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300 Denver Public Schools Students Attend Free Summer Camp
Nonprofit community joins forces to ensure DPS students stay engaged in quality learning activities during summer break
DENVER, June 11, 2008 – As many as 300 Denver Public Schools (DPS) students, mainly from low-income or homeless families, will participate in a six-week summer enrichment program called Denver-CAMP thanks to a collaborative effort between DPS and 22 local nonprofit agencies. The program benefits DPS students in grades 4-8 who have limited access to enrichment activities during the summer months due to the high costs of these programs.
DPS and the Denver Quality After-School Connection (DQUAC), a coalition of organizations working together to increase the quality of out-of-school programs in Denver, have combined their resources to host this camp for the second year. This year, the program will expand to two sites – Rachel B. Noel Middle School in northeast Denver and Skinner Middle School in northwest Denver. The program will be provided at no cost to the students. The cost of comparable summer camps is typically about $450 per student. Much of the camp cost is covered by the array of program providers who will all contribute their services at no cost. Funding is being provided by the Denver Public Schools Foundation, thanks to gifts from Morgridge Family Foundation, Arrow Electronics, Inc., The Denver Foundation and Wal-Mart.
Studies show that learning slows or stops in the summer months. Without activities to keep their young minds stimulated, achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged children widen. Children from low-income families fall behind an average of two months in their learning during the summer months. Denver-CAMP will keep students engaged in fun and challenging activities that include arts, science, technology and sports.
Last year, approximately half of the campers were experiencing homelessness. Staff related the story of one family that demonstrates the important role that Denver-CAMP plays in providing a safe, fun and engaging environment for students in the summer.
Last summer, a brother and sister took the bus every day from a motel on Colfax to the camp. He was 12 and she was 10 years old. The boy thanked staff several times for "letting" him come to camp because he did not want to stay in the motel room everyday alone and just watch TV. His mother worked and the kids were not allowed to go outside because it was not safe to play in the parking lot.
The camp will be held from June 9 to July 18. Participants will engage in a variety of activities that focus on academics, technology, physical fitness, life skills, and arts. The camp is expected to help these students increase their academic skills, personal confidence, leadership abilities, and cultural awareness.
About the Denver Quality After-School Connection (DQUAC)
DQUAC is a coalition of youth-service program providers working together to promote the importance of quality out-of-school-time programming, both after school and during summer. The coalition supports various initiatives that enhance and increase the range of activities available for children in Denver. Denver-CAMP is a current example of such an effort.
The following 22 agencies are currently contributing to the program: America Scores, Arts Street, Boy Scouts Denver Area Council, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Camp Fire Central Rockies Council, Catholic Charities, Denver Public Libraries, Denver Parks and Recreation Community Recreation, DPS Department of Extended Learning, Educational Outreach Program, Environmental Learning for Kids, Girl Scouts of Colorado, Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver, Integrated Rhythms, Net Results Junior Tennis, OpenWorld Learning, Science Matters in Colorado, Skinner Neighborhood Center, Skyhawks Sports Academy, DELL TechKnow, The Other Side Arts and Wings Over the Rockies Museum.
About the Denver Public Schools Foundation
DPS Foundation (www.dpsfoundation.org) raises and manages funds in support of the district’s ambitious reform plan – The Denver Plan – to improve student achievement. Through top-notch professional development for principals, enhanced teacher training, improved curriculum and quality of instruction, student enrichment programs, and community partnerships, we are helping to reshape Denver Public Schools into the leading big city school district in the country.