SUMMIT, NJ - The Connection's AfterSchool Enrichment Program has been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust. The multi-year commitment will provide financial assistance to 'Offutt Scholars' and fund new technology and software for use by all students participating in The Connection’s enrichment programs at the primary centers, elementary schools, and at 79 Maple Street.  

“As we look forward to our 100-year anniversary in 2022, this is an exceedingly exciting and pivotal time in The Connection’s history as we strengthen partnerships and create new opportunities within our community,” said Wendy Graeb, The Connection's Executive Director. “Through Mr. Offutt’s philanthropic generosity and the guidance of Trustee Mr. Richard Orenstein, The Connection will remain the trusted and leading partner in AfterSchool programs and enrichment for Summit public school students.”

Graeb added, “We are incredibly honored to receive Mr. Offutt’s gift, and to help shape our students as life-long learners in his image. The grant will have lasting effects within our community through allowing us to support children and their families, and increase opportunities for all of our participants. The state-of-the-art technology will provide our students with the tools they need to achieve each day. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Orenstein for deeming The Connection a worthy beneficiary of this gift and a steward of Mr. Offutt’s legacy.”

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In recognition of the Trust’s generosity -- and in addition to the named scholarships -- The Connection has displayed a permanent plaque of Mr. Offutt in the AfterSchool Room. The recognition, the scholarships, and the technology combines to serve as inspiration for students and all Connection members to follow in his footsteps -- specifically, to be perpetually curious and generous in spirit.

Responding to a request from the Summit Board of Education, The Connection first offered enrichment opportunities in 1997. The successful program gained momentum quickly and expanded to both Primary Centers, all five elementary schools, and at The Connection for elementary and middle school students.

The program boasts nearly 4,000 'alumni', and through generous donations, grants, and partnerships, The Connection has been able to offer $2.7million scholarships to over a thousand Summit families. For details about the programs, visit theconnectiononline.org/category/enrichment-programs.