Indianapolis, IN (August 2, 2010) — On Thursday, July 29 Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY)  introduced HR 5963  — Promoting Students Using the Camp Community for Enrichment, Strength, and Success, also known as the Promoting SUCCESS Act, in the House of Representatives. Designed to address two of the most critical challenges facing children and youth today — obesity and summer learning loss — this legislation would direct the Secretary of Education to carry out a grant program to fund pilot projects. These projects would explore how camp experiences promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles among children and youth, reduce summer learning loss, and promote academic achievement.
For 150 years, American camps have positively impacted the development of millions of children and youth. However, millions more have not had the opportunity to benefit from summertime learning experiences. The American Camp Association (ACA) is working with Rep. McCarthy to advocate for the adoption of this important piece of legislation.
ACA believes that, in order to positively impact the healthy and productive development of our nation's children and youth, we must invest in programs that specifically address the issues of physical activity and learning during the summer months. Several existing program models are in place that, if tested, replicated, and supported, could help to eliminate obesity and summer learning loss. For example, every summer, over 10 million children learn health and wellness habits at summer camps while developing academic and life skills that promote success in the classroom and beyond. Unfortunately, with only 10 million school-age children annually participating in camp experiences, this leaves more than 40 million children without the benefit of these transformational camp experiences.
HR 5963  would provide grants to fund pilot programs that will explore solutions to these problems. Grant recipients would work with local educational agencies and schools to provide activities that complement the academic curriculum taught to the students, and to address the academic and developmental needs of the students. While all camp programs are eligible, priority will be given to programs that target students who attend schools that have been identified as in need of improvement under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
For more information on the Promoting SUCCESS Act, visit ACA's Web site at www.acacamps.org/publicpolicy/SUCCESS-Act .
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit www.ACAcamps.org .