Federal stimulus to help Connecticut bolster schools, mental health programs

empty school
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HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) — Some of the money Connecticut will be getting under the American Rescue Plan will be used to help children make up for a year of learning from home.

A year of upheaval, dislocation, isolation and remote learning has taken a toll on the mental health of students.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said close to 200,000 children haven't been in the classroom in over a year. He insists they don't need any more Zoom, they need socialization.

"It breaks my heart that those 211 hotlines that we get often are kids who feel just in stress, who have been isolated for an awful long time. These are kids we are going to pay special attention to as we get back in our summer programs and then our new school year," Lamont said Thursday.

About $1.1 billion from the new federal stimulus will help bolster schools, summer learning programs, college credit programs, internships, mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programs.

There's also a push to get more psychologists and counselors in schools as the state focuses on emotional and social needs on the road back to learning.

"We want them to be ready to learn in September and that means getting back together with their friends, socializing, summer camps, and learning to get up to speed," Lamont said. "We'll be starting that soon in July."

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