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First Lady Jill Biden kicks off the summer learning tour with a stop in Connecticut

FLOTUS New Haven visit.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona kicked off their cross-country summer learning tour this week speaking with students at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven Wednesday. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was also in attendance.

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited Albertus Magnus College in New Haven to highlight federal coronavirus dollars that were used to create summer learning programs.

They spent the day with Connecticut school children as part of a cross-country tour to promote President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

Under the plan, states and schools received $122 billion that will help districts return to in-person learning, and students catch up academically. It also provides access to mental health and summer programming.

The first lady and Education Secretary met and spoke with some students from the Horizon National summer learning program, which is held on the campus of Albertus Magnus College. They were joined by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.

“The first lady, she’s a teacher,” said Cardona, the state's former education commissioner. “It’s great to have a teacher that’s fighting for you all with the President. We’re a village, we’re taking care of one another and you are a part of that village.”

“I just want to thank you all for being here, for listening, for being such great teachers and really to all of you for being such great kids,” said Biden, a professor at Northern Virginia Community College,

Horizon National is a non-profit that was launched in the city last summer. It has 43 students enrolled from kindergarten to 8th graders. Horizons received a $157,500 grant, which is allowing the organization to expand its programming across the New Haven region to serve 1,000 students.

“One of the things about our program is that it’s experiential in nature,” said Albertus Magnus College president Marc Camille. “When you have experiential learning, it’s deeply integrated into the brain and ultimately memory. It’s a hallmark of an Albertus education.”

The program is also part of the New Haven school district’s commitment to youth learning activities this summer. Through the end of July, the city will offer daily activities for students in the areas of reading, writing, science and outdoor learning.

Cardona and the first lady also plan stops Thursday at a Detroit Public Schools Community District summer learning program, held at Schulze Academy for Technology and Arts in Detroit that serves kindergarten through eighth grade students from the district.

From Michigan, they will head to Athens, Georgia, to visit another Horizons National program, this one at the University of Georgia and serving students from Barnett Shoals Elementary School.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.
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