BROCKTON – In a year when Brockton Public Schools were constantly evolving due to the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, a sense of normalcy was provided by the programs offered by Brockton Community Schools, a Brockton Public Schools Division.
Brockton Community Schools added 13 new summer camp programs, 29 in total this summer, resulting in the highest number of registrations in the program’s 51-year history.
A total of 4,336 students enrolled in summer programs, almost double the number of students enrolled in 2019 summer programs.
With funds carried over from last year’s 21st Century extracurricular funding, community schools in Brockton were able to apply this money to the new programs, offering 16 of them for free.
Programs included youth water sports, drama and taekwondo, as well as academic programs, such as STEM and career exploration.
Brockton residents pay as little as $ 55 per session, while non-residents pay an additional $ 10 or $ 20 depending on the session.
This year, more than 100 scholarships were offered to students to cover registration fees.
“Instead of being an office that just collects money, we wanted to invest the money and give it back to the community,” said Soraya de Barros, director of Brockton Community Schools.
“It’s about trust. They know what we’re doing. They know what we’re standing for,” said de Barros.
Unlike in previous years, students were allowed to participate in different programs throughout the summer on a weekly basis rather than staying in one program all summer.
“We want to be exposed, we want our students to try new things and explore their interests,” said de Barros.
The majority of summer programs will resume in the fall as after-school programs starting in October.
On August 5, the last day of most programs, a celebration was held at South Middle School in Brockton to recognize the Step Up program, an academic program that helps students with an immigrant background in Grades 4-8. to become very efficient.
Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan and Brockton Public Schools Superintendent Michael Thomas spoke at the celebration.
“Brockton’s future is in good hands,” Sullivan said, speaking to nearly 200 students in the Step Up program.
The Republic of Korea’s Consul General in Boston, You Ki-Jun, was in attendance and spoke about the beneficial relationship between Brockton and Educational Divide Reform, a group of Korean business leaders and academics based in Cambridge.
The partnership between Educational Divide Reform and Brockton Community Schools began in the fall of 2020, when EDR reached out to offer its services to Brockton. Its main goal was to help students at risk of falling behind in school during COVID home schooling.
What started out as a few classes evolved into a full-fledged after-school program, and was added to the summer camp programming due to its success during the school year.
“Brockton has suffered more than other cities in Massachusetts from the COVID-19 pandemic and EDR believes that Step Up can contribute to the academic development of BPS students, providing a positive long-term approach to the current academic challenges that many students are facing. faced day to day, ”says the website Educational Divide Reform.
The program offers bilingual education in several different languages, including Cape Verdean and Haitian Creole, which is one of the reasons Education Divide Reform has chosen to partner with Brockton Community Schools, said Dave Wedge, spokesperson for Sullivan.
For more information on the programs offered by Brockton Community Schools, visit https://www.brocktoncommunityschools.com/.
Enterprise staff writer Darvence Chery can be reached at [email protected]. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.