Sanders Secures $500,000 for Summer and After-School Programs

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 17 - On the last school day for most Vermont students, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced summer school and after-school programs that will receive funds to help more than 2,500 students.

The awards will be shared by 27 programs that offer academic support, enrichment activities, and career exploration.

"Study after study show that high-quality summer programs can help all children, particularly those who are struggling, to stay on track for the academic challenges ahead," Sanders said. ‘It also is important for working parents to know their kids will be engaged in challenging and enriching activities."

Participants in three of the summer programs joined Sanders at a press conference at Burlington High School.

Linking Learning to Life in Burlington and Bradford will provide at-risk youths  the skills they need to find jobs.  Girls Move Mountains in Montpelier support is offering programs for at-risk, low-income girls from Lamoille, Caledonia, Orleans, Washington and Chittenden counties. The Fairfield Community Center and the Northrop Library will help about 30 Franklin County children attend camp for five weeks.

"Thanks to Senator Sanders' efforts in procuring funding for our program, we'll be able to offer positive experiences to children who might otherwise not be able to participate," librarian Kristen Hughes said.

"The importance of summer programming cannot be underestimated, especially for children from low-income families," Sanders said. "For example, about two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap between lower-income youth and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning programs during the elementary school years.  This makes low-income students less likely to graduate from high school or enter college."

The funds secured by Sanders were awarded from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice. The program is administered by the Vermont Department of Education. The funding ranges from $7,000 to more than $46,000.

To see the full list of Vermont grant recipients, click here.