Camps Expand Learning Opportunities through the Explore 30 Camp Reading Program

Summertime is ripe with exciting opportunities for kids — it is a time to develop new interests and take advantage of warmer weather to get outdoors. From swimming and sports to time spent in backyards and parks, summer is a time for fun. But by the end of summer, many children and teens suffer academically in the areas of reading and math — a result often called “summer learning loss.” These impacts can be profound — with up to two months of instruction lost during the summer. So what’s the solution? Experts agree that access to high-quality summer programs that engage youth in a wide range of learning experiences, such as camp, are critical for offsetting the impacts of summer learning loss.

To support and expand learning opportunities at camp, and to address the impacts of summer learning loss, ACA developed the Explore 30 Camp Reading Program. Explore 30 provides campers with thirty minutes of reading time per day for each day of the camp session, giving children access to staff who are available to read aloud to them and exposing them to other reading resources during their camp session. Many adults remember the joys of sitting under a tree as a child reading a favorite book. Explore 30 brings this experience to kids of all ages. Explore 30 activities may include silent reading, reading aloud, and reading theater, with campers tracking their reading achievement with a daily or weekly reading log. A certificate of completion helps campers show their success at the end of the camp session.

Day and resident camps are uniquely positioned to provide children with summer engagement, and Explore 30 fits meaningfully into this framework. Camp learning is particularly impactful because kids learn actively with hands-on experiences (surrounded with fewer — or no — video and TV screens) in a safe setting supported by caring friends and staff. In fact, many of the skills that children learn at camp, including communication, problem-solving, and how to make good decisions, have been shown to support school success. Programs such as Explore 30 are just one more way camps promote healthier and smarter children.

The research is clear: Children and adolescents who are read to, and who read for pleasure, are significantly more successful in school than children and adolescents who do not. Contact your camp to find out if they have joined Explore 30 today!

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