100,000 Arizona kids participated in the state’s ‘AZ OnTrack Summer Camp ' program

The Arizona OnTrack summer camp is available to pre-K through 12th grade students.
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 8:46 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Summer is winding down for Arizona kids, with many school districts returning to class over the next couple of weeks!

After a challenging two years for students, Gov. Doug Ducey launched “AZ OnTrack Summer Camp” earlier this year to help get kids caught up. The state used $100 million from the American Rescue Plan to fund hundreds of camps for thousands of kids at no cost to families.

Ducey initially hoped to get 250,000 kids involved, but Lisa Keegan, AZ OnTrack Summer Camp chair, says roughly 100,000 kids have participated.

“The most important thing is that most of the students that came to one of the AZ OnTrack camps are from lower income families, lots from rural Arizona and families who ordinarily can’t afford an adventure camp,” Keegan said.

According to Keegan, 800 camp sessions took place at about 680 campsites. State officials say they have contracts with 150 groups like YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to run these camps.

“Every parent’s going to get a report card about their campus experience and we will put data together in the fall about what happened. We hope we can make the case to do this again because it was just an extraordinary and still is an extraordinary opportunity,” she said. Some camps will run through the middle of August when all the Valley districts are back.

AZ OnTrack will also post back-to-school activities and games online this week to help parents prep. As for getting ready for the upcoming school year, Keegan says to start changing daily schedules now so you can get your kids back into a routine.

“Take two weeks to ease back in but really have your kids ready to go to bed early and get up early. Sleep is critically important for very young children and for teenagers. They’ll turn into different people without it,” Keegan said.

She also suggests getting kids off screens a couple of hours before bedtime. Use that time instead to focus on reading or doing puzzles, something where you can work together as a family.