Hamden, CT – a suburban site with strong ties to the adjacent urban community

In its third year with READy for the Grade, Hamden worked with 19 children at the Brundage Community Branch Library. Hamden Public Library’s Head of Children’s Services designed and oversaw the program, which she staffed with local tutors and a project coordinator.

Hamden ran 7.5 hours of onsite instruction over 3 days per week, and children could attend 1 or 2 days per week.

48 people (14 families) attended the culminating in-person family celebration.

Hamden offered 15.5 hours of programming per student, for a total of 275 hours of programming during summer 2023.

At family night, Hamden staff distributed $25 gift cards to Target to help families afford important school supplies for the 2023/2024 school year.

In 2023, Hamden READy for the Grade distributed 214 books to participating children.

100% of the 11 children tested at the start and end of the program maintained or improved their reading skills (as measured by the EasyCBM.)

What Hamden Parents Say

“My daughter will miss READy for the Grade next summer.”

“My child got better at reading and writing, made friends, gained more confidence, really had fun, and learned a lot.”

“All the teachers and tutors were helpful, knowledgeable, and welcoming.”

A Window Into READy for the Grade 2023

• Hamden •

This is a map of Connecticut with a red marker showing where Hamden is located in the state.
This image shows a child's hand holding a marker. On the table in front of the child is a small white board with writing on it, and several buttons of different colors and sizes.
In the Hamden Library, a man wearing a mask reads aloud to two little girls who sit on a colorful rug in front of him.

Children gather at the front of the cheerful all-purpose room inside the Brundage Community Branch Library. Today, they are fully engrossed in the story Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt. Staff member Ms. Morrison holds the book open facing the children, sharing the beautiful illustrations as she reads aloud. Meanwhile, an app called Novel Effect provides sound effects. Chirping birds, buzzing insects, and whooshing wind provide extra stimulation for these young readers’ imaginations.

As she closes the book, Ms. Morrison opens a discussion about the story.
“Did you know there was so much going on at night and underground?”
“Do you have a garden at home?”
Children raise their hands and share what they’re growing in their gardens. Ms. Morrison guides the conversation to an earlier lesson about pollinators, and students eagerly identify pollinators and talk about the ways they pollinate.

When it’s time for activities, the students split into groups. Some fill out pollinator worksheets with Ms. Morrison. The rest play “Roll a Story,” with the other staff members.

Throughout the morning, the staff shifts and regroups to make sure that all students complete all the activities. One child takes turns reading with an instructor. Another child reads questions on a worksheet, sounding out new words and trying out each answer to determine the best one. A third student practices phonics with the program director. Students who finish their tasks early assemble in a corner of the room and play hangman. Finally, all the children go upstairs to the library and select books of their choice, play games, and listen to stories. This time, they’re listening specifically for new words to use in hangman.

Read more about Hamden READy for the Grade in our latest evaluation report.

All Kids Need to Read

READy for the Grade serves a diverse population, with programs in rural, suburban, and urban communities. The challenges of living and learning with low income vary by setting. Click the site name for details.



New Haven





Location: 195 Church Street, 7th Floor
New Haven, Connecticut 06510

Telephone: (203) 859.6600

Email: ljordan@newalliancefoundation.org
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