New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


American Savings Foundation Invests in Summer Enrichment and Other Programs


In its first round of grant awards for 2016, the American Savings Foundation board of directors announced over $246,000 in grants for ten programs that serve the greater New Britain area. This included grants for summer programs such as the Summer

Enrichment Experience (SEE) for elementary school children, and SEE middle school program operated jointly by YWCA of New Britain and Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC).

The SEE programs have developed through an evolving partnership between the Coalition for New Britain’s Youth and the Consolidated School District of New Britain. The Coalition for NewBritain’s Youth is a collaborative of local community based organizations working together to create a successful future for New Britain’s youth from birth through age 24.

“As a community, New Britain has been working together in innovative ways to reduce summer learning loss and provide educational enrichment for students during summer months,” said American Savings Foundation President & CEO Maria Falvo. “This work has been recognized nationally and is becoming a model for other communities that are looking for ways to improve the summer school experience.”

A grant of $50,000 was awarded to the Coalition for New Britain Youth to support the afternoon component of the Summer Enrichment Experience for students grades K-3. This program will serve 600 youth who are invited to participate for a three-week program taking place at three elementary schools. The program combines a traditional morning classroom experiences with afternoon activities provided by local community youth program providers. The afternoon activities, which are designed to be fun, are also designed to reinforce the concepts taught during the classroom period.

“Student daily attendance in the elementary school summer program has increased significantly since the SEE model was adopted,” said incoming superintendent of schools, Nancy Sarra. “We’ve also seen measureable gains in language skills, and reduced summer learning loss.

The Foundation also awarded $40,000 to the YWCA of New Britain to support the SEE middle school program, which takes place at the YWCA and OIC program sites and runs four days a week for six weeks over the summer. Combined, the programs will engage 50 students who will be entering sixth grade in the fall. The program is designed to develop skills that will help prepare the students for success as they transition into middle school. The program curriculum focuses on literacy skills and “habits of the mind” such being persistent, listening with understanding and empathy, and being creative and flexible.

The American Savings Foundation also announced funding to the following area programs: $20,000 to CPEP Ventures, a summer STEM program at Slade Middle School, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math along with manufacturing design and product development.

$6,000 to Berlin High School for the Berlin UpBeat Program. The Berlin UpBeat offers a series of leadership-training workshops and community service projects conducted for and by students attending Berlin High School.

$20,000 to the Hospital of Central Connecticut for the Mothers Offering Mothers Support

(MOMS) program. This is a peer-facilitated support group designed to meet the social and emotional needs of teen mothers at New Britain High School.

$20,000 to Love146 to provide direct services to youth who have been victims of sexual

exploitation and/or trafficking.

$55,000 to the New Britain Museum of American Art for the Free Saturday Program to provide children’s arts programming and free Saturday morning admission.

$17,000 for the Plainville ARC summer program Camp Trumbull which provides summer programming for children with developmental disabilities.

$15,000 to the Plainville Community Food Pantry for the Backpack Program, a program that provides school supplies to children in economic need throughout the school year.

$3,500 to Vision New Britain, Inc. for the TRIAD Senior Prom, an intergenerational event which brings together area teens and senior citizens from the New Britain community.

American Savings Foundation is a permanent charitable endowment which provides grants to local nonprofit organizations, and college scholarships to area students. Since its inception in 1995 the foundation has contributed over $45 million in total grants and scholarships in central Connecticut. For more information, call 860-827-2556 or visit the foundation’s website at