Although the school summer break provides an important respite for students, it can often lead to academic regression especially for students who have educational, behavioral, and emotional difficulties. “Adventures in Learning”, the summer enrichment program at the CREC John J. Allison, Jr. Polaris Center, provides students with an opportunity to participate in a program that emphasizes experiential, hands-on and adventure-based learning tied to specific curricula.
- Structured day, supportive staff, emphasis on positive relationships with adults and peers
- individualized learning achieved through a series of curriculum-driven class activities and trips
- Continuity of services designed to meet students educational, social and emotional needs
- Opportunities to gain insight into their abilities, attitudes and behaviors
- Ability to earn academic credit. Prior approval from student’s local school district (LEA) required.
One of the benefits of the program is that students, with the approval of their local education agency (LEA), can earn educational credit by working on goals outlined in their Individual Education Plans. Our Special Education staff work closely with school districts to ensure planning and placement team (PPT) goals are evaluated and achieved over the summer.
The students work with a curriculum that helps them gain insight into their abilities, attitudes, and behaviors while participating in physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging activities.
By participating in this program, students can acquire the tools that will help them apply what they have learned to their regular school environment.
“Adventures in Learning” is designed to challenge adolescents from middle school through high school. We welcome applications from school districts, community agencies, and families.
Our students come from both urban and suburban school districts. This inclusive and diverse population creates an ideal environment for a therapeutic summer enrichment program.
Our staff is comprised of a group of professionals who are deeply committed to the growth and development of adolescents. Many of them have been recognized by CREC for their service and dedication. They possess the knowledge and skills to guide students of all ability levels toward personal and academic achievement. We maintain a low student to staff ratio to ensure appropriate supervision and support.
The principal provides overall direction, supervision, and consultation throughout the summer. All staff work under the direction of a program coordinator. A certified Special Education teacher provides direct instruction and a school social worker is available to meet with students 1:1 and in small groups. In addition, we utilize the services of a part time school nurse.
Experienced instructors teach classes based on the following five components of the program:
Community Outreach: Provides an opportunity for students to become involved in community service activities.
History: Teaches students about our state’s history by learning about and visiting key historical sites in Connecticut.
Cultural: Introduces students to a wide range of experiences in fine arts, music, and theatre.
Transition: Offers exploration of career, vocational and higher education opportunities.
Adventure: Promotes personal growth, helps students acquire new skills and develop their leadership potential. Activities may include hiking, biking, canoeing, swimming, and outdoor adventure therapy utilizing the Polaris Adventure Therapy course.
"Thank you again for the wonderful opportunity and experiences you and the entire staff provided me with this summer. It was an amazing experience and I feel very blessed to have met each and all of you. You have a phenomenal staff, great students and one of the most interesting alternative programs I have seen to date”.
- Manchester Paraprofessional