Eastern Connecticut State University recently held a free six-week free summer enrichment summer camp for local middleschoolers. The "Puentes al Futuro/Bridges to the Future" camp is run by Eastern's Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and offers academic instruction in math and language arts.
Fourteen Eastern student tutor/mentors and AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers worked under the guidance of a certified Windham Middle School teacher. Matthew Pappalardo '14 of Mansfield Center, was one of the tutor/mentors. Pappalardo's major is Environmental Earth Science.
The camp was designed to maintain the academic skills of the students, many of them English Language Learners (ELL), throughout the summer months. Each morning, campers focused on math and language arts with the goal of improving foundational skills.
The camp also offered cultural enrichment and recreational activities in the afternoon. Bridges to the Future helps students build self-confidence, proficiency in the English language and an understanding of Latino culture.
The academic school-year version of "Puentes al Futuro/Bridges to the Future" is a twice-a-week Windham Middle School after-school program that provides homework tutoring followed by a trip to campus for art, music and cultural activities.