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Free state program offers 780+ summer camps for Arizona students

More than 780 summer camps are available for Arizona students who need to get back on track after distance learning in 2020 and 2021.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 7:21 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Summer is right around the corner, and you still have time to sign up for the Arizona OnTrack summer camp program. Education leaders hope families will use the free schooling to get their kids caught up after a tough couple of years. “This is about giving kids back some of the time they lost during the pandemic and bringing them together with their peers for the purpose of reuniting the joy of learning,” Kaitlin Harrier, the senior education policy advisor with Gov. Doug Ducey’s Office, said.

The Arizona OnTrack summer camp is available to pre-K through 12th grade students and it comes at no cost to Arizona families. Gov. Ducey approved $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to fund the camps. More than 780 locations across the state offer summer camp for free through the program. “That comprises of local schools as well as community nonprofits like Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA and others,” Harrier said.

For up to eight weeks, students will learn core subjects like math, reading and civics. Last year, just 38% of Arizona students passed the statewide English language arts test and only 31% passed the math test. Harrier says summer learning is crucial this year. “We know from our statewide test scores that a lot of students lost ground during the pandemic and distance learning was not beneficial to most of them, so this is an opportunity to get back on track,” Harrier said.

They promise the learning will also be fun! Middle and high schoolers get to experiment with drones, coding and theatre. The vice president of the Arizona Education Association says camps will also help kids regain their social skills. “I am and have been as a parent even so worried about the social growth,” Marisol Garcia said. “They missed out on some experience, the ability to connect with each other and learn how to socially relate to each other which is such an important part of public schools.” Click/tap here for more information on the program and how you can sign up.