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Viewfinder: Summer at Sherman

A free summer enrichment program at Roger Sherman Elementary School helps prevent learning loss for children in the Meriden Family Zone.

Most Meriden students won't be heading back to school until next week, but 40 students from a disadvantaged neighborhood downtown have been going to Roger Sherman Elementary School for the past three weeks. They are taking part in Summer at Sherman, a free summer-school program.

As part of the program, students spend two days a week at the school in hands-on theme-based lessons, two days a week in outdoor activities at the YMCA's Mountain Mist day camp, and one day a week on a field trip related to the theme of the week.

Now in its third year, Summer at Sherman is organized by Meriden Children First as part of its Meriden Family Zone initiative. Children First is a nonprofit agency that supports the health, development and learning of Meriden's children.

"An enrichment program like Sherman helps reduce summer learning loss," Children First Executive Director David Radcliffe said. "This loss hits communities like Meriden especially hard. This is a powerful way to help kids stay sharp during the summer so they can begin the school year in a much stronger place."

Patch caught up with these kids last week just after they returned from a Trash Scavenger Hunt at Washington Park. The next day they were scheduled to take a field trip to the Trash Museum in Hartford. Take a look at the photos to see what they learned about litter, recycling and the environment.

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