Success For Each Child & Eliminate the Opportunity Gap by Leading with Racial Equity


The overarching challenge of much of the Kent Connects program was the COVID-19 pandemic.  With its flexibility and commitment, the program was able to respond to student and family needs as they emerged and changed.   

As one coordinator stated, “Despite all the restrictions with COVID, the kids continued to come to program because they truly wanted to be there. I had many kids who wanted to start a group of just talking about things. Like a therapy session but it was so healthy for them to be heard and express what they needed or wanted to say.”  

At the conclusion of the last year of the grant and the third consecutive year of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, another coordinator noted,

“Reflecting on the 2021-22 school year, I realize that our staff (and myself) constantly had to remind each other and remember that we are still in recovery from working and schooling from home for over 1.5 years. Our team had to emphasize and become comfortable with being flexible and able to re-adapt to changes that randomly happen with programming and our students, especially with behaviors and daily needs. By the end of the session, our program had the ability to openly share with each other how much we have all changed from the beginning of the school year to end of year and we all came the realization that our experiences (both positive and negative) and hardships were not so different from one another. Our students appreciated it when our staff would be transparent about their day and event came together to help support them when in need. Overall, a key word that I would use (and also share with our program and students daily) was that we are ‘rebuilding as a community everyday’ and that we/they are not alone when challenges arise. Our program in the end came together and we were able to help support each other every day.”