 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, studying inventions, learning swing dancing, and capping off the week with a tour of Ellis Island in New York. The program was rounded out by space study and ancient Greece and culminated with a focus on the present day.
Family & Children's Agency has collaborated with the Fairfield County Community Foundation in a summer learning workshop. As a result, several new ideas about program content and organization have been incorporated into the Summer Enrichment Program. The agency serves more than 10,000 people throughout Fairfield County.
For information, visit www.FamilyandChildrensAgency.org or call 203-855-8765.