YCamp Matters: Send area kids to camp

Posted on 6/22/15 by Beth Roessner

What are your plans for the summer? Many low-income children will have a dismally different answer to that question than you may.

While many are embarking on summer camp and stimulating vacations, these kids will likely spend their days babysitting themselves, watching TV, engaging in risky behavior, or, even more regretful, lacking access to food. Throughout the school year, many youth qualify for free and reduced price meals, but where is that food coming from when school doors close for summer?

After a full summer of this, many low-income children return to school academically unprepared for the new curriculum… and even two to three months behind their higher-income classmates.

According to the National Summer Learning Association, more than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by the unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, an unfortunate number of low-income children are not likely to graduate high school or attend college.

In 2014, the DC region had over 135,000 children living below the poverty line. Last summer, the Y was able to provide 4,000 day and overnight camp scholarships, thanks to its donors. However, the need for camp scholarships continues to grow.

Between now through the start of the 2015-2016 school year, children are able to attend a variety of Y camps. Thingamajig Invention camp stretches the imagination allowing children to create upcycled inventions. Aloha Splash camp celebrates the summer with a Hawaiian twist and plenty of pool time. And, for those who have unique interests, there are day camps dedicated to science, art, bead crafts, chess and so much more.

Then there’s Camp Letts, the Y’s overnight camp. For children ages six to 16, Camp Letts packs the week full of exciting activities. From canoeing to horseback riding, “Gaga” ball to serving “juice” to a “moose,” children are surrounded by nature, positive role models, creativity and adventure in a safe environment.

It’s through generous donations that the Y is able to help at-risk children, getting them on a path to success for the rest of their lives.

Give kids-in-need a positive answer to the question. YCamp Matters and so does your support!

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