Beyond School Enrichment Grants totaling $1.2 million awarded to 56 schools
CONCORD, NH — Schools throughout New Hampshire will be implementing new summer enrichment opportunities and other year round initiatives aimed to support students’ academic and developmental needs while outside of a traditional school setting.
While there are growing concerns around the mental and behavioral health of students throughout the nation, New Hampshire is prioritizing recreational activities and enrichment opportunities that are before school, after school and throughout the summer months.
To support the social and emotional needs of students, the New Hampshire Department of Education launched a Beyond School Enrichment Opportunities Grant Request for Applications last December. Since then, it has awarded $1,231,129 in state level ESSER II funding to 56 schools to implement unique enrichment opportunities – most of which will take place this summer.
“School districts throughout the state are working tirelessly to ensure that children are provided with the resources to succeed, including healthy supports around areas of anxiety and trauma, which is real among our youth,” said Frank Edelblut, education commissioner. “These grants will help to promote and foster the overall wellbeing of our children, creating opportunity for them to engage with friends in constructive activities and, my hope, put down the devices – if even just for a short time. Our goal is to make sure that they are on a path to a happier and healthier life.”
Grants have been awarded for various projects, including:
- Students at Hopkinton Middle School will have the opportunity to participate in Back In The Saddle Equine Therapy Center’s SOAR program, which will allow them to work with horses and a therapy dog while focusing on compassion, self-confidence, stress, time management, self-care, mental health, coping strategies and thought patterns.
- Strafford School will be offering a five-week summer camp experience that will include a week of art camp, a week of drama performance, a field trip week to five different science, art and nature-based locations, a Derti Development obstacle course week and a TimberNook outdoor week.
- Students at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry will be able to participate in a new after-school program incorporating mentors to facilitate activities dedicated to art, leadership, academics, life skills, sports, exercise and games. Open to all students, those with absenteeism, discipline concerns, low academic performance or disengagement from school will be prioritized.
“I am excited that our students will be offered such a unique opportunity this summer to work with horses and reap the rewards and benefits of such a tremendous program that aims to improve their social and emotional health. At such a costly endeavor, this program would not be feasible without this generous grant, and we are extremely grateful,” said Superintendent Michael Flynn of the Hopkinton School District.
“Strafford is very excited to partner with NHED to offer a variety of enrichment camps for our students to keep them active and engaged this summer. Every student who wants to participate is in at least one, if not two weeks of camp, and we can’t wait to see the passion these camps ignite in our learners,” said Danielle Harvey, principal at Strafford School.
There is still $125,490 remaining in Covid-relief funds that could be allocated to this initiative. Schools or districts that are interested in submitting a grant application may learn more. Applications will be accepted until funds are exhausted; funding must be utilized by September 30, 2023.