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First Lady Jill Biden launches summer education tour in Connecticut today

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) – The State of Connecticut is hosting First Lady Dr. Jill Biden as she starts her cross-country tour to highlight the American Rescue Plan.

The first lady touched down at Tweed New Haven Airport on Wednesday before touring the Horizons National Summer Learning Program this afternoon.

Biden is joined by the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who is also a Meriden native, for a tour that also includes stops in Michigan and Georgia.

The White House said the goal is to help students recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and set them on a path to thrive.

With the pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of life, the Biden Administration said it believes getting education back on track for students across the country is a top priority.

The American Rescue Plan is comprised of $122 billion of funding. The money has gone toward reopening schools and addressing learning loss, as well as the subsequent mental health impact on students.

The White House said the money provides helpful resources over the summer to set students up for a successful fall this coming academic year.

Horizons started in New Canaan and is now a national program.

The first lady, who spent her career teaching, got to meet students and hear what they’ve been learning.

Biden arrived in New Haven where she was greeted by Governor Ned Lamont and U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Then it was time to go inside and meet the students.

42 children from the New Haven area have been spending their summer at Albertus Magnus College, where they’re enrolled in Horizons.

“There are ten sites in Connecticut all thriving and doing well with great work and we hope there will be many more in the future,” said Lorna Smith, with Horizons.

Horizons is a summer learning program.

Children who continue to learn during the summer break do better academically and socially.

The children come from underserved communities and the program is free.

Joyce Hines has two children in Horizons.

“They would be home -they would be at the daycare somewhere, I work so I don’t have the time to sit down and work with them,” said Hines, a New Haven parent.

After meeting with students in their classrooms, the children gathered for an assembly to listen to the first lady.

“We have to thank you to say thank you to all your teachers, everybody’s here who came to help you and learn what is so much fun this summer,” said Biden.

Horizons started in New Canaan in the 60s and has grown to 74 programs across the country.

There are currently 10 in Connecticut.

Many students fall behind in the summer, especially during the pandemic.

This is a chance to keep them engaged.

“We are talking about learning happening everywhere, every day. And the summer is no different,” said Connecticut Department of Education Commissioner Charlene Russell Tucker.

The students learn things like reading and math, but they also learn how to swim.

Horizons has found a way to help kids achieve more academically and socially.

Before leaving horizons, students gave the first lady a little send off.

We have a link for parents to learn how to sign up on the Channel 3 app. Live in New Haven, SR, Channel 3 Eyewitness news.

For information on signing up for Horizons, click here.

First Lady Jill Biden meets students in New Haven

First Lady Jill Biden comes to CT

The first lady is scheduled to touch down at Tweed New Haven Airport on Wednesday.

The State of Connecticut will host First Lady Jill Biden as she starts her cross-country tour to highlight the American Rescue Plan.

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