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Capitol Region Education Council: Exploring by Design

Two Rivers Magnet Middle School, 337 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT 06118


  • Academic Enrichment
  • Art
  • Crafts
  • Dance
  • Educational Activities
  • Field Trips
  • Yoga

Ages Served:

11–14 years old

Areas Served:


Program Length:

3-4 weeks

Start Date:

July 6, 2020 (first session)

End Date:

July 24, 2020 (last session)

Hours of Operation:

8:30 am–3:00 pm


Under $100 - All participants attending the Exploring By Design program must be Hartford residents enrolled in the Hartford Region Open Choice program. They must be participants entering grades, 6,7, and 8.  Participants are required to attend the entire 3-week program.

The program is not accredited or licensed.

To Register:

Rudolph Thomas
111 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford CT
[email protected]
(860) 524-4075 Office
(860) 462-8003 Cell

More about our camp:

CREC’s Hartford Region Open Choice Program (Open Choice) will offer our Exploring by Design (EBD) summer program for Hartford resident students entering grades 6 – 8 who attend school in 26 suburban districts.  The goal of the Open Choice program is to improve academic achievement, reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation, and provide all children with a choice of high-quality educational programs. 

EBD will continue to provide project-based learning (PBL) opportunities where students utilize time and space to investigate and independently explore aspects of their personal and social identity through art, dialogue, and movement. The program previously ran in 2019, offering project-based learning options to explore “Who Am I?”  Students learned to better understanding their dual identities as urban students of color enrolled in a predominately white suburban school district. They learned the value of “code-switching”  understanding and maintaining their self-identity while articulating various forms of communicating “Who Am I? in each community.  

This year, the program will continue with the theme of exploring “Who Am I?” with weekly discussions related to age-appropriate social issues and life skills that challenge students. Utilizing visual and performing art, physical and mindful activities, students will continue to share, learn, and understand how their self-identification assists in their communication style and self-expression.

EBD will run June 29-July 17, 2020, Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and will provide the following to approximately 45 Hartford middle school students at the Two Rivers Middle School Academy in East Hartford, CT:

  • Project-based, hands-on learning activities,
  • Study skills instruction,
  • Movement and exercise,
  • Self-Branding, Adolescent concerns and topics,
  • Explicit reading to complete summer reading list requirements,
  • Breakfast and lunch,
  • Transportation to and from the program, and
  • Field trips

The program will continue to partner with Bike Walk CT, providing a learning opportunity about youth bicycle safety, sustainable transportation, and job training through the 12-hour bike safety and traffic 101 courses. Study Skills class will be based on the “Study Skills for Student Success” curriculum by Sharon Marshall Lockett.  The Yoga class will fulfill the movement and mental health portion of the day through the Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework for Physical Education published by the CT State Department of Education.  Project-Based Learning offerings will include activities such as: choreograph dance, creative cartoon drawing workshops, props and stage development, mindfulness and movement, etc. offered by community partners, the Artists Collective Inc., and Joe Young of Joe Young Studios, a local cartoonist.  These offerings will culminate with end of year student-led exhibitions and performances unified with self-identity theme, “Who Am I.”

Exploring by Design is Summer School Compatible.