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WEST HAVEN, June 15, 2021 — The city and school district have partnered to offer programs for West Haven’s young people this summer — all at no cost, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro announced.
The free programs, for West Haven residents and this season only, are subsidized by the federal coronavirus relief package, city and school officials said.
“The federal COVID-19 economic relief funds support summer programs like ours because recreation and education programs improve our students’ health, well-being and learning outcomes,” Rossi said. “Fresh air, games and spending time with friends — isn’t that what summer is for? I’m glad so many of our children are taking advantage of the programs.”
Cavallaro said: “The partnership between West Haven Public Schools and the city of West Haven to create opportunities for all students at no cost is a perfect complement to the work we are doing in schools this summer. Our students demonstrated such incredible strength and resilience this school year, and they all deserve an opportunity to have fun and socialize with their peers. We could not be more excited to collaborate toward that end.”
The school district has developed a number of recreation and enrichment programs aimed at reaching students who need opportunities to reengage after voluntarily opting out of in-person learning during an unconventional school year, said Marissa Acampora, the district liaison of West Haven Public Schools.
Acampora said the district has worked with the state Department of Education to design and implement a wide variety of programming that eliminates barriers to access by providing both transportation and meals.
“These programs are carefully crafted to address a range of ages and interest, and many are need-based so that we could specifically support the students who will benefit most from our support,” Acampora said.
All available spots for students, both by targeted spots based on predetermined criteria and through open enrollment, have been filled for the following programs:
— English Language Learners Elementary Academy.
— English Language Learners High School Academy.
— STEM/Forensics Academy.
— West Steppers Step Camp.
— Summer Theatre Workshop.
— Credit recovery program at West Haven High School.
— Multiage Basketball Camp with West Haven High coach Ty Sullivan.
— West Haven Public Schools/West Haven Community House partnership enrichment program for K-4.
— West Haven Cheer Camp.
On the city side, the Department of Parks and Recreation has rolled out a six-week playground program and a trio of camp programs, Park-Rec Director Mark E. Paine Jr. said.
The playground program, for ages 6-12, will meet outdoors from 9 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, starting July 6, at Carrigan Intermediate School and Haley, Molloy and Washington elementary schools.
The program will not meet if it rains and may close early because of bad weather or excessive heat warnings, Paine said.
College and high school counselors will supervise children with arts and crafts, games and swimming each week at the Carrigan pool.
The federally funded Child Nutrition Program will serve children two free meals a day at the playgrounds.
Park-Rec’s camp programs will hold up to four sessions from Monday through Friday, Paine said.
The Painter Park Day Camp, for ages 6-12, will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Tiny Junior Day Camp, for ages 3-5, will meet from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Pagels Elementary School all-purpose room; and the Junior Counselor in Training program, for ages 13-14, will meet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Park-Rec’s Painter Park office.
“We’re really excited to get the programs started,” Paine said. “I can’t wait to see the kids together, active and enjoying themselves outside in a less restrictive setting.”
For program information and to register, visit Park-Rec or call 203-937-3651.
Paine noted that anyone who has previously registered and paid for a Park-Rec camp program this season can request a refund by completing a Reimbursement Form and returning it to the West Haven Department of Parks and Recreation, Attention: Camp Refund, 190 Kelsey Ave., West Haven, CT 06516.