Summer Camp: Making Summer Count When It Matters Most

September 3, 2018

(In 2018, Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, in partnership with Fifth Third Community Development Corporation and Huntington Community Development Corporation, committed $574,000 in funding to ensure that more than 700 children and youth are gaining, not losing ground, through meaningful and enriching summer camp experiences offering a range of activities and academic instruction.)

For many low-income and working families, summer opportunities are out of reach to parents and children who cannot afford the benefits of summer programs offering a wide variety of activities that provide academic enrichment, field trips, theater programs, and outdoor experiences. As a result, summer break is often a time when low-income children and youth lose learning or academic skill developed over the course of the previous academic year. Evidence shows that learning loss contributes to the achievement gap between low income children who, relative to more affluent peers, have less access to consistent, year-round programming.

“The costs for summer camp programs can vary widely depending on the instruction and activities offered and the length or duration of the camp,” described Bryan Brown, COO at the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. “At any level, the costs are prohibitive for our parents, and without the funding, their children would most likely be at home not learning.” says Brown. “This is what makes the Resident Development Fund invaluable for the parents, children and properties we serve.”

Born out of a desire to keep children safe while providing positive and fun experiences for youth across its portfolio of family housing, the Board of the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing developed a unique set-aside in the Resident Development Fund to increase access to high-quality summer learning opportunities – one simple but important approach to closing the summer achievement and equity gap for the children served. The fund allows donors, like Fifth Third Bank and Huntington National Bank, to make an immediate contribution and recommend grants that support children.

“The needs of our residents drive the mission and activities of Ohio Capital Impact Corporation,” said Pimmel, “There’s no big theory behind our investments in summer camp. We just knew that we had hundreds of kids with pressing need for summer camp and recreational activities. Funding these services is in alignment with our mission to promote enduring families and communities.”

Thanks to the 26 awe-inspiring camp partners whose work expands and enriches young peoples’ lives. Here are a few photos highlighting our favorite moments.