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For Immediate Release
April 14, 2021

Contact

New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-0448 | [email protected]

New Hampshire Department of Education Announces Summer and Fall Programs Focused on Supporting the Whole Child

CONCORD- The New Hampshire Department of Education (“Department”) is excited to announce two important programs in support of schools, families, and students across New Hampshire during this summer and beyond.

ReKINDling Curiosity: Every Kid Goes to Camp

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on student education trajectories and mental and behavioral health, have placed families and students under stress for over a year.

Research supports what most parents already know—children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities benefit from exposure to short-term summer enrichment programs, including the areas of challenge, friend making, positivity, and emotional safety. For many children, especially those from low-income background or with disabilities, accessing summer enrichment opportunities that support social, emotional, and mental health is more important than ever.

This summer, the Department will provide opportunities for positive childhood experiences at New Hampshire-approved overnight and day youth recreation camps to improve student social, emotional, and mental wellness. The state-operated summer enrichment program will pay up to $650 of the youth recreation camp fees of qualifying students. Parents/caregivers of qualifying students will select a New Hampshire youth recreation camp from a list of approved camps across the state.

“The launch of the Rekindling Curiosity program marks another step forward in getting back to normal, and in making sure that our kids are equipped with the social, emotional, and educational resources needed to do so,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Through this important effort, we are continuing our commitment to ensure that every child across New Hampshire is provided with the tools and resources needed to thrive.”

“In spite of the heroic efforts by so many over this past year, so many children across New Hampshire have experienced anxiety and trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Frank Edelblut, the Commissioner of Education. “The Rekindle Curiosity program will simply give many of our children the opportunity to be a kid again and build some childhood memories. We want to support continued development of the whole child and ensure that our children are excited and enthusiastic about their return to learning in the fall.” ClassWallet will support the Department’s administration of the program through its digital wallet platform.

For more information, please visit ~ https://rekindlingcuriosityeducation.nh.gov/.

Recovering Bright Futures

Having ReKINDled Curiosity this summer, the Department is also offering School Districts and communities the opportunity to provide students with access to Learning Pods starting this fall. Learning Pods, a small-group (5-10 students), multi-age, and trauma sensitive instructional model, will particularly help students who have experienced learning loss and will thrive with more individualized attention. This instructional model—a 21st Century one-room school house—grew in popularity during the pandemic as way to provide students with continued in-person learning and peer interaction outside of traditional school.

The Department will offer grants to School Districts to support the creation of District Learning Pods as an option for those students who might benefit from this unique, supportive educational environment. The Department will also directly support the creation of Community Learning Pods, especially for families who do not have a District Learning Pod available to them.

“Through this versatile instructional model, students with a wide range of instructional and social and emotional needs can more readily be addressed,” said Frank Edelblut, Commissioner of Education. “Like a classroom teacher breaking students into small groups, Learning Pod students are engaged all day long in their education through self-starting and collaboration.”

For more information, please visit ~ https://www.education.nh.gov/who-we-are/commissioner/recovering-bright-futures.

“Districts, schools, and communities across the state are implementing programs to support their students and families through the summer and into the fall,” said Frank Edelblut, Commissioner of Education. “These two state programs are designed to complement our Districts’ efforts. By providing access to summer enrichment and Learning Pod opportunities, we will rekindle curiosity and ensure that all students can access an instructional environment that will meet them where they are and help to move them forward.”