As EHTP ushered in virtual summer programming this month, we were excited to see many familiar faces — and a host of new ones — via Zoom! In all, some 300 rising first through 12th graders joined our online clubs and activities, with applications arriving well into the start of the season.
If there is one thing we’ve proven over the past several months, it’s that we’re ready to adapt and support our scholars, even amid unprecedented challenges. It was this mindset that inspired Mel Jackman, managing director of EHTP’s Out-of-School-Time programming, and her top-notch team as they envisioned July 2020.
“When we began rethinking what summer could look like, of course safety was our number one priority,” said Jackman. “We were taking a holistic approach. What opportunities do our older scholars need to prepare for the future? What do our families need, and how are our students feeling emotionally? Finally, how do we maintain the same levels of energy, fun and engagement for which EHTP is known?”
Jackman and her team decided to continue “clubs,” a mainstay of EHTP’s elementary and middle school experience, and mailed kits to those whose activities required specific materials. The offerings are impressive, ranging from dance, visual media (samples below) and comic-book art to debate, coding and creative writing.
In addition, several rising seniors are participating in ETHP’s annual Summer Service Corps program, which places high school interns and volunteers in elementary and middle school classrooms. And in response to uncertainties about the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), EHTP also added innovative elements to its High School Summer Institute. These students are taking academic enrichment classes, plus College & Career Readiness classes, and will receive a stipend upon successful completion.
“Bonding with the college interns has made me see things in a different perspective. EHTP Summer Institute helps me challenge myself,” said Alyssa Cruz, rising junior at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics. “I am learning new skills, and getting a chance to experience new things that I haven’t done before. The Institute is helping me become a better person.”