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Harvard, Sudbury public schools awarded DESE grants for summer programs

The courtyard at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Sudbury and Harvard Public Schools each received a grant to support the development and expansion of comprehensive summer learning opportunities. (Photo Courtesy of Office of Sen. Jamie Eldridge)
The courtyard at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Sudbury and Harvard Public Schools each received a grant to support the development and expansion of comprehensive summer learning opportunities. (Photo Courtesy of Office of Sen. Jamie Eldridge)
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HARVARD — Two local school districts have each been awarded a grant by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The new funds will support the development and expansion of “comprehensive” summer learning opportunities to address the academic and social-emotional impacts of COVID-19. Sudbury Public Schools was awarded $100,000, while Harvard Public Schools received $75,000.

The two grants were part of $4 million in funds that were distributed to schools across the state through Massachusetts’ summer learning budget as well as the federal Elementary & Secondary Education Emergency Relief and Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds.

“My sincere congratulations to the Sudbury and Harvard school districts, and their educational leaders, on receiving the grant,” state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, said in a press release. “I want to thank DESE for its work, and providing these grants to the Harvard and Sudbury schools.”

The summer programs must offer “at least” 150 hours of evidence-and-research-based programming, with a focus on academic and social-emotional learning opportunities, according to the press release. They will also offer “enrichment and recreation activities” that will motivate students to attend and participate to the fullest extent possible.

Programs will be carried out in a “culturally responsive, anti-racist, and welcoming environment” and partner with local, community-based organizations, according to the press release.

State Rep. Carmine Gentile, D-Sudbury, and state Rep. Dan Sena, D-Acton, also shared their excitement over the awarded grants.

“The Sudbury Public Schools worked incredibly hard to provide a quality education for all students during the pandemic,” Gentile said in the press release. “I am delighted to learn that they were chosen to receive this grant to further meet the academic and social-emotional impacts which COVID-19 had on our students and deliver comprehensive learning opportunities for students this summer.”

“I am so glad to see Harvard receive this funding for summer learning offerings,” Sena said. Expanding educational opportunities for our students is critical, and I am grateful to DESE for awarding Harvard with this grant.”

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