We want all of our kids to take part in summer programming to build new skills, prevent summer learning loss, and return to school ready to succeed. For too many kids, lack of free and low cost summer options means a summer without enrichment and entering the school year behind their peers. Since 2013, the Ed Fund, with support from the West Contra Costa Unified School District, has partnered with the City of Richmond to offer free high quality summer camp programs at Shields Reid, Nevin, Parchester, and Booker T. Anderson Community Centers.
The Ed Fund is committed to increasing opportunities for our children to participate in quality after-school and summer programs. The average summer learning loss is 2-3 months. Research shows that this learning loss contributes to 2/3 of the achievement gap by the time our students reach high school. Through this successful program model and partnerships, over 350 kids participated last summer, many returning year after year, increasing summer camp enrollment by 81% over two years. As a result, the average camper saw their reading assessment score increase by over 4 months.
To ensure every camper has fun and develops their skills throughout the summer, the Ed Fund contracts high quality enrichment providers and WCCUSD certified teachers as a key strategy to support the summer camp experience for youth. For a second summer, we administered Summer Program Grants to the Berkeley Chess School, Mindful Life Project, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, and the Richmond Art Center to deliver high quality programming.
These kids and this program represent the hope and promise of our collaborative effort. Through continued involvement in high quality after school and summer programs, our kids will continue to build the skills and academic acumen to begin closing the achievement gap in West Contra Costa.