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Summer learning
and fun

SPHERE Summer Program

“Many SPHERE campers jump a full grade level in math and/or reading over the course of the program.”

Watkinson’s SPHERE summer program (which stands for Supplementary Program for Hartford in Educational Reinforcement and Enrichment) is a nonprofit, five-week tutorial program for 60-70 Hartford and East Hartford youth entering grades 1-5 held on our gorgeous campus in Hartford, CT. The program begins Monday, June 24, 2024 and ends Friday, July 26, 2024. 

The day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with lunch and morning/afternoon snack included.

Mission and Goals

SPHERE successfully integrates personalized hands-on education with enriching summertime recreation. The main goal of SPHERE is to extend learning beyond June to prepare students for September in a caring, fun, and creative environment. We do this by simultaneously addressing any learning gaps that exist, strengthening current academic and interpersonal skills, and building confidence through exposure to the upcoming grade’s content.

SPHERE classes are aligned with the Common Core State Standards in literacy and math. In addition, students receive science, art, and technology instruction. Our small classes provide personalized and culturally-relevant instruction that prepares the student for the upcoming school year.

Special Activities

  • Trip to Connecticut Science Center and Children’s Museum
  • Special Guest Readers and scientist from Watkinson School
  • Parent volunteer opportunities to share special passions/talents
  • All students work with computers to reinforce reading and math skills
  • Trip to Bushnell Carousel with a fun picnic
  • Daily half hour silent reading time
  • Counselor led activities
  • Weekly trips to 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm
  • Sprinklers on Fridays
  • SPHERE Olympics
  • And other surprises

Students are grouped according to grade level. Counselors and CIT’s (counselors-in-training) are assigned to each group and stay with that group for the duration of the summer program. This creates a setting for the students to take risks in a safe learning environment. The staff provides in-class assistance, encouragement, guidance and redirection to the students.

Thank you to our 2024 Funders

Janet Foisie
Hartford Foundation For Public Giving
George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation
Charles Nelson Robinson Foundation
Ensworth Charitable Foundation
Berkshire Bank Foundation
Stanley D. & Hinda F. Fisher Fund
Petit Family Foundation

Want to know more about SPHERE at Watkinson?

How to Apply

Thank you for the incredible support of the SPHERE Summer Program at Watkinson School! Our student camper and student counselor/CIT positions have been filled for Summer 2024. Hope to see you next summer!
Your application is complete when you have submitted all of the following:
  • Application form 
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Health form
  • Utility Bill to prove residency in Hartford or East Hartford, or a formal communication from the child’s Hartford or East Hartford school to prove current enrollment
  • Registration fee: The family must provide a non-refundable** $65.00 money order registration fee for the first child and $40.00 for each additional child. No personal checks or cash will be accepted.

Application materials are also available upon request by emailing sphere@watkinson.org or by calling: 860-236-5618 ext. 156.  

Applications for returning students have priority acceptance up to March 25, 2024. 

After March 25th, if openings are available, new students will be accepted on rolling basis until the program is full. Only completed application packets will be considered.

**If there is no longer available space at the time that we receive your application, your money order will be refunded to you.

For more information please feel free to contact sphere@watkinson.org or 860-236-5618.

Employment Opportunities

We are looking for elementary school teachers and counselors who enjoy working with youth and are energetic and creative to join our staff this summer. 

If you are interested in a teaching position, please consult Watkinson’s employment listings to read about our SPHERE Teaching opportunities. 

Applications for our Counselor Positions are below:

CIT (Counselor in Training) – Entering 9th and 10th grade

Counselor Application – Entering 11th or 12th grade or older

If you have any questions, please email sphere@watkinson.org

Donations: In kind contributions are much needed such as office supplies, arts & crafts, sports equipment. Some of the items on our wish list include, jump ropes, hula hoops, frisbees, basketballs, footballs, Nerf balls, kick balls, 1-5th grade reading books, board games, pencils, notebooks, erasers, crayons, markers, writing paper, glue, paint, sidewalk chalk.

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