Hartford’s Saturday Academy to launch this weekend, help reengage students impacted by pandemic learning

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Students have faced a year and a half of challenges and changes while navigating the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve endured missed time with friends, more time at home, and a new classroom environment. A new program within Hartford Public Schools aims to help students make up for that lost time.

It’s called Saturday Academy.

Superintendent Dr. Leslie-Torres Rodriguez described it as, “an opportunity to not only engage in academic activities like math and literacy – and our older students, SAT prep – but a lot of focus on the enrichment aspect.”

RELATED: COVID-19 has not only affected the physical health of people, but the mental health of children in CT

Saturday Academy is free to families and open to all students K-12. The funding comes from federal COVID relief money and covers a half-day of programming as well as breakfast, lunch, and transportation.

Students will have the opportunity to learn, play sports, make art, and more.

“It’s open to all students, but we are going to take a step to make sure we make it available to those students that we knew weren’t specifically connected or engaged throughout the last 18 months,” said Dr. Torres-Rodriguez.

Parents News 8 spoke with said they’ve witnessed the impact the pandemic has had on the children and their overall well-being.

“These were all children who were excelling,” said Beverley Hines, a parent in Hartford. “These were all children who were on top of their game in class.”

That’s why they feel a program like this will make a big difference now and down the road.

“I think that if there was a gap for any kid that could have been created by the pandemic, this Saturday Academic will be a hero,” said Tomoye Bryan, another Hartford parent.

Saturday Academy will take place at the following locations:

  • MLK Jr. Middle School/Breakthrough-North
  • SAND School
  • Parkville Community School
  • MD Fox School

It kicks off this Saturday, Dec. 4, and runs through May. If you’re interested in enrolling your child, check out their website: https://www.hartfordschools.org/saturdayacademy/.

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