GRANTEE: YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford, Inc.

The YMCA of Greater Hartford is a charitable association open to all and committed to helping people develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body. This commitment is reinforced by our belief in living out universal values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Our vision is three-fold:

  • To put a caring adult in the presence of every child
  • To be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us
  • To work in partnership with others to eliminate disparities in health and education

The YMCA of Greater Hartford consists of 10 branches and two resident camps providing more than 100 programs and services in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties.

Summer Education & Leadership Training

The Y-BELL Power Scholars Academy (PSA) is a summer learning program offered in collaboration between the YMCA of Greater Hartford, YMCA of the USA, and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life). The program is designed to mitigate summer learning loss and narrow the achievement gap for underserved students (called "scholars") in Hartford and East Hartford (grades K-5). The program accomplishes this through a structured curriculum that focuses on STEAM and builds 21st century skills, including communication, collaboration, creativity, and problem-solving.

The PSA reduces summer learning loss for youth by meeting the educational and psychosocial needs for underserved children in Hartford and East Hartford.  The majority of youth from these communities are from economically disadvantaged families. Academically, these children fall behind their peers from across Connecticut, as illustrated by the following data:

  • 30.5% of individuals from Hartford and 13.0% of individuals from East Hartford were living below poverty level, versus 10.1% in Connecticut (CT Data Collaborative’s CERC Town Profiles 2019).
  • 73.5% of youth from Hartford and 70.4% of youth from East Hartford are eligible for free/reduced lunch, versus 36.7% of youth in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Families in these communities have a clear need for programs that expand access to education and skills-based training in order to break the persistent cycle of poverty in these cities. These trends are underscored by Connecticut State Department of Education data for Hartford Public Schools and East Hartford Public Schools where the District Performance Index (DPI) for English Language Arts is 52.4 in Hartford and 57.6 in East Hartford; the DPI for math is 47.8 in Hartford and 50.1 in East Hartford. According to the Connecticut State Department of Education, “A District Performance Index (DPI) for the Smarter Balanced and Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) is the test performance in a given subject for all students in the district. The DPI ranges in value from 0 to 100 points. Connecticut's ultimate target for a DPI is 75 because in a district with a DPI of 75 or above, students will have performed at or above the ‘goal’ level on the majority of tests.”