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ConnectiKids’ youth development programs are addressing one of our community’s greatest needs – support of its youth! ConnectiKids serves Hartford children at no cost to them or their families. Our programs supplement and reinforce school-based learning and provide advantages that schools struggle to offer - personal one-on-one attention and greater flexibility with lessons. Both benefits have been proven to produce positive results among children.
We also offer our free programming to students from other schools across the City of Hartford through virtual programming and other means, serving over 300 kindergarten through twelfth grade students annually with a student retention rate of approximately 90%.
Read more about ConnectiKids Youth Development Programs!
Our Tutoring and Mentoring Program is a creative and innovative program that provides students with high-quality afterschool activities to support extended school hours and offer caring volunteers who help students develop personally and academically. ConnectiKids provides over 250 low-income, at-risk minority students in kindergarten through ninth grade in Hartford, CT and surrounding areas with one-on-one tutoring and mentoring each year. The core focus is to provide students with equitable academic support through individualized tutoring, which in turn, supports classroom learning. Students involved in the mentoring program are empowered from an increased understanding of education's value, thus forming a lifelong love of learning.
The Connecticut State Department of Education 2021-22 state assessment found that the pandemic has had a critical impact on overall student achievement. English Language Arts (ELA) and Math proficiency levels are down significantly compared to pre-pandemic, and Hartford students are well below statewide proficiency levels, with 48% of our students proficient in ELA compared to 68% for the state, and 42% proficient in Math compared to 63% for the state. 87% of Hartford students are considered high needs, as identified by learning challenges, language barriers, or economic hardships. These students were already in the 10-25th percentile of academic performance and the pandemic has furthered their challenges.
Local studies have ranked the neighborhoods we serve as among the highest areas of poverty in Hartford as well as being near the top for other detrimental factors for youth. It is estimated that nearly 3/4 of the city’s youth live in areas of frequent gun violence which compromises children’s sense of safety and forms the roots of setbacks in school. The achievement gap is also widened among racial differences. For example, in post-pandemic assessments black students saw a 13 percent decrease in scores compared to only a 5 percent decrease for white students.
Consistent and positive youth development programs are critical for children. We understand the importance of education in enabling our youth to attend college, attain gainful employment, achieve stable futures, and escape generational cycles of poverty. Many teachers have reported that the only time students hand in homework are when they attend ConnectiKids due to inadequate support systems at home. Our diverse staff and mentors model appropriate behaviors, discuss the importance of proper study habits, and the value of education. We empower our students to understand that regardless of their current circumstance, with hard work, commitment, a positive attitude, and a willingness to take advantage of the resources provided them, they can be successful in life!
ConnectiKids embraces the fact that social and emotional learning play a critical part in academic success for young people. Our Arts and Enrichment and Summer programs encompasses character-building activities that are often creatively linked to educational concepts in areas students would not have the opportunity to engage in.
These programs provide outlets for youth expression, healing from the negative impacts of the pandemic and other trauma that our inner-city youth disproportionately encounter, exposure to experiences that black and brown youth are historically excluded from, and tools for setting and working toward goals as well as using one's voice and advocating for oneself. We strive to hire local culturally representative talent and professionals for these programs in order for children to see themselves in these fields and envision an attainable future.
We incorporate book clubs into our programs to encourage literacy and reading comprehension skills. Students read age-appropriate books together and participate in fun learning activities to bring the books to life. The chosen books clubs highlight current issues during the school year and correlate with our program themes during the summer. All students are provided with new books for each book club session and are able to keep them at the end of each program to add to their personal libraries at home.
Given that so many of our youth have had an especially challenging time these last few years, it is up to us to pave a path together for our youth’s future. Since 1978 we have been doing just that with your help, and now we need you more than ever!
We KNOW that we cannot do this alone. We need your help.
HOW YOU CAN HELP TODAY:
If you want to donate via text message, text CTKIDS to 53-555.
Reach out to us at [email protected] to discuss larger donations, donating via check, stock or crypto, organizing a fundraiser, company matching, corporate sponsorship, media/PR, grants.
EIN: 06-1035985 (501c3)
*All funds raised will be used to support ConnectiKids Youth Development Programs*
ConnectiKids, Inc. is committed to improving the lives of Hartford children and began in 1978 when volunteers initially got together to provide a positive summer experience for third grade students at West Middle School, a public elementary school in the Asylum Hill neighborhood. Upon completing their first summer, the volunteers realized there was a greater need for assistance and with help from local corporations, decided to provide occasional after-school homework help for those students. The group formed what was to be known for the next twenty years as the West Middle School Committee.
The name of the organization was changed to ConnectiKids in October of 1999 to reflect better the program's wide-ranging impact and the connections it makes among children and adults from many walks of life. ConnectiKids is now in its 44th year of operation having grown to provide multiple schools with both afterschool Tutoring and Mentoring and Enrichment Programs, as well as a Summer Program for over 300 children annually. With the passion of the staff, volunteers, donors, and community ConnectiKids has been able to impact over 15,000 children's lives.
We fulfill our youth-empowering, equity-advancing mission in partnership with schools, families, and the community. We provide one-on-one academic tutoring, individualized mentoring, arts and enrichment programs, and community-based learning experiences during the academic year and summer. These connections and opportunities motivate historically underserved kids to embrace high expectations, overcome adversity, and reach their full potential. We hope you want to become part of our story as we continue to educate, enhance, and empower young people!