Martinsville, IN — (July 25, 2022) — Camps, schools, and advocates are partnering to provide underresourced middle school students with a week of summer camp that will help address their emotional well-being and academic losses caused by the pandemic over the past two years.
Through the collaboration of the American Camp Association (ACA), the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), and the New York Life Foundation, middle schoolers will have the opportunity to gain social, emotional, and noncognitive skills through a camp experience, which will help put them on track for the upcoming school year. The partnerships are happening at 10 summer camps across seven states in 2022, with plans to double the number of camps and participants in 2023.
The 10 participating camps each received $25,000 in grant funding for the programs, which will allow students from the partner schools to attend accredited summer camps for one week. Summer camps focus on the social-emotional well-being of children and provide them with the opportunity to gain essential life skills such as problem-solving, leadership, and communication in a safe environment. Intentional summer learning programs such as camp help stem summer learning loss and prepare students for a successful upcoming school year.
“The need for summer learning and enrichment opportunities has never been greater,” said Aaron Dworkin, CEO, NSLA. “Helping young people experience the unique camp experience with their schoolmates and teachers promises to engage them and ease the transition back to school.”
“Summer camp experiences are essential to the education and development of the whole child,” said Tom Rosenberg, President/CEO, ACA. “These school-camp partnership programs will provide students with crucial opportunities to learn beyond the classroom, to bridge summer learning gaps, to take positive risks and try new things, and that will help set them up for increased academic success in the new school year."
“Children, particularly young adolescents, continue to struggle with negative impacts of the pandemic on their well-being and academic learning. These camp-school partnerships will provide thousands of middle school students with important emotional and social supports that create a strong foundation for academic growth when the school year resumes,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “This initiative strongly aligns with the Foundation’s educational enhancement focus to support middle schoolers during the critical out-of-school time hours.”
The school-camp partnership is another initiative in the push by national, state, and local organizations to increase summer learning opportunities as encouraged by US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona during the Discover Summer campaign: “Summer learning programs have always been important for our students but in the last couple of years, they have become essential. Quality summer learning and enrichment programs are key to recovering from the pandemic.”
Camps participating in the camp-school partnership include:
- Camp Echo Lake (Warrensburg, NY)
- Camp Twin Lakes (Atlanta, GA)
- Frost Valley YMCA (Claryville, NY)
- Change Summer (New York, NY)
- Hale Education (Westwood, MA)
- Trailblazers (Montague, NJ)
- Mo Ranch (Hunt, TX)
- Guided Discoveries (San Juan Capistrano, CA)
- BGCSF-Camp Mendocino (Fort Bragg, CA)
- BGCM-Whitcomb-Mason (Hartland, WI)
For more information about this camp-school partnership, please contact PR@ACAcamps.org.
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About the American Camp Association
The American Camp Association® (ACA) is a national organization serving the more than 15,000 year-round and summer camps in the US who annually serve 26 million campers. ACA is committed to collaborating with those who believe in quality camp and outdoor experiences for children, youth, and adults. ACA provides advocacy, evidence-based education, and professional development, and is the only independent national accrediting body for the organized camp experience. ACA accreditation provides public evidence of a camp's voluntary commitment to the health, safety, risk management, and overall well-being of campers and staff. For more information, visit ACAcamps.org or call 800-428-2267.
About the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA)
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement and opportunity gaps by increasing access to high-quality summer learning opportunities. NSLA recognizes and disseminates what works in summer learning, develops and delivers community capacity-building offerings and convenes and empowers key actors to embrace summer learning as a solution for equity and excellence in education. For more information, visit www.summerlearning.org.
About New York Life Foundation
Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided over $390 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement, childhood bereavement and social justice. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative. To learn more, please visit newyorklifefoundation.org