Summer enrichment program in La Colonia Park supports local students

The new summer enrichment program takes place at La Colonia Park in Solana Beach.

A weekly summer enrichment program at La Colonia Park in Solana Beach is helping a group of local elementary school students after a school year of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disconnect Collective, which recently received $4,500 in community grant funding from the city of Solana Beach, offers support for low-income families in Solana Beach. Its programs include a support group for immigrant mothers.

Skyline Elementary School sixth-grader Eduardo Islas, whose mother is part of that support group, is leading the summer enrichment program, which is taking place on Saturdays in the park.

“We were trying to brainstorm ways to help some of these kids who had been behind in school and isolated,” said Monica Stapleton, a founder of the nonprofit Disconnect Collective, which is funding the program. “So we came up with this idea for him to get together with a group of kids on Saturday morning through the summer.”

The program is currently scheduled to take place through the summer.

“The summer program is to help kids keep learning through the summer, and I decided to do it because I thought it was a good idea,” Eduardo added.

Many students throughout the country have had trouble adjusting to distance learning over the last year, and many have suffered through falling grades and less time around their friends. Stapleton added that the summer enrichment program is part of Disconnect Collective’s goal of “building leaders,” and giving Eduardo an opportunity to lead and help other students.

“He just basically did the curriculum all by himself,” Stapleton said. “I met with him and gave him some ideas but he just really got rolling with it.”

She also said that the goal is to keep the program going through the summer, and possibly longer with more volunteers.

“It would be great if we could keep it going through the school year,” Stapleton said.